Marin SEL Engineering and Reclaimed DesignsComing into Marin SEL freshman year, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t aware of the abundance of opportunities that would come my way, or the amount of drive and hard work it would take to meet the high standards set by myself and my peers. I definitely did not see myself doing something I always thought to be so far fetched and nearly impossible for someone of  my age and capacity, starting a business. Though, after creating a business plan, presenting it to investors, creating a prototype, interviewing potential workers, hiring employees and a doing a lot of hard work, my reclaimed furniture business, Reclaimed Designs, is finally up and running.

I am currently a junior in the Marin SEL program, and I feel as though each and every assignment and project has prepared me to take on the challenge at hand. Though, I also know that I still have a long way to come as a leader. I have struggled with my leadership skills in the past, and have often relied on my classmates rather than stepping up, but being chosen to implement my business plan has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and take that leadership role. I was unsure about how it would turn out, but working hard and watching my business slowly take shape, turns out to be quite rewarding and also a great deal of fun.

Reclaimed DesignMy team consists of Claire Parkinson, the operations manager, Megan Harvey, the marketing manager, John Toomey, the lead builder and designer, and of course, myself. Since towards the beginning of the school year, we have been working several hour each week, in and out of the classroom to make Reclaimed Design as successful as it can possibly be. At first we spent most of our time advertising and searching for donations of wood and other materials, but now we have an idea of the resources we have, and we are beginning to build

It is especially exciting that Reclaimed Designs is just starting out, because as juniors, we also get to be a part of the first ever Environmental Engineering class, taught by Ms. Oropallo! In this class, we have the chance to work on unique projects, as well as learn new skills that will prepare us further for our business. We worked with Ms. Oropallo in this class to come up with our first mini-project, customized pencil holders so far they have been a great success. I can’t wait to complete our first table as a group and turn our pile of reclaimed wood, into pieces of beautiful furniture!


For more info:

E-mail: [email protected]


Instagram: @reclaimed_designs



  1. I totally agree with you Sami. Me, coming into the MarinSel program as a sophomore last year was very scary at first since I didn’t know many of you but as the year wen ton, I got to know each and everyone of you & have loved you guys. you guys are my family. I am so blessed to have met you guys and have been given many opportunities to impact my community. YAY MSEL!

  2. It’s so cool to look back on this post now, and see how far our business has come! Reclaimed Designs has its own domain and website, a successful facebook page and Instagram account, 4 finished tables, and 30 pencil case holders! I’m so happy to be a part of your business. Go Reclaimed Designs!

    Check us out at:

  3. Awesome job writing this Sami! You were such a different person freshmen year. You were quiet and shy, but now you’re the leader of a business! Good job with the business and keep up the great work!

  4. It’s really great that you are stepping out of your comfort zone this year and improving your leadership skills! I’m glad that you are finding so much success with your business and I can’t wait to see where it’s going to go from here because you are obviously motivated and passionate about it! By the way, my mum loves her new pencil holder!

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