Wanna start your own big-bucks business? We chatted up seven tween and teen biz-whizzes to get the scoop on their success. We’re sharing their best bits of advice to help you start it up!
Katie Allred and Macy Dunegan of
Midlothian, Texas, were track stars looking to make a little dough
while they hung out all summer long. They combined their talent with
a love for pooches (Katie’s mom is a dog trainer) and bingo! Hello,
business. After chatting it up to Mrs. Allred’s clients, they knew
they had a winning idea. People were pulling out their wallets before
they’d even settled on a business plan!
Lesson learned? Before you
launch a business, ask around to see if people would pay money for
whatever it is you’re offering, whether it’s a service or a
Pick a passion
As soon as 16-year-old Shea Gouldd of
Boynton Beach, Fl., could see over the counter, she was helping her
mom cook dinner. At 13, she (with a little help from the Food
Network) taught herself how to bake. Now that she is selling her
goodies, she loves that her hobby makes people so happy. Seeing the
smiles on her customers’ faces—and knowing they’re counting on
her to deliver—helps her push through the difficult days.
Lesson learned? If you don’t
like it now, you’ll hate it once you’re forced to follow through
with a product or service. You can’t just decide you don’t want
to work one day because that’s not how a business works.
What have you got to lose?
It wasn’t artist Maggie Lemak’s
idea to sell her paintings at an art fair. It was her parents who
pushed her to give it a shot. The 15-year-old received positive
feedback at her first fair last year and now receives custom orders.
And—oh yeah—she sold one of her pieces to dot.mine, a stationary
company that will be using her design on the cover of a student
planner this fall.
Lesson learned? If you’re
doing something potentially profitable for fun, there’s no harm in
seeing if you can’t make a buck—or twenty or thirty—off of your
Know when to go pro
Paige Sorrell, 14, was bored when she
went into her mom’s leather-crafting studio looking for something
to do. She began braiding strips of leather into bracelets, and the
rest is history. After months of experimenting with designs and
techniques, she knew that her bracelets were well made and consistent
enough to go pro. She’s been selling them ever since.
Lesson learned? When you realize
you can make moolah from something you’ve created, it’s natural
to be excited. But don’t jump the gun. You need to hone your
technique so that your final product is polished. If it’s good
enough to be sold in a store, chances are you’re ready to start up
Find a need
When Lily Sandler, 13, and her sister
Melanie, 12, started lip balm company Blamtastic, they did so because
they weren’t happy with the chemical-laden lip products that were
on the market. They wanted something all natural, and when they
couldn’t find it in stores, they decided to make it themselves. And
guess what? They’ve sold over 200,000 tubes so far!
Lesson learned? It’s all about
changing the world for the better and being original while you do it.
If you wish you could find something in stores but can’t, see what
it would take to make it, market it and sell it yourself. Who knows:
You might be the next Fortune 500 CEO!