14 Sep 2014
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Middle School Student Sprouts a Business

Mason Sagan has been excited about business since he was 2 or 3 years old.

Middle School Student Sprouts a Business Middle School Student Sprouts a Business Middle School Student Sprouts a Business Middle School Student Sprouts a Business

Mason means business.

Seated at a table at the back of Panera Bread, the 13-year-old has his products — packets of plantable note cards —  aligned neatly on a table.

Before him is a notebook on which he has written talking points.  

Planning, product development, sales, customer service and donating a percentage of profits to charities may not be the exact categories that he has assigned to his plan for growing his business, Cards by Mason, but he has them in mind.

What is most impressive is Mason's pitch-less sales manner.

No Billy Mays high heat here. But the legendary Oxy-Clean man Billy Mays would probably have been proud.

It's a complete business plan, developed with help from family friend CarolAnn Price.

Mason is quite coachable, she says, and he teams those lessons with his personal touch — a disarming manner that is engaging, civil and polite.

He speaks about his products as he shows them, seamlessly weaving words and actions.

As Mason talks about the number of cards that come with packages, he removes them, thumbing them like a guitarist's strum before spreading them on the table.

It's a garden of cards.

They are flowers. He tells where he shot the photos — some were from a botanical garden in Florida; some local.

He tells which ones are his favorites, and how many come with the package. Their cost. How to buy them.

And this is perhaps the best part, he says, opening a card and revealing heart shapes that contain flower seeds.

You plant the card and it produces flowers, he says.

The 13-year-old started his plantable note card business six months ago.

His first sale was to a family friend, Susan Bloom.

But the roots to this young entrepreneur's venture extend much further, said his mom, Julie.

"From since he was two or three his favorite store was Staples," his mom said.

If you wanted to make Mason happy with a holiday gift you brought him to Staples to roam aisles of note pads, sticky notes, pens, colored paper, paper clips and briefcases.

Mason dreams big.

Some day he may start the next Staples chain, but his approach is deliberate, well thought out.

He started the company with his own money and has pledged to donating at least 15 percent of his profits to local charitable efforts.

He is a saver not a spender. He spends on things he needs, as opposed to wants. This applies to his business investments, as well.

Mason has other interests, like spending time with friends, golf, math and movies.

One of his favorite shows is Shark Tank. He likes pizza and Chinese food.

But business has a special draw for him.

His brother Austin, a high school student, has started a successful cake making business.

But Austin isn't one for promoting and marketing.

Who did he turn to for help in that department?

His younger brother.

Mason was more than willing to oblige.


To order Mason's products he invites you to visit his website , http://cardsbymason.weebly.com/

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