For the month of February I wanted to highlight some awesome kidpreneurs in our local Chattanooga area. I met these awesome young people at a Chattanooga Children’s Business Fair that was started by another awesome entrepreneur, Tee Frierson-Bates. The kids set up their booths and sell their items and people go around and vote on the best presentation and products. Having done a shark tank challenge with local middle school kids in the recent past, this intrigued me and I had fun just walking around asking kids why they started their business. Being the Money Lit person I also had to ask how they plan to manage the money they make. After attending two of these and buying some awesome products, I decided to reach out to some of these awesome kidpreneurs and ask them to write up a little blurb on their “why”.
This week I am going to begin by highlighting a young lady who makes and sells jewelry. Her name is Vanessa and she is 9 years old.
My favorite product of hers is her earrings. She offers them in various materials but my favorite part is that she offers a vegan leather as well. I have sensitive skin and can’t wear certain metals so when I asked about this at her booth, they changed out the posts for me right there on the spot! She is learning young to have good customer service and I was impressed. I have now purchased two pairs from her and I love them! Check out her story below!
My name is Vanessa Nicole Perez and I am 9 years old. Last year I started my business, Vanessa Nicole Handmade Accessories, creating and selling handmade leather jewelry and accessories. I sell them online through my Etsy shop and in person at local fairs, and festivals.
Since I was very young I have always came up with different business ideas and ways to make money by making and selling crafts, drawings, books, and jewelry to my parents and other family members. Last year I decided to ask my parents for help to start a business where I can sell to other people while doing what I love most.
My dad has his own business too and I like that he is his own boss. He has always told me stories about how he stated working when he was 7 years old, selling newspapers and bread in the streets of Mexico. He always tells me that you have to work hard for your dreams and that hard work pays off.
Since starting my business I have learned many different things. One of the lessons I have learned is that having a business is not as easy as I imagined. I love making the accessories and shopping for materials but there is so much more that needs to be done when you start selling online and setting up booths. Setting up the website was one of the hardest parts about this business but I am learning more about it every day and I enjoy shipping orders and going with my mom to the post office. I am also learning about the importance of having a budget and how to keep track of sales and the business expenses. Setting up booths and attending business children’s fairs has also helped me learn how to interact with customers and how to sell in person. I have also learned about the importance of giving back. This past year I was able to donate part of the money I have made to different charities. I was also able to set up a booth at my school and use part of the earnings to help my school’s playground fundraiser.
I have several goals for my earnings. Right now I am saving money to buy a machine that cuts leather since that is the hardest part about making the jewelry and the most time consuming. So far I have been putting back the money that I have made back into the business but this year my parents are going to help me start saving money for my future. This year I will also like to continue using part of my earnings to help charities that help other kids.
How cool is it that youth in our communities are learning these skills as such a young age? Support this amazing young lady by heading over to her Etsy page and buying a pair of earrings for the special someone. Valentines is coming up soon (*hint hint)