The North Fond du Lac student business has been a huge success

NORTH FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) – What started as a class project for Aiden Fowler and Lillian Gockerman is now a bigger business success than expected. Komah, a line of air conditioners, car diffusers and essential oils, is now sold online and at various local salons and businesses, and will soon be on the shelves of festival foods.

The project was for a business unit called Incubator EdU, which inspired students to create a product to solve a common problem.

“I suffer from allergies, and I get really bad reactions from conventional air conditioners,” Goeckerman said. “And then we came up with the idea of ​​coma, and it’s all air freshener and it doesn’t respond to me.”

The line of air conditioners, car diffusers and essential oils is all made with plant-based ingredients.

Fowler and Gokerman showing off their product

The young entrepreneurs first worked their way into local businesses and salons, and eventually formed a partnership with Holiday Food through a relationship with a natural food manager.

In the classroom, the students first developed the product, then pitched it to Incubator EdU’s supporting organizations, and finally pitched their idea at the UW-Oshkosh event and statewide competition. This hard work paid thousands of dollars to support their business.

But now Komah is turning a profit independently for Fowler and Gockerman, who plan to expand further with the support of their community.

“Our whole community is extremely strong,” Fowler said. “We’re in athletics, so people see us during sporting events and they’re like, ‘Oh, what’s going on? Like, what’s new? Is there a new smell? “

But the road to this success was not always easy.

“From age 15, when we’re 17, no one takes you 100% seriously,” Gockerman said.

And the students still have to deal with the realities of high school.

“We were taking an exam. And I finished the exam and I was watching [our pitch] And out of nowhere, ‘Lily, what’s that smell?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh no.'” Fowler said, referring to a line from their commercial.

Fowler and Gokerman say their friends often mention opening their business

The name “Comah” refers to the recreational properties of the products.

“At two in the morning, my sister came up with the name comm-ah because it’s a traditional comma to stop in a sentence,” Fowler said. “So when you inhale something you like, it’s like, ‘Ahhhh,’ it takes a while to inhale.”

The students got help developing the perfume from Fowler’s grandmother, who owned a business that made candles, soaps and cleaners. Fowler said she was a member of the national soap and cosmetics group, of which the young entrepreneurs are now members.

Fowler said they plan to return the favor to their grandfather once they start expanding further.

“I promised my grandmother that she would be the first employee,” Fowler said.

In addition to Grandfather, Fowler and Gockerman said they hope to hire high school students to work for them.

“High school students are really looking for experience,” Fowler said. “So we can give them experience where they give us more opportunities. Obviously, you know, they get paid.”

Teacher and mentor Kurt Wismer says Komah’s success serves as an inspiration to other students.

“It makes me really happy to see them do these things and see them come to fruition,” Wismer said. “You know, they have hustle and bustle, and they’ve got to be able to put this together. And they’re great people at that. So it’s like pride. A father moment.”

When it comes to the next steps for Team Komah, Fowler and Gockerman said they plan to continue their business after graduation. They said they hope to expand to all Midwest Festival Foods locations by March and eventually sell their products at Kroeger.

“We’re going to show that we’re young, that young entrepreneurs can do it,” Gockerman said.

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