Walk into one of their production meetings, you’ll find the team members of Infinity – A Junior Achievement Company working hard. In every nook of their space, team members are doing everything from measuring and cutting fabric to sewing zippers onto pockets. Radio music plays in the background and mingles with the intermittent marching of sewing machines.
It’s that time of the year again, when Junior Achievement (JA) companies – companies formed by high school students in and around Calgary start appearing in the local business landscape. This year is no exception, with over 30 JA companies involving some 600 students in the Calgary area alone beginning operations right around these few months. The Churchill Chronicle peer into the operations of one of these companies to get a taste of what Junior Achievement will bring.
Infinity – A Junior Achievement Company was founded by a group of 24 students from around the city united as Venue 2 Northwest. This group is selling a trendy new take on the traditional fashion accessory, a unique product inspired by the infinity scarf.
The Infinity Pocket Scarf is not simply an infinity scarf. The Infinity team has added their own touch: a hand-sewn pocket concealed within the folds of the scarf, sealed with a zipper and large enough to hold a typical tablet.
The thinking behind this (as the Infinity team puts it) is to “provide the convenience of a pocket to customers who need it, without sacrificing the style of a good infinity scarf.” It would seem like the company is indeed making an effort to do just that. Infinity recently released a sizeable catalogue of 6 colors and 5 patterns for the month of December, all of which can be paired with each other to the customer’s liking.
When prompted, members of the team enthusiastically recount the conception and development of their pocket scarf. As told by Infinity’s team, the Pocket Scarf started life as the brainchild of a fellow team member, Bethany Chan. Upon hearing of her idea, the team was quick to support the proposition and soon, it was established as Infinity’s product. The original Pocket Scarf, making its debut during the company’s third meeting has since been improved upon to become the Infinity product line of today. In between, of course, were hours of prototyping, design tweaking, logistics and feasibility analysis.
Much to the Infinity team’s delight, the first Infinity Pocket Scarf was sold on November 19. Less than a month later, the Infinity team is working hard to meet several large orders, glad and motivated to be doing so. Their self-stated aim is to donate as much of their profits as possible to Inn from the Cold, a non-profit organization in Calgary that provides emergency aid and shelter to those in need. Although donation of at least 25% of company profits is a requirement of Junior Achievement, the Infinity team is willing to do more. According to its president Sunand Kannappan, the Infinity team unanimously agreed to donate 100% of profits to charity, saying that Infinity “believes in giving back to the community.”
As usual, the Junior Achievement landscape this year is competitive and dynamic. Like other companies, Infinity acknowledges that competition is intense and that they have had to work hard to achieve success. However, as its team members seem to mention time and again, Infinity is bent on working its hardest to “keep Calgary warm” this winter season.
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– Jack D. & Chris S., with help from Michael X.