Tyler Enders, Shawnee Mission graduate, entrepreneur, and co-owner of Made in KC recently met with art and entrepreneurship students from SM North as part of Real World Learning to connect students with business partners.
His goal was to give the students some actionable takeaways that they could implement immediately in their career goals. He shared stories and philosophies that he wished he had known or found very valuable.
Enders shared that he has 10 locations in the KC metro area and plans to grow to 20 more with 150-200 employees. He encouraged students to start participating and learn constantly. With no retail experience, Enders surrounded himself with experts and always got to work early and stayed late. In 2015 he started marketing his brand on Instagram. Today “Made in KC” has 90,000 followers.
Communication, learning, and networking were themes as he shared his story.
Ben Cloud, SM North junior and coffee entrepreneur, followed Enders’ advice “to continually grow your network in all directions,” by connecting with Enders at the conclusion of the session.
Enders challenged the students to form identity-habits and think about the way they formed their goals. “For example, maybe you want to read more, instead of saying, ‘I’m going to read one book a week’ rephrase it to ‘I’m going to be a person who reads,’” he shared. “Don’t set goals that are too easy or too difficult, start setting identity-based habits.”
“Success takes, time, money, and experience,” Enders shared. "Today as high school students, you have lots of time. Use that time to educate yourself, network, and become an expert in your interest area.”
Ben Berg, SM North junior, who has created artwork, stickers, and t-shirts in his own entrepreneurial work, said he found Enders to be “real” and “personable.”
“I think what stood out the most was that mindset is important, changing yourself as a person rather than changing your actions and you can unconventionality can create opportunity,” Berg added. “Also, habits over goals.”
The meeting was an excellent opportunity for a group of creative, talented students to hear advice from someone who once attended their high school and have a chance to put it into action, Alexis Burdick, art teacher shared.
“I think it’s important that our community knows our students are multi-faceted,” Burdick added.