Warde entrepreneurs sell blankets for class
FAIRFIELD — Fairfield Warde High School senior Ted Orben created his first business in middle school.
“When I was in seventh grade I started my own hat company and bracelet company. Just selling random things to people,” said Orben, now 18. “Now going into college I’m looking into bigger things than just hats. From here, who knows what it’ll be, but entrepreneurship is one of my top interests.”
Though he hasn’t yet committed to a college, Orben has already moved past hats. Together with his 13 classmates taking Warde’s entrepreneurship class taught by Allyson Danso, he’s helped to develop, market and sell “Baller Blankets,” a multipurpose stadium blanket made of water-resistant nylon on one side and red fleece on the other.
The class of juniors and seniors is broken down into six departments — finance, sales, human resources, production, public relations and marketing — each led by a vice president who reports to Danso and works with a volunteer from the nonprofit Junior Achievement, which fosters entrepreneurship in students.
Orben, who is the anchor for Warde TV’s Friday news show, was chosen as vice president of public relations.
Want to buy one?
Blankets are $30 and will be sold through Dec. 15. To purchase a blanket, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Essentially that is a platform that everybody sees, so it was helpful for placing advertisements. I had a good position to leverage my role as anchor,” Orben explained.
As vice president of public relations, Orben was tasked with spreading the word on whatever product it was the class decided to make. This year, unlike years past, they decided to mix things up.
“This year they decided to do something a little different — First class that has not done a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket, which is really cool,” Danso said. “It’s definitely a unique project for our class.”
“We were deciding between rugby polos and blankets. We decided to go with the crazier product,” Orden said.
The decision has proven beneficial, as the blankets have been a big hit.
“We came out selling really fast. We sold out of 250 blankets in probably a month and a half. So we reordered 75 more,” Orden said.
According to Zach McKay, a 17-year-old senior in the class, the blanket also made practical sense.
“Connecticut sports games tend to be wet and cold. A blanket with a water-resistant side and a warm side seemed to be the perfect idea,” said McKay, who is vice president of class’s finance department.
Five percent of all proceeds from blankets sold will go to Operation Hope in Fairfield, which helps provide meals, housing and shelter for local families.
“We had kind of a bunch of charities in mind, and especially with the hurricanes this fall we were looking at hurricane relief,” Orden said, “but ultimately we decided to keep it local.”