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Spotting Success

Student-run store provides unique opportunity for business education.s

Sofia Adinolfi and Rachel Pickett

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Pride, one of the four cornerstones of BV West, is exemplified in The Spot, a student-run store located in the commons. A large collection of apparel, water bottles, lanyards, clothing for gym class and many necessary school supplies can all be found at the store. The Spot, which is a fifth-hour class led by business teacher Keaton Vander Hart, aims to teach students business skills while also selling products that boost school pride.

“Students who work at The Spot gain a different experience from their normal retail or food jobs,” Vander Hart said. “Because students run the whole business, they gain experience in business problem solving, financial record keeping, data analysis, designing apparel, communicating with clients and vendors, business management strategies and marketing.”

Because they are trying to learn business skills, students of The Spot have the unique opportunity to be the ones who run the store.

“Mr. Vander Hart is the overseer of it, but he tries to stay out of it as much as he can,” senior Brady Vaughn said. “We are the ones that design the shirts, we are the ones that contact vendors and employers so we can run a successful mini-business.”

The last two years have seen a lot of growth for The Spot.

During the 2016-17 school year, The Spot introduced its very own blend of coffee, the West Brew, with the help of The Roasterie, a local coffee business. The Spot sells coffee before school and during JAG, and even offers coffee memberships which provide unlimited coffee for a flat fee.

This year, The Spot has also changed the look of the store.

“We completely remodeled the store,” senior Coleman Barnes said. “We got all new hangers, displays, we’ve painted a little bit and we now have a bartop in from the woods department.”

Despite all of their recent successes, The Spot has their eyes on the ways in which they can grow.

“I would love to see The Spot expand into the old senior section and turn into more of a student union meets coffee shop type space where during JAG people would have a more comfortable space to study, read or talk with their friends,” Vander Hart said.

While The Spot takes pride in the work that they do, they instill pride in the rest of the school body.

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