A partnership between PopSocket and Best Buy brings a rare opportunity for creative teens to learn the life of a product: from design to store shelves.

We are very excited to report that two teens from VSEDC’s South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center were chosen to participate in a design program with the opportunity to design PopSockets alongside Popsocket’s professional designers. The program is the product of a partnership launched in 2021 by PopSocket and Best Buy, to support Best Buy Teen Tech Centers across the country.   

A valuable experience

 “The idea to bring small cohorts of students together to work with professionals and experience the entire creative commercial pipeline from beginning to end is immeasurable,” says Thai Buckman, Program Director at VSEDC’s South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center.   

 Teenager, Savanna Jordan, and young adult, Taylor Pitts were both accepted into the elite program of just 24 students (ages 10-24) after completing the application, which included submitting examples of their artwork.  

 In the program they used their designer and digital arts skills, and they learned a new designer program, Procreate.   

Working side-by-side product design professionals

 The cohort met four times to work collectively and independently with PopSocket staff to design PopSockets with the theme: Building Brighter Futures, which encompasses environmental initiatives, cultural movements, societal growth, and equity for ALL people. Students shared their ideas, received feedback, and were taught how to use color palettes.   

 The program is still ongoing. The students have turned in their designs, which have to pass through the company’s Legal Department for approval. If needed, students will receive notes and do revisions.  

 Their work has value

At the end of the program, students will receive samples of their product for their feedback and approval. After that, their PopSockets go into production.   

 All participating students will be paid $100 for their designs by PopSocket, and $1,750 for a licensing fee from Best Buy. Once the product hits the market, half of the proceeds will go to supporting Best Buy Teen Tech Centers like VSEDC’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center in South LA.

 We will let you know as soon as they hit the stores!   

VSEDC’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center is powered by Annenberg Tech.   

Thai Buckman was a contributor to this story.