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Know strings attached

Robyn Mc Bride, Laura Verdina and Isabella Forsberg at the Holder’s House Farmer’s Market.

by Donna Sealy

Isabella Forsberg, Robyn Mc Bride and Laura Verdina are three budding businesswomen.

Having entered this year’s Barbados Entrepreneurial $20 Challenge for fourth and fifth formers, you could say they are all tied up working towards success.

Forsberg told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview that Stringly Business came about after their initial idea failed, but instead of giving up they thought about what else they could do.

“I came up with the idea of doing string art and then we all kind of pitched in and came up with different ideas for it. Together we came up with the name,” said the 15-year-old entrepreneur.

So far they have made and sold their pieces which can also be specially ordered. They have been to Holder’s House Farmer’s Market and on Saturday you can find them at Brighton Farmer’s Market.

“You can choose your design, your colour, your string and then others are our designs. You can put them on your walls in your kids’ rooms or wherever. We’ve done a bass guitar, stars, Pac Man, elephants, birds, words, We have one now that is the word love, the O is a heart,” Forsberg said.

She described the Holder’s outing as “quiet” noting however that they did sell a few pieces and receive some orders.

“We’re getting ready for our bigger market at Brighton,” she added.

Members of the team get together on weekends and some days after school.

They have made it clear they are not only thinking about winning the challenge and making a profit – for them it is about giving back.

Forsberg said all of the proceeds would be donated to the Barbados Diabetes Foundation.

“We chose the foundation because diabetes is a big problem in Barbados and we wanted to donate the money to something that actually is a problem locally,” she explained.

The teenager said she likes being creative and she knew how to do the string art and taught her business partners.

“I learnt how to do it online. I saw a picture of someone’s bedroom where they had [a design] on their wall and I loved it. So I researched how to make them and it was easy from then on,” she said.

Having entered the $20 challenge last year and being among the winners, she said this time around was easier as she knew what to do to get started.

“I love business, I don’t know why, but it’s nice. I love creating and actually making the things to sell because a lot of work and creativity go into it and I’m a very creative person so I just love to let it all out and see what comes of it,” said Forsberg.

She described the challenge as a great way to get people her age “inspired and on their feet and off the computer”.

Her advice to those thinking about the entering the challenge next year, if it offered, is to be confident.

“They just can’t give up if they encounter one problem. We encountered many problems and we got through them and we realised that if we had just quit then we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have. We had problems with costs. We started with $60, and we started getting worried a bit then we worked it out and planned everything.

“Also some people, when they placed orders, they said ‘I’d like this but I’m not sure’ so that confused us so we put down rules with the people that they had to pay a deposit and they have to be sure what they want,” she said.

The longest part of the process is waiting for the paint to dry, the budding entrepreneur said.

You can check out the photos on their Facebook page:

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