Welcome to your local community website...
Edgware students feel sMUG with success of travel coffee mug
SELLING coffee travel mugs with cheeky puns on the side has BEAN a profitable venture for a group of students.
Twenty-two girls from North London Collegiate School (NLCS) in Canons Drive, Edgware, set up sMUG, one of three companies at the school created for the Young Enterprise (YE) competition in which Year 12 pupils come together to establish firms to conceive, manufacture and sell a unique product in order to practise real world business skills and confront genuine industry setbacks.
Nicky Robertson, the company secretary, said: "We started in around October. Before our first meeting we told everyone to think of what we produce we could produce.
Because it's winter we decided on travel mugs.
"They feature witty slogans on the silicon sleeves like 'How YOU brewin'?' and 'You've got a blend in me'.
"We've got a range in different colours and we have about 15 designs so far.
"It's a ceramic mug so you can reuse it and you're not wasting paper cups - and you get a discount from places like Starbucks for bringing your own mug."
At a national trade fair in Milton Keynes on January 27 sMUG - who have £1,000 in takings already - won the Best Company award and were runners-up for Best Product.
Nicky said: "We had a lot of problems in the beginning and couldn't find a manufacturer who was prepared to produce it but we overcame everything.
"They're now manufactured in Manchester, so it's a UK product. We sell lots at school and you can buy online for £7.99."
The other two NCLS YE companies are Brain Food - selling a healthy nutritional snack bar mixing dried fruits and nuts - and Cuppacolour, which offers mugs covered in thermochromic paint that changes colour to reveal a message when filled with hot water.
They will be competiting in the Harrow and Brent area contest, and hopefully the London-wide and the nationwide finals although the winners are not simply who makes the most profit.
Politics and economics teacher Stephen Goward, the school's YE coordinator, said: "All the companies are doing well. Last one of our companies made the national final so the bar's been set high for this year's companies to recreate that success."
n See www.smugco.com for more information
We'd like to hear from you. Send your stories, pics and videos