Federal Relations

Bright Spots in Home Schooling

March 6, 2008  

Baking Her Way Into Business

by Lee Ann Bisulca

Emily Savine
Want to try Emily’s homemade cookies? Go to www.HomemadeCookiesByEmily.com.

When homeschooled high schooler Emily Savine decided to try baking cookies for profit, she didn’t realize that the “learning experience” would quickly turn into a lucrative business. Four months after launching an Internet-based homemade-cookie company, she has already received hundreds of orders from cookie lovers as far away as Hawaii and Korea.

The Littlestown, Pennsylvania, teen first started thinking about opening her own business in the summer of 2007. “I always loved experimenting in baking,” she says. A neighbor had even told her that he would be willing to pay for her delicious cookies.

Emily’s parents, Marc and Donna Savine, were eager to seize the teachable moment. “What better way to learn how businesses work than to start one yourself?” Marc encouraged his daughter.

Emily began by researching her options online and at the library. She developed business goals, ensured that she complied with Food and Drug Administration regulations, and set up a bank account. She obtained a business license and permits.

Emily even developed an original recipe that utilized her dad’s favorite nuts, pistachios. “Pistachio Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies were something that was new and different,” says Emily, now 15 years old. “Everyone’s enjoyed them.”

HomemadeCookiesByEmily.com was launched in November 2007. Emily’s first order came all the way from Hawaii.

With her mom’s help, Emily discovered that an inexpensive vacuum food sealer would keep her cookies fresh while they traveled halfway around the world. When the cookies arrived in Hawaii, the customer took them aboard a search and rescue plane on the trail of a missing person in Volcanoes National Park. For about 24 hours, all the rescue team had to eat were Emily’s cookies. Their verdict? “Awesome.”

Because Emily is homeschooled, all that entrepreneurial experience is also counting as high school credit. “I’ve learned a lot from running a business,” says Emily. She has covered concepts as varied as website creation and investment basics.

“If I wasn’t homeschooled, I probably wouldn’t be able to do this,” points out Emily. “As a homeschooler, I have so many more opportunities to do things and to learn.” Some of Emily’s other interests include playing the piano, guitar, and fife.

Donna Savine says that she and her husband decided to homeschool their four children “to train them in the ways of God.” She adds that homeschooling has given her and Marc the opportunity to develop close relationships with their children and to instill strong leadership skills. “Emily is showing the fruit of that.”

Emily’s advice to other young people who want to start a business? “It’s not as hard as you think! You can do it if you put your mind to it and if you have a goal in mind. And you should do a lot of research before starting.”

“I really thank God for letting me do this,” Emily adds. No doubt her satisfied customers agree!