Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

PHOTOS: CHS Students Combine Entrepreneurialism and Environmentalism with Flea Market

Jackson Wagner, Monica Stemmermann, Olive Fretts Howard, Hannah Silver, Rosa Wolff help the Environmental Club raise money for the Greater Newark Conservancy

On Thursday a group of Columbia High School entrepreneurs and environmentalists partnered together to host a flea market after school in the cafeteria to let other entrepreneurial students sell their collections of clothes, shoes, custom-made T-shirts, handmade jewelry and photography.

The flea market was the idea of the founders of MapsoSupply, a student-owned and operated gently used and vintage online clothing company, and the CHS Environmental Club, which was looking for a way to raise money for the Greater Newark Conservancy.

“It’s going pretty well,” CHS junior Hannah Silver said during the flea market. “All of the proceeds from the booth sales and the clothing sales from our table will go to the GNC.

MapsoSupply began two years ago as a class assignment in 9th grade biology class. The assignment — called the passion project — requires students to work on something they love outside of class all year. And it doesn’t have to relate to biology.

So Ethan Pidgeon, Tommy Dandino and Adam Krakower started a second-hand clothing business, buying and selling gently used clothes. Their customers and their suppliers were the same – their friends. Now they are juniors at Columbia High School and MapsoSupply has grown to have more than 2000 followers on Instagram, its own website and has spun off a MapsoSupply Instagram shop for women, run by two of their female friends. They still buy some of the clothes from their friends, but also from thrift shops, ebay, and wholesale vendors in New York.

“We liked it so much, we just kept working at it,” said Pidgeon, who is now taking a business and entrepreneurship class at CHS.

Each teen vendor paid $5 to have a table in the cafeteria to sell their wares. Most also could not resist buying stuff from each other – and particularly from MapsoSupply, who know what their customers like.

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