Dozens of area middle schoolers got a whiff of entrepreneurship at a hands-on product development workshop, hosted by Mount St. Mary Academy on Saturday, May 6.

The workshop was run by student entrepreneurs from the school’s Academy Scholars business,  Essence, which produces scented bath and personal products designed as mood enhancers.

“We know that teens deal with a lot of stress,” says Marissa Brandel, Mount St. Mary Academy sophomore. “We wanted to create a product line that would help them deal with stress and promote self-care.”

Participants in the workshop learned about how Brandel and the Essence entrepreneurs researched and developed their product line, as well as how scent can create feelings of happiness, calmness and more.

Working in small groups students, participants tested essential oils, judging their personal reaction to scents. They experimented with mixing scents to design their own individual fragrance and the benefits of combining scents.

With their signature scents in hand, participants moved to different stations learning how to incorporate their scent into products such as room sprays, bubble bath, body scrubs, and floam (a scented foamy stress ball). Each participant then designed labels for their product and left the event with a package of their product line.

Essence is a member of the Virtual Enterprises International program, and this spring placed among the top 28 firms in the nation during the organization’s Youth Business Summit in New York City. Later this month, Brandel and fellow sophomore Celia Rahill will be competing in the SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) USA program in Nevada.

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