Alison Bloom’s Grade 9 class at Nelson’s Trafalgar Middle School have become entrepreneurs in training by making their own school merchandise. Photo: Tyler Harper

Alison Bloom’s Grade 9 class at Nelson’s Trafalgar Middle School have become entrepreneurs in training by making their own school merchandise. Photo: Tyler Harper

Trafalgar students learn the business with merch store

A unique program is teaching students how to be entrepreneurs

Ella Morris flips a switch and the printer slowly spits out a sheet of designs. Some are logos for Trafalgar Middle School, others are custom images like mountains inside the outline of ski goggles.

Once that’s done, a small group of students start cutting out the images before they are set on shirts, mugs, pants and more.

The production line is part of the Trafalgar Merch Store, which is run by students who source materials, make their own merchandise and sell it themselves to fund a Grade 9 camping trip.

Morris is in her second year working on merchandise, which is giving her an introduction to entrepreneurism.

“I like designing and I like the whole process. It’s lots of fun,” she says.

Nearby, Paityn Lake and Lita Cowan work on a script for a commercial. Lake, who was wearing a sweatshirt with one of her designs, said she enjoys the space teacher Alison Bloom gives her students to be creative.

“It’s just teaching us different skills that I don’t think we’d learn in other classes.”

Bloom started the store as part of the maker space she runs in the school. The merch is sold on a student-designed website, and the class has already filled a couple private orders as well.

She said they are also working on placing their items in Nelson businesses, and may expand to make merch for other schools.

“They’re learning how to run a business, how to make commercials, how to do something that’s super hands on and applied, which is cool,” says Bloom.

To order an item from Nelson’s future business owners, visit https://trafalgar-merch-store.company.site/.