Ellen Schmucker

High school student opens own business

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Schneider meets others at Inventors group  by BETH ALTENA Since he was a youngster hanging out in the stockroom at Nordstrom’s, Richard Schneider was impressed with the men in suits using spreadsheets and tracking the sales of shoes. He knew someday he wanted to be in a suit, calculating the success of business, hopefully his own. Today, at age 17, the Rockford High School junior has a structured business plan, two interns, a chief strategy office, has consulted with the district’s superintendent, donates a portion of every sale to a charity, and is considering joining the Rockford Chamber of Commerce as president of his own business, Covert Eagle USA. “I compare what the competition charges and keep my prices lower,” said Schneider of his strategy for selling camouflage tape, his first product until he is able to expand into paintball products and eventually guns and ammunition. Schneider said it isn’t very easy as a minor to start your own business. “I had to give someone power of attorney,” he explained. He said he didn’t want to use a family member over age of 18 to sign his business paperwork because of liability. “If you use a family member and you default, they have the liability,” he said. “If you use a power of attorney and default, the liability is yours.” Schneider has no intention of defaulting in any case and, in fact, eagerly looks forward to expanding his business. Selling the camouflage tape at $10.50 a roll, he plans on saving any profits toward his goal. His product is new on the market this year and is the invention of another Michigan entrepreneur. Schneider has been attending the Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN) since February. The organization is a gathering of innovative thinkers who have access to advisors in a variety of business aspects, such as patents and copyrights. There, Schneider met someone who had created the camouflage tape and was selling it out of a home office for his own business, Dynamic Solutions. The product is called Ghillie Tape, after the Irish Ghillie suits favored by snipers worldwide. Covert Eagle USA has had the benefit of support from Ellen Schmucker, volunteer and organizer of nonprofit Hats Off to Servicemembers. As Covert Eagles’s chief strategy […]