Volume 94, Issue 96

Thursday, March 22, 2001


NEWS

Report takes schools to task

Mixed reviews for club caravan

FTAA hits home: Local activists joing forces

Mark Serre bids Western adieu

"Foxy" Western students make it big in the entrepreneurial world

Briefs

Planet Me

"Foxy" Western students make it big in the entrepreneurial world

By Krysty Campbell and Dan Leinwand
Gazette Staff

"Clever like a fox," is a phrase you could use to describe two students who are making waves in the business world.

Western business students, Jennifer Kluger and Suzie Orol, recently won glittering recognition for their jewelery design and manufacturing company, Foxy Originals, when they received the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Entrepeneurs of the Year Award.

To enter the entrepreneurial fair, Kluger and Orol submitted a five-page application describing their business to the Canada Young Entrepeneurs, a program sponsored by the Association of College Entrepreneurs, the organization which helped co-sponsor the award.

A record number of applicants turned out this year, according to Kluger, making the competition for the award steeper than usual.

Kluger said her interest in making jewelery began early. "I started selling jewelry at 15, in high school," she said.

When Orol met Kluger at Western, the two discovered their mutual passion for making jewelery. "We decided to turn our idea into a business," Kluger said. While continuing their studies as full-time students at Western, the ambitious duo developed their successful business in 1998. "The profit is much more than a summer job, that's for sure," Kluger said.

Now, three years later, Foxy has two lines of jewelry – 'Foxy Festivals' and 'Foxy Lady,' Kluger explained.

'Foxy Festivals,' is a more affordable line of jewelery and is sold only at festivals, she said, with prices ranging from $10 to $15.

"Foxy Lady" is the line sold through retailers, made with more expensive beads and created with more intricacy, she said, adding retailers sell these pieces for up to $60.

Twenty-eight stores in London, Toronto and Winnipeg carry "Foxy Lady" jewelry, she explained.

Kluger said word-of-mouth from Foxy's appearance in local festivals was their principal form of advertising. "We received wonderful support from Western students," Kluger said, adding the jewelry was featured in some Western fashion shows. "[The award was] a symbol of the larger support network in the community for entrepreneurs."

Rob Henderson, executive director of ACE-Canada, said Kluger and Orol impressed his organization with their passion, high quality of professional application, ability to distribute, and their expansion outside of London.

Western professor Tim Tattersall, a professor of the Richard Ivey School of Business, said there are many university students on campus who have excellent ideas, but few of them know how to develop their ideas into a formal business plan.

"What set these two young ladies apart was their drive and determination to learn how to construct a professional business plan," he said. "There should be a service provided by the university to help students develop their rough ideas into a formal and professional business plan."


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