All Things Independence Grand Opening

Posted September 17, 2016

Thank you to everyone who came out for the grand opening of our student operated store All Things Independence on the historic Independence Square. The Independence Chamber of Commerce partnered with the ISD to hold the ribbon cutting with area dignitaries on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

You can hear the pride in the students’ voices as they talk about their role in being part of the store’s launch from the ground up. From determining target market, developing a marketing plan, designing business cards, product research and ordering, designing the store layout, product placement, everything in the store is the result of Independence School District students work.

ISD Business Academy Senior Anna Diaz says, “It’s really exciting. I’ve never ran a store, especially as a student.”  ISD Business Academy Junior Shelby Fordham says it is “Forward thinking of our school district” and proudly shares her excitement in watching the store come together, “I was able to see what I had spent hours laboring over a computer and got to see it and that was a really unique experience. It’s not like in a classroom where you see the grade and that’s awesome…but this I could actually touch. I did that!”

In the back of the store, students will run their own screen printing shop.  The middle is a classroom space or collaboration space as they call it. And the front of the store is what the public will see. You can find local professional sports apparel along with school spirit wear for ISD high schools and even ISD student produced products.

All Things Independence is the classroom for business teacher Sheri Wheaton. She says from research to development and every step of the way, students are engaged in a way she has never seen before. Wheaton says, “I’ve been teaching for 27 years and having a real life project to work on, I’ve noticed that the kids are just so much more excited. Probably the biggest difference is that 100% of the kids are engaged here.”

ISD Business Academy Senior Antonio Byrd says he wants to own his own business in the future, “A big source of pride for me is making sure our products are something we can sell to the people. I like to go to school and boast about the cool stuff we have here.” Byrd is the lead on the Product Development and Orders. He says he has friends in other school districts who are very envious of this opportunity in the ISD, “To have this as a class setting, the experience of a class setting working and managing is spectacular.”