The Legacy Consignment Shoppe – run by students in The Legacy Project – was a change-agent vehicle designed to help young people further their interests in growth and development.
Stocked by donations from local businesses and individual supporters of the 2Unique Community Salvation Foundation, The Legacy Consignment Shoppe did its business during a four-hour-plus shift at the Hickory Ridge Mall on Dec. 8. Complete with a crowd of shoppers, great food and entertainment, the event had all the appearances of a huge success.
The 2Unique Community Salvation Foundation "Find Your Design" program, in partnership with Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis (HTH), developed and implemented The Legacy Project – a "teenage leadership and career development program designed to empower youth to impact powerful change in the lives of at-risk teens and their families."
The first cohort of students in The Legacy Project was tasked with operating a small business, a Consignment Shoppe. The objectives included enhancing students' ability to become entrepreneurs. The process involved taking skills learned in the class and developing a business from concept to implementation. Along the way, students were exposed to marketing, accounting, customer service, entrepreneurship, leadership development and business finances.
"The Legacy Project participants had an awesome time demonstrating the skills they learned in the 'Find Your Design' program, an intensive nine-week program consisting of 6 weeks of classroom curriculum and 3 weeks in the hands on Legacy Consignment Shoppe project," said Roshunda Buchanan, founder/CEO of 2Unique Community Salvation Foundation and publisher of 2Unique Magazine,
"The program connected students with relevant real-life practicums and mini-internships to enhance their works skills to promote higher post-graduation employment rates," said Buchanan.
"This project demonstrated to the youth how to utilize available resources to generate legitimate income, and by doing so they have created employment opportunities."
Among the participants were 15-year-old cousins Darrius and Jovounta Hill, who designed and produced their own product (Hoodies and Tees) called Your Shine My Light (YSML). Darrius and Jovounta used their fundraising and marketing skills to generate personal networks for donations so they could have the funding to promote their product in The Consignment Shoppe.
With coaching and help in purchasing fabrics, choosing displays and even steaming their product for professional presentation, they sold all their shirts and learned that they can be successful, even at their young age.
Anthony Tatum and Miracle Baker helped drive business to The Consignment Shoppe by employing a direct marketing-approach to mall customers. Case in point: One customer, who said she had no intentions of making a purchase that day, left with eight purchases after Anthony talked with her about the purpose of the store.
"This was dynamic to see the potential of entreprenuership in our students," said Buchanan. "They worked diligently for more than five hours due to such a huge flow of customers. As a final lesson on earning income, each student received a small stipend as commission and a certificate of completion of the 'Find Your Design' program."
The program was powered by independent funding streams and donations from concerned individuals and businesses. Heal the Hood volunteered services and served as mentors throughout the endeavor.
Buchanan sent out shouts of appreciation to the following:
LaDell Beamon (Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis), Alicia Delbridge (Creator of Joyworkz Career Planning), Brittany King (Event Planner and Advisor), Tiffany Lewis (Volunteer/Advisor), Sheila Chatman (College Prep Coordinator), Sherhunda Gentry, Marlon Gentry, Geanender Harper (Creator of "Raising Cain" Parenting Program).
She also noted the speakers who shared their entrepreneurial experiences with the students. The lineup featured Nicole Jackson, (founder of The Diva Campaign and Diva Online Magazine); Myron Mays, (columnist/entertainment writer for The New Tri-State Defender, radio personality at Citadel Broadcasting, and director of Communications & Development of the Black Business Association of Memphis); Chisa Richardson (founder of Asiche Boutique); Quinton and Geanender Harper (speaking on the topic of how to Save and Giving); and Djon, 25 and Brent, 23 from DBJ Entertainment (teaching students how to invest in their dreams).