Story by Katie Hohman
Photo courtesy of Pebbly
SPHS’ Varsity Virtual Business team and new company Pebbly, an online pet rock company, excelled at the regional and national Virtual Enterprise competitions held on Nov. 19, winning multiple gold and silver awards.
Seniors Michelle Jee and Olivia Yanover earned a silver award in the Radio Advertisement competition, which focused on the mental health benefits of the company’s pet rock product. The team also won a gold award in the Employee Newsletter competition, in which a member of the Virtual Business class must write and design a virtual bulletin for their company.
“The newsletter is important because it contains important news and events that our company has participated in, making our audience more aware of our brand,” junior and presenter of the Employee Newsletter, Audrey Biggar said. “The newsletter also brings more awareness to our mission which is helping kids who struggle with mental health, and it also promotes our products and gives customers an idea of what we’re working on.”
Pebbly is similar to the pet rocks of the 1970s, but with a digital twist. Like the popular kids toy Webkinz, the company focuses on selling a physical rock that can be used to do fun activities online when you plug in the code that comes with your rock.
A group of employees from Pebbly’s Sales department, seniors Ella Jayasekera, Michelle Jee, Matteo Lee, and junior D.J. Pearson, garnered seventh place out of 47 teams in the Design for Delight Competition, a new event that was created to help judges get a better understanding of what the brainstorming process is like for competitors. Jayasekera, Jee, Lee, and Pearson worked alongside the Tech department to create a presentation outlining the steps they took to create Pebbly.
The team mentioned to the judges how they first split the class up into pairs and asked each pair to come up with an idea. In order to narrow it down, the class voted on which idea they liked the best.
“Preparing for the Virtual Business competitions was very exciting,” Jee said. “Since everything was online, my team and I met up often through Zoom to make sure there were no miscommunications and even though it was scary, my team and I bonded a lot… we were only able to do this because we truly love our company and we are passionate about it.”
Now, the company hopes to take time to reflect on their competition results and improve their product before its next upcoming Business Plan competition on Jan. 14.