Different By Design

Perry Hamilton and Nasir Roberts combine savvy business sense and creativity to customize technology.

Two seventh-grade students at Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy received a grant to start a new business, TrendCredible personalized cellphone cases. In less than six minutes, Nasir Roberts and Perry Hamilton had $412 in start-up money to launch their new business.

While taking part in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program sponsored by the Midland Chamber of Commerce to teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own real businesses, the two boys presented their idea to a panel of business professionals for the chance to receive the grant.

“Everyone has a cellphone,” says Perry. “We are using our own creativity to make them different. Ours are high quality without the high prices.” Cases run between $10 and $15.

The boys purchase cellphone covers in plastic or rubber, and then either personalize a design they have created or use one submitted by the purchaser of the case. “We put the design on special paper, and then put them on the case with a sublimation machine,” explains Nasir. “It’s kind of like an ironing board.” The money that the boys received from the grant will be used to purchase the machine.

Selling mostly to classmates in the beginning, the two have plans to put up a website and take the idea public.

Business Tips from Nasir and Perry

Be creative.

Think outside the box for new ideas.

Try to be unique.

Come up with a project that will separate
you from other businesses.


Do your research and come up with a
business plan.

Stick to it.

No matter what happens, if you stick to your business plan, it might end up being better.

Be enthusiastic.

If you aren’t excited about your business,
other people won’t be.

Stay flexible.

If something isn’t working out, sometimes
you have to get rid of it.