Charity Chokers: A Company With A Cause


Ramsey High School Juniors Mariana Steiner, Julia Scavone, and Evelyn Ivry have collaborated on a new DECA business, Charity Chokers, for the 2018-2019 school year that has been making waves in the Ramsey area.

Charity Chokers was originally started by Mariana Steiner during her freshman year at Ramsey High School as a unique and fun way to be creative, make something for friends and family and to raise money for a cause that meant a lot to her. As the 2018-2019 school year approached, DECA provided the opportunity to revive Charity Chokers with the help of Julia Scavone and Evelyn Ivry.

DECA is a business club offered at High Schools across the country. Designed to promote interest and learning in business, DECA specializes in preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.

Charity Chokers serves as a “Learn and Earn” project, deigned to help Mariana, Julia and Evelyn learn the basics of business, finance and marketing. The three of them had to come up with a business plan and create the business, of which they now manage the finances, marketing, and transactions. Charity Chokers sells a wide variety of unique chokers, handmade by Mariana, Julia, and Evelyn using beads imported from Mexico. So far, Mariana, Julia, and Evelyn have gone to a variety of functions and festivals around Bergen county, including Fiesta for Hope, Ramsey Day, and the Tisdale Pumpkin Sale to promote the business.

50% of the profits made from Charity Chokers go straight to the Paterson school district through an organization called Donors Choose. This charity specializes in aiding underprivileged classrooms in getting supplies they need to have a successful year. Through Donors Choose, teachers can set up classroom projects for which they need funding and others can contribute to raising the money needed.

Julia shared what she has learned so far from running Charity Chokers. “We’ve really learned the true value of hard work and what it means to be entrepreneurs. We spent hours and weeks making the chokers, setting up the website and online store, and organizing the entire business itself.” Mariana agreed, saying, “The best part has been seeing the company succeed and being able to give back to a community in need.”

Addressing the impact the business has had on the three of them, Evelyn added, “We’ve gotten invaluable business experience before we’ve even graduated high school. It’s really rewarding to use what we’ve learn in the business classes and apply it to real life.”

With over 150 chokers sold so far, Mariana, Julia, and Evelyn are excited to continue to expand Charity Chokers. They plan on adding scrunchies and customizable bracelets to their store in the coming months.
You can follow Charity Chokers on Instagram and Facebook and find more information on their online store.