Picture this: you lug your heavy backpack on your shoulders, every pocket stuffed full with notebooks, folders, and textbooks. You don’t have enough room for your water bottle, so you just carry it. There’s also not enough space for your lunchbox, so you just carry that, too. You have to bring your own mat for yoga class, and there’s no way that’s going to fit in your backpack, either, so you carry it.
You’re running out of hands, but you still have to carry your sweatshirt, your poster for class, and your spare clothes and shoes for practice after school.
This is where Better Bags, managed by sophomore Quinn Hane, swoops in to solve this common issue many students face.
“In the beginning, we didn’t really know what to do,” said Quinn, who spoke initially on the difficulties of coming up with an idea for a product. “First, we wanted to do a backpack add-on, something you could just attach to your backpack, and then we [decided] it would be easier and more [versatile] if it was just a bag.”
The drawstring bag, which has the FHC logo displayed on it, acts as a dumping ground of sorts for any miscellaneous items—such as extra clothes, water bottles, keys, lunch boxes—that every student carries throughout the day.
“We’re marketing the product as something to help students create more space, especially students with a more active lifestyle,” Quinn said.
Reaching out to a wide audience, for anyone could benefit from a bag like this, Better Bags—composed of group members Kendall Gleason, finance; Greyson Ripmaster, marketing; Teague Greer, sales; Vinh Pham, supply—is currently working on heavily advertising their product.
Asking friends, friends of friends, and family members to spread the word about their product, Better Bags is focusing on a lot of word-of-mouth advertising.
“Right now, we’re kind of working on getting more interest in [our product],” Quinn said. “We’re selling all online, and we’re going to have a website where you can go to buy our product. We’re working on a social media account right now, and we’re also working on posters around the school. We’re doing a lot of spreading the word by mouth, [though].”
Still in the early stages of advertising, as of Thursday, Nov. 12, Better Bags’ website is not yet up, but when it is, 10% of their profits are going to Anchors Programs for Children. An organization that, as the name suggests, acts as an “anchor” for children and families battling potentially life-limiting illnesses, Quinn believes it is only right to give part of their profits to the organization.
“If a child were to have, let’s say, a terminal illness, and they needed something to help them out, Anchors would provide that to them for free,” Quinn explained. “We thought this was important because we know sometimes families can’t afford that, and that’s not necessarily fair to those families. All kids should be able to have what they need in order to have a better future.”
Planning on launching their website, which will also begin with pre-ordering, next Monday, Nov. 16, all members of Better Bags have been working in tandem in order to get to that point.
With each member offering differing strengths, Quinn delegates the tasks and ensures that each member of the group is contributing their best work as the manager. Working both together and individually, Better Bags has created a group harmony of sorts, a kind that has allowed them to truly experience what working in business in a professional job would be like.
“We all have our different areas that we’re good at,” Quinn said. “We all come together and create our different ideas together, and then we split off. We rely on each other for advice, and we try to work as a team a lot but also try to work individually, too.”
An immersive class and immersive project, Intro to Business’ companies give the students a glimpse into the real-world aspects of starting a company. Better Bags is just one example of noticing a common issue, working together to create a product to eliminate it, and advertising it effectively in order to collect the maximum profit.
“My whole group [and I] have really learned how to work together and get ideas across,” Quinn said. “We’ve learned that it’s okay to ask questions, but also, you need to figure [things] out on your own, too, and not rely completely on other people. [This project and class are] going to help us when we have jobs and actually have bigger responsibilities [in the future].”