Grade 12 Scott McIntyre and Grade 10 Ysmael Marquez are entrepreneurs. The two Point Grey students are also enrolled in the school's Lifeskills program.
For the past couple years, both students have made hundreds of dollars crafting and selling small clay figurines they busily make like Santa's elves every winter. In past years, their creativity has known no bounds.
Their teacher Lisa Cesario says over the years the boys have created a wide range of earrings and magnets in the shape of the Power Rangers, the full Beatles band (Ysnael particularly likes Paul McCartney), mini-Rudolph, Santa, Elsa (from the hit movie Frozen), Ninja Turtles, Spider Man and even the Jackson Five (Michael is the class favourite). Cesario says all the models are driven by the boys' own imagination.
After hours of deliberate and detailed creation, the coloured clay is sent into the oven to be heated. Then Cesario adds a special gloss and the requisite metal and then packs the new craft away for its day at the fair.
"Our team goal and their dream, is to participate yearly selling their art work in craft markets as a means of income in their adult lives," she says. "It really takes a whole team to make this dream come true - I help with glazing and hooking, peer tutors and staff help with packaging and parents are very supportive."
The result has been a crafting 'bonanza'.
In past years, the boys' crafts have sold like hotcakes, pulling in over $500. Some of this money was funneled back into the Life Skills program helping pay for more capital (aka clay) for the next year's crafting. Some of the money also went to purchase McIntyre a special airplane kit.
Cesario says the crafting is very special for her students.
"This exercise is great because it is using their talents like fine motor ability and then they can use this skill into adulthood and use it as a true work experience," she says. "These are true life skills as we are helping them build a business for the future. It also allows the boys to be most focuses and be proud of the end product."
Cesario isn't the only one who sees great skills and a fantastic end product. During last year's craft fair (where the boys sold their crafts) their artwork got many customers excited. In fact fair organizers were so impressed with their work that the students were invited to come back to both Granville Island and West Vancouver craft fairs this year.
This year's crafts will be on display at the Point Grey and sold to the school community between December 9 and December 11 at lunch time. Customers are also welcome to order crafts online and can email their orders to Cesario.