Thanks to a unique collaboration between Wilton High School students and the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, local merchants are benefiting from promotional videos intended to help grow their businesses.
Initially conceived by Wilton’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), the Business Spotlight program shines the spotlight on Wilton merchants through promotional videos produced by students in Wilton High School’s video production class.
Most recently, students created a video for Wilton Hardware, highlighting the store’s new location at Sharp Hill Square. The video featured the work of WHS seniors David Unruh, Evan McDonald and Thomas Rogozinski, as well as Marius Gheorghe, who appeared in the video.
Videos have also been produced for Wilton Chamber events, such as the annual Scarecrow Festival in Wilton Center. Other videos have promoted the Riverbrook Regional YMCA in Wilton, and a group of merchants in the Georgetown business district, among others.
Experience for Students, A Showcase for Businesses
GOOD Morning Wilton spoke with Maria Breece (formerly Naeem), who teaches the video production class at WHS and is also the advisor to the video production club.
Breece was instrumental in obtaining the Board of Education‘s approval for the video production course. She has since refined the course curriculum to include the Business Spotlight videos.
Between those refinements and the growing number of students enrolled in the class, Breece says the class is now poised to produce about one video per month.
“The goal of this class was to really allow students to get that real-world experience, of what it’s like working in the field of media,” Breece told GMW.
Students experience everything from meeting with clients and researching their businesses to writing scripts, and filming and editing the videos.
The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is a critical partner in the program. Breece works closely with the Chamber’s Executive Director Camille Carriero to identify merchants for the program and coordinate the process.
Carriero speaks highly of the program as a “showcase” for Wilton business.
“The Chamber is very happy to partner with Maria [Breece] and her students from the WHS media department,” Carriero wrote in an email to GMW. “[The Chamber’s] focus for this program is to highlight local businesses and different areas of Wilton to showcase the variety of services, amenities and events that make our community unique.”
Praise From The Economic Development Commission
John DiCenzo, who serves on the board of the Wilton Chamber as well as the EDC, has kept his fellow EDC commissioners apprised of the Business Spotlight program since its inception.
DiCenzo spoke about the program at the EDC’s meeting on March 8.
“[Wilton Hardware owner] Tom Sato was very happy with the Wilton Hardware video,” DiCenzo told the EDC. “That’s being distributed in a variety of channels.”
DiCenzo added praise for Breece and Carriero for making the program a success.
“Maria Breece has just been great,” DiCenzo told the EDC. “She is totally dedicated and has done a great job. And it’s great for the kids. The kids love doing it and it’s great experience for them, too.”
“Camille [Carriero] has been a tremendous partner,” DiCenzo said, adding that the Breece-Carriero team was “doing the heavy lifting on this.”
Commissioner Marty Avallone congratulated all involved in the program for the “good work they’re doing.”
“I think this is such a great program,” Avallone said. “To be able to get that quality content at no cost, then circulated throughout the community, to share what these great businesses do… this is a win/win/win. We should keep rolling [more videos] out.”
That is precisely Breece’s plan. A Signature Style spotlight is already in progress.
Carriero also confirmed that the Classically Cate boutique and The Painted Cookie shop, both in new locations in Wilton Center, have expressed interest in the program.