Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County's newest retailer celebrated their new venture with a ribbon cutting with the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce today.
The Cats' Corner, operated by the Edmonson County High School retail marketing class, is open for business and is giving kids real-life experience in the retail world.
The entire project is run by students and overseen by Mrs. April Hennion, business and marketing teacher, and Mr. Jodi Booth, business teacher.
ECHS senior Cooper Clark, one of the store managers, spoke to a crowd of students, staff, administration, and visitors before the ceremonial ribbon was cut. He discussed how the experience so far has opened their eyes to several aspects of real-world business.
"These are things you can't learn from a book," he said.
The store sells t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and other school spirit items. The shirts are designed and pressed at school by the students.
Mrs. Hennion said Mr. Booth had helped start a store when he was previously at South Warren and she knew of other schools that had seen success with their stores. She said she believed it would be a great project for students at ECHS.
She said she reached out to Houchens Industries, who had donated to help start other school stores and they agreed to provide the storefront for the school, including signage, shelving, and an impressive store counter. She said Gravil Funeral Home also made a generous donation to help get the store started. The store first opened for business on November 18th.
"The students have done everything since," she said. "They've created their own commercials, they design the shirts and we make the shirts here with presses, they decide on the ordering, and they are responsible for all the financials. It's all them. They're running it, and they're awesome."
The store is currently open only during 5th period during lunch on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The store is also hoping to be open during basketball district and homecoming games this year, as well as some volleyball and football games next year.
This is the first of what is expected to be several partnerships with the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce within Edmonson County Schools, with a goal of pairing students with local businesses for job opportunities.