With entrepreneurship becoming a growing career path, Valle students studying entrepreneurship will be visiting local businesses this semester to talk to business owners and managers and to tour facilities to get behind the scene information on the workings of their businesses. The first of such visits was on March 6 when they visited Eric Scott.
Eric Scott was founded in 1985 by Ron Coleman to make quality leather-based products. This year, Eric Scott celebrated their 29th Anniversary. Eric Scott has grown into a nationally known company with 120 employees and sophisticated equipment that manufacture high-end merchandise for companies including Harley-Davidson and Shinola. Eric Scott purchased Snaptotes in 2012 which is a branch of their company that makes personalized photo items such as purses and wallets. Students also learned that they make products for many licensed products for Disney, NBA and MLB. Students agreed that Eric Scott has a bright future!
A few weeks later students visited Ultraflo. Mike Lurk, a Valle grad and the company’s general manager, along with the company’s department managers provided a slideshow and tour of the plant. The managers all spoke to the students on their different responsibilities, education and what to expect when they get out in the “real world”. The company was started in the 1980’s but only moved to Ste. Genevieve in 1999. The valves produced at the Ste. Genevieve plant are used in many industries around the world such as the tractor trailer, dry bulk trailer, rail car and HVAC industries just to name a few. Ultraflo produces over 65,000 valves a year which seemed like a lot of work to the Valle students!
Next stop for students was a trip to the Show-Me-Shop to speak to Kelly Fallert, another Valle alum and local business owner. Kelly described to the students the advantage she had of buying an existing business which already had an excellent, established clientele. She discussed marketing, purchasing, and inventory along with many other topics. Students liked the fact that the Show-Me-Shop carries many items that are made in Missouri and that there is a wide variety of merchandise to choose from. They also picked up some ideas for gifts for mom for Mother’s Day!
Valle students enjoy the opportunity given to them so generously by local entrepreneurs as they tour a wide variety of businesses this semester.