by Jeffrey Stephens

Hello! My name is Jeffrey Stephens, and this is the second installment of Pace Innovation.

One of my favorite podcasts, “How I Built This,” inspired me to start this series.  I was introduced to “How I Built This” by my mother. She had begged me to listen to the podcast and at first I refused, until she had to force me.  After listening to my first podcast, I wanted to listen to more. This inspired me to start my own series about people at Pace Academy who start something new.

Bennett Cummings is a 7th grader here at Pace, and is the owner of Bennett’s Pinestraw. Bennet got his inspiration to start the business after seeing that the price of pine straw was expensive. His goal was to make pine straw affordable. He said that what makes his business unique from other pine straw companies is that it is family owned,  he does not charge to spread the pine straw, and his pine straw has very long needles.

Right now his business is doing well, he has had 500 bales ordered and 10 customers. He also has a business partner named Jack Ellner, a fellow Pace 7th grader. Jack will help with marketing.

When I asked Bennett if he believed his business came through hard work or luck he said it was both luck and skill. He timed his business venture well because he launched in the spring when people were looking for pine straw. But, he also needed to work hard because he started his business from the ground up and not everyone is in the market for pine straw – he had to find his customer base.  Bennet plans to give half of the profit to charity.