ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM STORIES
Founder of Cozy Coasters
Jonathan Pacheco, a student at Thomas W. Harvey High School, was on the hunt for a way to express his creativity and develop a new skill when he discovered resin. After overcoming a learning curve with the new material, he soon perfected his designs and Cozy Coasters was born! With the help of dedicated mentors, Jonathan further developed his business plan and crafted the pitch that would ultimately win him first place at Harvey High School’s 2021 Business Plan Competition.
Learn more about Jonathan’s start-up journey and the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset in his interview below!
Tell us a little about your journey to entrepreneurship.
My journey as an entrepreneur has been a major learning experience not only about being an entrepreneur but understanding the importance of thinking like an entrepreneur. Previously I hadn’t known much about entrepreneurship or what being an entrepreneur was but through the Marketing/Entrepreneurship program I was able to further my knowledge. This journey has been a huge learning experience and has helped me understand the fundamentals of running a business. I am happy with what I have learned and been able to create through this journey. I am proud of the final product and that everything turned out how it did.
Who helped you get started as an entrepreneur?
I was able to get my start through the Marketing/Entrepreneurship program at my school alongside my teacher Ms. Rapport and my mentor Mike Sturdevant. Mike and Ms. Rapport worked as my mentors that helped bring my idea of Cozy Coasters to life. Mike helped me with the logistics of creating my business and creating my product. While Ms. Rapport provided me with the proper presentation skills, encouragement, and advice that I needed to help envision how Cozy Coasters was going to look like. I was able to learn from these two individuals how to run a successful business to the importance of having a catchy and attention-grabbing pitch. I truly couldn’t have done it without either of them guiding me through this experience.
Where did the idea for Cozy Coasters come from and what is the future of the business?
When deciding on what I wanted to produce for my business I had three initial ideas, they were candles, dog leashes, and coasters. I knew I wanted something that would not only allow me to express my creative personality but also allow me the opportunity to try something new. After deciding to make coasters I initially thought of manufacturing them out of wood but after unsuccessfully finding a cost-effective source for the wood I learned about resin through an article I found online and decided that resin would be the best. Working with resin was definitely a huge learning experience since I haven’t ever used it in the past. So, there were a lot of mistakes before I was able to create a decent product. For the future of Cozy Coasters, I see expanding the range of coasters and products we have, I hope to add color and various shapes of coaster to create new designs and patterns.
How did taking an entrepreneurship course prepare you for competing in a business plan competition?
Taking an entrepreneurship course prepared me in my presentation skills, business knowledge, and the key elements of creating a product. Through taking an entrepreneurship course I had the opportunity to further my knowledge and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Congratulations on placing first in Harvey High School’s Business Plan Competition! Do you have any advice for other students who are preparing to give their first business pitch?
My advice for any student preparing for their first business pitch would be confident and don’t forget to have fun. As you prepare for you presentation it is important that you know all your material but its also important that you show that compassion and enthusiasm for your company. Confidence can help not only sell your product but also sell to people the kind of person you are, it can help you express yourself and what is important to you. Having fun is also a very important part of giving a business pitch, the more fun you have creating your business the more enthusiasm and excitement you will show in your business pitch, selling your love for what you have created is very important because you want to show how proud you are of your product.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur and how do you overcome them?
My biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is time management, outside of school I am fairly busy having to go to work while also being a part of programs outside of school. To help solve this issue I would write down my tasks each week on my calendar and set a date to complete them by. My calendar has helped me manage my time since it lays out everything I need to get done each week.
How can people find out more about Cozy Coasters?
Cozy Coasters are currently for sale at The Local Flavors Shoppe! Stop by the storefront or contact them about picking one up today!
5 S State Street, Painesville, OH 44077