Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cups of Holiday Cheer: Everything You Need to Know About My Innovation Project

Although my innovation project for my AP English did not go as I had originally or evenly secondly imagined, the event was a delicious success.  But first, allow me to back up and explain the whole deal.

I live in a neighborhood that comes alive during the month of December and the early weeks of the following January.  The credit is owed to one house, a house two doors down from my own.  The house goes all out decorating with blaring Christmas lights, giant trees constructed from lights, and arches of tinsel in the driveway, all of which are flashing in sync to music.  It is quite a sight to see and hundreds do each night of the "light show."

So thinking like a businesswoman, I decided to use this multitude of people as my consumer base.  I figured the only thing this wild show was missing was a toasty cup of hot chocolate.  Along with the help of my little sister and the support of my parents, a plan developed.  My sister and I were going to sell cups of hot chocolate from our driveway to those who came to enjoy the lights.

The next step was to pitch my idea to the class, a step that was successful same as the following steps.  Before I even gave my presentation, a Make a Wish board member asked me if I had decided where I was going to donate all my profits.  When I told him that I had not, he threw me a smile and said, "Make a Wish loves you!"

A few days later one of my basketball teammates, who also happens to be the president of Wounded Warrior Project, approached me asking if she could team up with me and use my project as a fundraiser for her project.  How could I refuse the opportunity to help veterans of my country?  So yes, I agreed and the planning picked up its pace.

We picked three nights that we were both available: the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before Wednesday Christmas.  Foot and automobile traffic was flowing those three nights, as were the dollar bills.  We had upped our inventory to include hot apple cider and baked goods as well.

Carolyn Valentine Herzog's photo.The days leading up to the hot chocolate stand had my partner and I nervous.  Neither of us had done something like this before and we began doubting how much traffic and profits we would attract.  

Our worry was for nothing.  The first night we speculated we had collected about $30 in the three hours we worked.  We were shocked to find the actual total was $66.  The following night was even more successful.  Including a $40 donation from the house with the crazy Christmas lights, our total for the final night was the highest.

Subtracting out expenses for cocoa mix, apple cider, and mini marsh mellows, our profits came out to be $202.30.  This was all from selling baked goods for $.50 and drinks for $1.

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