Upstart Educational Program Collaborating with Local Charm Company to Benefit RI’s students

PROVIDENCE, RI – As of July 2015, the education landscape of the State of Rhode Island will take on a new look with the partnership of Truepreneurs and Chubby Chico Charms. These two companies are shining examples of what young minds and determined spirits can accomplish if they believe in themselves through the most difficult of tasks, creating a recognizable brand that supports the local economy. Providence, which was once known as a jewelry industry giant, is now labeled as the “Creative Capital” and with this union, those two ideals are now merged together into a progressive-minded youth movement.

Truepreneurs, an entrepreneurial education program, was founded in 2014 by Brandon Monti when he designed a model to allow local students in high schools and youth programs to design and sell apparel while teaching them sales techniques, entrepreneurial skills, and e-commerce in a way that has never been done before.

Brandon says the goal of this program is to teach a million students, and make an impact on all of their lives in a way many traditional schools cannot. He truly believes in that vision, and feels as though his program can change the way students look at going to school every day.  “It will make an impact on their lives, their families’ lives, and the lives of others in the community. We truly believe in that”, he said, when asked about his program’s goals. “This partnership with Chubby Chico Charms is such an amazing opportunity to grow our program, as well as give our students another unique avenue to explore.”

When Chubby Chico Charms started their business out of the Alicea family home office in 2005, the mother-daughter duo of Alana and Bianca had only an investment and a small amount of charm designs. Today, Bianca Alicea now owns and operates a 5,500 square-foot boutique and facility that is still family operated, and now features over 8,000 designs. In addition to their efforts in rebuilding the state’s jewelry business, Bianca stated that a driving part of Chubby Chico supporting Truepreneurs was the positives the program creates for students with strengths in other areas of learning that public schools don’t necessarily focus on. “Having a son with special needs myself, I understand the challenges that children who don’t fit the traditional school model face every day. Each school day is a struggle and can ultimately dictate how well they succeed in life. Programs like Truepreneurs are a great way to start changing that.” Bianca said. “We can’t wait to see the results.”

Chubby Chico is supporting Truepreneurs’ quest to help students in Rhode Island’s various charter schools and youth programs. Truepreneurs has collaborated with Chubby Chico Charms on a brand new curriculum that will continue to create challenges for the students. In this pilot program, which will launch this fall, students will create new designs for their schools and will also have new product templates to work with that include the regular t-shirts from previous programs, as well as new bangles, zip pulls, charms, and bracelets from Chubby Chico that will feature the students’ designs. In addition to giving more credibility and creative options to the Truepreneurs program. This partnership is crucial to the growth of the program Brandon had created, and should help gain interest from several more institutions in New England, while promoting a home grown business at the forefront of the rejuvenated jewelry industry in Rhode Island.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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