FaceBook  Twitter

From Happy Valley to Silicon Valley: Young Alum Launches Her Own Luxury Beauty BusinessDid you catch the recent CDT feature on State High alum Chloe Alpert? Chloe hopes to launch a manufacturing facility in Centre County for her latest startup, Savonbox, which creates and sells about 300 luxury bath and spa products.

As CEO of her own business just seven years out of high school, Chloe credits much of her success to her experience within State College Area School District. She says, “I was the type of student who was never satisfied inside a classroom, and I can directly correlate my success to being given the opportunity to try so many different things. I learned how to succeed and fail. You learn to make the right choices by making the wrong ones first.”

How did your experience at State High/in SCASD help position you for a successful future?
I'm someone who learns through experience, and it was the diverse program offerings at SCASD that gave me the mental stimulation I craved. I played five instruments in school, I played two sports, I took art & photography classes, and I dove head-first into the technology programs (and the Technology Student Association program) which enabled me push the boundaries of my education. I was the type of student who was never satisfied inside a classroom, and I can directly correlate my success to being given the opportunity to try so many different things. I learned how to succeed and fail. You learn to make the right choices by making the wrong ones first.

You’ve been an entrepreneur from an early age. How did SCASD help nurture that passion within you?
The entrepreneurial side of me was born in - I'm sure if you ask my teachers, they'll tell you I was stubborn and had my own way of doing things, but without a doubt, it was the Technology Student Association program at SCASD that changed my life. When I was in 7th grade at PFMS, my technology teacher (Mr. Seamans) noticed I had finished the entire semester's work in a couple weeks. He encouraged me to join TSA to fill my time, and it was that single encouragement that changed the direction of my life. It's tough being a woman in Silicon Valley today, and having a male teacher encourage his female student to pursue technology nearly 10 years ago is something that should be recognized as truly progressive.

Tell us more about your experience being state president of the Pennsylvania Technology Student Association (TSA). How did your background in SCASD help prepare you for that position?
I served as a state officer my sophomore and junior years, and I was elected to the office of State President by public vote when I was 17 - and I served as the president during my senior year of high school. My job was to coordinate the State Competition and state officer teams, and represent PATSA at a regional, state and national level. It was the first time that I had direct authority over peers my age, had a public forum, and had a board of directors I had to report to - it was very much like my job as CEO now. I know I always managed to march to the beat of my own drum, and it was my counselors and certain advocates that enabled me to get my education at State College on my own terms. I know I got away with murder so to speak - but that happened because I had teachers going to bat for me who recognized that I was someone who had a unique take on things, but was on the right track. I'm thankful that state high enabled me to march to the beat of my own drum because I kept that desire to keep trying new things.

What was your favorite class/teacher at State High? How did it/he/she make an impact on you?
Without a doubt, Mr. Jeff Seamans changed my life. He was my 7th grade technology teacher at PFMS. I remember he came up to me in the lab and saw that I was working on homework for another class since I had finished the entire semester's coursework in the first two weeks of term. There really wasn't anything more I could do. Instead of punishing me or giving me busy work, he had me join TSA - it was the perfect outlet to express my competitive side, explore my passion for problem solving, and learn how to delegate. Most importantly I learned accountability and how to fail and succeed. I told everyone in eighth grade that I wanted to be state president someday, and I went ahead and made it happen. 

What is your advice to current SCASD students as they prepare for their futures?
The most powerful thing you can ever say is, "I don't know." There is always a lot of pressure placed on young people to have answers for every aspect of their lives, and career, and even every homework question. Learning how to say, "I don't know" is the single most powerful skill you can learn that will take you very far in your career.

The other thing is when asked how to be successful - the answer is to make the right decisions. When asked how to make the right decisions, the answer is to make the wrong ones first, and learn from them.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Use "SCASD" for 10% off on www.savonbox.com.

Chloe went to school in the UK and currently lives in San Francisco. Her parents still live in State College, and she divides her time between San Francisco, London, New York, and State College.

Click here to read the feature article on Chloe in the Centre Daily Times.