Novi HS students design shirts and socks to be sold at Macy's

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A red carpet rolled out for VIPs including the corporate execs from Macy's landing at the Twelve Oaks store.

It all started in the Novi High School's business development course - The Incubator (which is what they call the course). That was where the lofty idea to try to launch their line at the largest retailer in North America was hatched - and Macy's said yes. 

The students launched their own product line at Macy's in Novi on Monday, namely shirts and socks they designed themselves.  

"I used my money to purchase a product that I made - it's so crazy," said Marina Ackerman. "Macy's is the largest retailer in North America and it is so insane that I can say my friends and I helped make a product that is in one of their stores."

"Everyone I talk to about it thinks it's the coolest idea, they're really well designed," said Emily Workman, Macy's. "From the packaging to the design, the marketing, it is all really impressive."  

The Incubator teaches students about pricing, business models and marketing. The idea behind the socks, you can never find a match in the laundry so these are purposely mismatched. 

The shirts, with the product line Quest written all over it, describes their own quest to help others.  A percentage of the sales goes to Detroit Public Schools. 

"Everyone has their own individual project that they've been thinking about since last April, trying to come up with an idea," said student Preston Harrell. "We wrote business plans for our midterm for them and basically we're going to keep developing those. Some kids have apps, some have real products and some have services, a bunch of diverse stuff."

The hope is other schools will see how Fe incubator works and will launch similar classes-helping catapult the next generation of entrepreneurs 

"We just feel such pride for the kids and we are so connected to it because we have seen them go through this entire journey," said teacher Kristin Franchi. "Even though this is one day we know all of the hard work that has been put in it for the last four months, so we call ourselves the hens of the incubator and they're our chicks. We seem them as our pride and joy right now."

"To provide this opportunity to our students, the largest retailer, is just phenomenal," said Jodi Forster, a teacher. "And for them to really embrace today, celebrate today. 31 students to be able to go there and have a ribbon-cutting, and their products that they brought to fruition, it just blows our minds."

The products will be on sale for a month at Macy's at Twelve Oaks in Novi.