The business of cutting, hammering

Young entrepreneurs set up furniture business

Last updated 13:00 06/12/2013
Nelson College Preparatory School
MARTIN de RUYTER/Fairfax NZ

IN BUSINESS: Thomas Zohrab, centre, and his fellow year 7 and 8 Nelson College Preparatory School pupils with timber products they have made at the college from used pallets.

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Nelson College Preparatory School students have set up a business, Prepal, selling household furniture made from recycled wooden pallets.

Under the business tutelage of Nelson College teacher Jared Aberhart and assisted by the woodworking talents of technology teacher Simon Croft, the pupils designed and built a variety of wooden products including a coffee-table-on-wheels, wine rack, and planter box.

Head teacher Richard Nott said Prep pupils usually didn't use the Nelson College Trades Centre space, but it had made good sense while the seniors were away.

"It benefits everybody," he said. "It's maximising use of the excellent facility all year round."

The exercise had been about more than cutting up wood and hammering nails.

"It's really teaching them about financial literacy, and how maths works in the real world."

The students worked out their overheads and profit margins, what they would have to repay investors, and how much they might be able to donate to a local charity.

As it is, a quarter of the proceeds from Prepal's stall at the Nelson Market tomorrow will be donated to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.

Mr Croft was impressed with the pupils' work.

"You have gone flat out and worked really hard and the quality is really good. So well done." The pupils were also enthusiastic about marketing and promoting their products, with 13-year-old David Zohrab quick to give the reporter a sales pitch.

"They make good Christmas pressies," he said.

"The tables are on wheels, which have brakes for added safety. Great for children. They are made of 80 per cent recyclable material and a quarter of profits go to charity.

"Buy one."

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- The Nelson Mail

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