Adult business owners enjoy full control of what they choose to sell and all details regarding the sales. Aside from a few rules to running a business, the leeway to creativity is as open-ended as the sea, with multiple channels moving in a steady stream of flowing ideas. While kid business owners also enjoy the process of business ownership, they get the best of both worlds of growing up as a kid while gaining unique experience conducting business transactions.
Here are four sets of kidpreneurs doing great things with their respective businesses throughout the D.C. metropolitan area: Eric Moore from Montclair, VA; Turner and Addie Purvis from North Potomac, MD; Madelynn Martin from Washington, D.C. and Daniel, Silas and Isaiah Montgomery from Takoma Park, MD.
Eric Moore – LovnCareSkinOil.com
Eric Moore is a shy, charming young man who, at the age of 9, has a heart full of charity and just wants to help people. He owns an online business to sell custom skin oil he invented with his mother. Eric created his business as a natural progression of dealing with eczema, a bothersome skin problem that yielded numerous visits to the doctor, with little relief from the itching.
“I had eczema and skin issues and when I was 4, I said I want a business. My mom made me oil to help me with skin issues,” explains Eric. Together, Eric and his mom experimented with essential oils until they found the perfect blend of ingredients to treat the eczema. They approached customers in person before turning their attention to online sales, receiving lots of positive feedback, including from Eric’s pediatrician!
Eric’s mom fondly recalls him saying “Do babies know they don’t have to itch anymore?” whenever he saw babies. All he wanted to do was give away his product because he knew it worked so well. Eric’s mom says his love for wanting to help people led to her teaching him the basics of entrepreneurship.
Several coincidences helped Eric’s business flourish. Eric’s father, a doctor and master herbalist, had a strong knowledge of plants and their properties. Also, Eric’s mother previously sold skincare products and knew a lot about business. Currently, Eric works on his business one hour per day, makes all executive business decisions (while Eric’s mom implements what Eric wants to do), and makes the oil in small batches to sell. When asked to name one thing that Eric would want to do with his business, he quickly offered “I’d want to make bigger discounts!” cementing his status as the kidpreneur with the heart of gold.
Read more about Eric’s inspiring story at his website: lovncareskinoil.com
Turner and Addie Purvis – TurnerandAddie.com
Brother and sister team Turner (age 13) and Addie (age 11) are nothing short of dynamic kidpreneurs making and selling custom soap for tweens. Turner, serious and earnest in his approach to business, is the perfect complement to his bubbly and enthusiastic sister, Addie. Together, the tweens have taken the soap-making industry by firestorm, unleashing the most colorful, creative and delicious-smelling soap products to tickle the senses.
Entrepreneurs for merely 11 months, Turner and Addie came to a collaborative decision to enter soap production and sales on New Year’s Day 2019, in response to their father’s challenge to create a business. According to Addie, “We chose soap because teens have done different things, but we wanted to be an original teen brand. Things go out of style. Soap never goes out of style.” Turner added, “It’s also a great market and we had a hard time finding soap we liked.”
In literally a blink of an eye, these motivated teens did product research, experimented with various soap-making techniques, bought competitor’s soap products and developed a brand unique to them. Though Turner and Addie’s father invested a lot of funds to give the tweens a professional production and marketing experience, the tweens themselves have been at the forefront of making business decisions and doing all the work to manufacture and sell their soap products.
The most important aspect of their business has been a keen awareness of which products and styles would appeal to their target audience. That, combined with a spontaneous tip about an upcoming slime event for kids, gave Turner and Addie their first lucky break in sales. They began selling their soap products at slime conventions and gained a good-sized following of kids of all ages whose admiration of the fun soap has generated significant sales.
Turner and Addie have made YouTube videos, are in charge of their Instagram stories and work hard to update and sell through their website. The sky’s the limit for this hard-working brother-sister team. Catch their progress on their Instagram page: instagram.com/turnerandaddie/
Madelynn Martin – Madelynn’s Bake Sale
Madelynn Martin, from southeast Washington, D.C., celebrates her fourth year in business selling cupcakes in January 2020. Everyone in attendance at the celebration will certainly be in awe of Madelynn and her unending list of accomplishments. It’s almost unfathomable to realize that Madelynn is just 13 years old and has already won numerous awards, grants and recognition from the District of Columbia government and D.C.-area nonprofit groups for her baking expertise.
It all began when Madelynn was 9 years old. Madelynn’s teacher recognized her gifted academic talents. As soon as Madelynn’s mother heard the news, she began teaching Madelynn financial literacy at home. That led to a fateful trip to a finance museum in New York City during which Madelynn caught sight of a stock exchange display.
She immediately told her mother she wanted to create her own business selling cupcakes. She also began to have dreams in which she lucidly described the awards she just won (despite the fact that at that time, she was not even in business yet). Her mother hesitated and tried to talk her out of it, but months later ended up supporting Madelynn’s vision by helping her take the next steps to baking and selling cupcakes.
Madelynn exuded self-assurance from the get-go. She knew what she wanted and was determined to get it. Madelynn took that confidence straight to a beauty salon in Maryland where her mother dropped her off for a hair appointment. Hours later, upon pickup, Madelynn’s mother was shocked to discover that Madelynn had already negotiated a sales deal and signed a contract allowing her to sell cupcakes at the hair salon. Madelynn cut the ribbon on her first sales day at the hair salon on January 16, 2016. Word caught on very quickly. U.S. Representative of D.C. Eleanor Holmes Norton was among the first of many high-profile customers whose strong and positive reviews led to increased sales and awards.
Today, Madelynn’s mother has helped her expand her cupcake line by venturing into book publication and animated videos. Madelyn is looking forward to her future with her business, stating, “When I grow up, I want to have employees. It’s hard having a business by yourself.” Looking back, Madelynn’s mother believes Madelynn’s desire to bake cupcakes came alive after being around the visual stimulus of a distinct pink truck that delivered cupcakes near Madelynn’s home. As fate would have it, the woman who owned that cupcake business, Kristi C. Whitfield, would come to play a big role in Madelynn’s life as she became one of Madelynn’s business mentors and worked with small business development in D.C.
As Madelynn’s cupcake business continues to evolve, readers can get updates at:
Website – madelynnsbakesale.com
Instagram – @madelynnsbakesale
Facebook – Madelynn’s Bake Sale
YouTubeChannel – Madelynn’s Bake Sale
Daniel, Isaiah and Silas Montgomery – Multiple Businesses
Daniel (age 9), Isaiah (age 11) and Silas (age 13) Montgomery are brothers raised by two parents who believe strongly in business goals and operate successful business projects. As a homeschooled family, Daniel, Isaiah and Silas have ample opportunities to learn academics and expand their natural curiosities with independent studies. As part of that expansion, all their boys have taken turns experimenting with different business ideas in a supportive environment where the parents have allowed the boys to buy raw materials, make mistakes and learn important business and life lessons along the way.
Daniel, the smooth, calm, friendly brother who is comfortable selling things and talking to people, uncannily resembles a young Bruno Mars as he tries out different businesses and enjoys each experience. At the age of 4, Daniel helped his brothers in a collaborative business purchasing African red wiggle worms and selling them to customers for their composting projects. From ages 6 to 7, Daniel joined his brothers in another collaborative business purchasing blank leather bracelets and learning to stamp them with custom words. At the age of 8, Daniel drew upon his independent studies in Portuguese and chose “Dan’s Pintura Facial” as the clever name of his business for selling face paint and body glitter application services. Now, at the age of 9, Daniel is experimenting with an ingenious popcorn bar business which involves purchasing bulk popcorn and offering customers add-on choices to flavor their popcorn.
Isaiah is the quiet, reserved brother who will talk to customers if necessary, but prefers businesses where his actions take center stage. At the age of 6, Isaiah joined his brothers selling worms. At age 8, Isaiah created custom-stamped leather bracelets along with his brothers. Isaiah continues doing this business and has been perfecting his leather bracelets for three years. Fairly recently, Isaiah tapped into his inner creativity to draw a marker illustration for a paying customer. Since then, it seems Isaiah has found his niche and has spent a considerable amount of time perfecting his illustration art.
Silas is by far the most outgoing of his brothers. He is sharp-minded and ready to explain his products in his signature style filled with sincerity and humility. In addition to selling worms and leather bracelets with his brothers, Silas has chosen to pursue his independent studies in science by writing and self-publishing a book for parents called “Boom. A Parent’s Guide to Fun Science Projects to do with Kids.” When asked why he chose to write a book geared to parents and not to kids, Silas responded that it is the parents who need to know fun things to do with their kids.
Readers can find the most up-to-date business projects and accomplishments of the Montgomery brothers on their mother’s business Facebook page: facebook.com/RaisingEntrepreneursPodcast
According to the parents of the kidpreneurs, time management was the biggest drawback of their kids owning and operating their own businesses. On one hand, owning a business means being responsible for ingredients, inventory and sales; communicating with customers and managing administrative and accounting details. On the other hand, it is essential that kids be allowed to be kids. The parents of all kidpreneurs featured in this story have been adamant about letting their kids have normal responsibilities including household chores, schoolwork and extracurricular activities.
The best way to balance being a kidpreneur and still handling home and school obligations is to prioritize what needs to be done first and tackling large-scale projects on weekends. Turner and Addie Purvis have learned to prioritize by focusing on homework, maintaining active participation in after-school sports and working on their business in small spurts on some evenings, but mostly on weekends. Not all social media can be updated every day, but they still manage to prepare to sell at local events and process customer orders. Madelynn Martin relies heavily on her mother to fill cupcake orders and make deliveries as needed. Madelynn always finds time to do after-school activities including theater, Girl Scouts and golf because it’s important to act like a kid.