It began as an assignment for the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at Christel House Indianapolis. It’s now a clothing store providing real-world business experience for students – and proving a valuable service for classmates in need.
The CHM Boutique (Christel House/Manual) allows students to shop for clothes, shoes and accessories, anonymously, at no charge. Robin Clark teaches business courses at the high school. With a background as an entrepreneur, she guided students through developing their clothing store concept, identifying their target audience, and marketing their new business. “I think the best way to teach them is hands-on,” Clark says. “You can’t teach entrepreneurship out of a book.” Sophomores Yasmin, Dyann, and Johanna (pictured L-R) are part of a team of over 75 students involved in the project. “I enjoy doing this,” says Johanna. “And we’re helping the community.” Students collect donations from family, friends, and even from teachers at the school. “There have been piles and piles of clothes coming in,” says Yasmin. Outfits gifted by the late Christel DeHaan, Christel House Founder, are also available at the Boutique. Clark warms as she shares how a student, hoping to go to the prom, explored the Boutique. “She found a perfect dress and asked, “How much do I owe you?” I told her it’s free…and her eyes just lit up,” says Clark. “That’s why we’re doing this.” Then she adds, smiling, “She’s coming back for shoes.”