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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.

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/

Marianne Hartmann April 17, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Way to go Mason! What a creative family.
Mason Sagan April 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Please everyone check out my website and thank you all! -Mason Sagan Owner, Cards by Mason
Phil Sloan April 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Mason, you are clearly following in your family's footsteps as creative, aggressive marketers! Best of luck! Phil Sloan
Mason Sagan April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Thank you very much! Mason
Mary Powers April 18, 2012 at 01:17 PM
What a great idea, Mason! Why am I not surprised. You are a bright, resourceful and dedicated individual. There is no doubt the wold will be hearing much more about you in the future. The SMS community, especiialy the Rptide Team, is very proud of you. Mary Powers
Kevin Donaher April 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Mason, this is the best creative idea I have heard in a long time. There is no doubt your business will take off in no time. I think you should send your product idea to the producers of the "Shark Tank". I love the idea of combining photography with the seeds for flower's which can be sent to friends and family for almost any occasion. What a GREAT idea! I think we will be hearing a lot more about you in the near future. Congratulations and good luck!

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