Young entrepreneurs: Andrew McCawley, Figure 11 Apparel Company |

Young entrepreneurs: Andrew McCawley, Figure 11 Apparel Company

A group of 15 Routt County high school students has spent the school year developing individual business plans as part of the new Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunity, or CEO, class.

The class is funded through donations and pledges from local businesses and aims to encourage high school students to consider entrepreneurial opportunities within their own hometowns, rather than moving away to find career success.

Following is a look at some of the plans students have dreamed up as part of the class. All the student business plans will be presented at a trade show from 5 to 7 p.m. May 19 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Andrew McCawley, 18, Steamboat Springs High School

What is your business plan?

My business is Figure 11 Apparel Company, a clothing company that currently specializes in designer hats. The theme for my first set of hats is Colorado/Steamboat Springs nature and is meant to be a way for locals to show off their love for the nature and landscape of Steamboat Springs and all of Colorado. If my business proves to be successful, I will print my designs on other articles of clothing, such as T-shirts or sweatshirts.

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What inspired the idea?

Creating a custom clothing item was one of the first ideas to come to mind when I first began to brainstorm, for some reason, and I just ran with it from there. I enjoy the designing aspect of it and that the main selling point for my product is the artwork incorporated in my product.

How would you describe the need for this business, and why should people support it?

My main target audience, which is teenagers and young adults, love to wear hats at all times and mainly enjoy wearing hats with simple, yet professional and crisp-looking, designs. I believe my hats successfully fill this niche. Also, when I travel, I love to wear something that represents where I am from. My hats are able to represent the nature of Colorado with an artistic twist.

What has been/will be your biggest obstacle for getting this idea off the ground?

Because the main selling point of my hats are the artistic quality, I was met with the challenge of coming up with designs, since I am not much of a natural artist. Luckily, Greg Effinger, from Creative Bearings, was instrumental in helping me come up with great designs.

What is the most interesting thing you've learned as part of the CEO class?

This is not really the most interesting thing I have learned, but it is the most valuable. Almost every guest speaker we have had has told us to never take a job for the money. This will be a very important thing to remember as I graduate from high school, move on to college and, eventually, move on to my career, either as an entrepreneur or something else.

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