Kid Entrepreneur “Happy Wear”
By Scout Kingsley
When I was just five years old my mom and I went to the Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace (YEM) which is an annual event that encourages kids to make and sell their goods. I thought it was the coolest thing ever to see kids my age running their own businesses and earning money.
After we visited the YEM my mom and I thought it would be awesome to start our own business for an upcoming YEM. My mom and I were in bed one night laughing our pants off. We had no idea how to make anything but we were going to do the YEM anyway! We were happy and laughing together so we came up with the name “Happy Wear” for our business.
My mom isn’t a crafter, she doesn’t even cook. But something clicked while I was playing with some paperclips. Our first product was a necklace made from brightly colored paper clips. I made a few and then wore them to school and my friends LOVED them! We made more necklaces and then we got better at working with the glue gun and my mom bribed people to come over and teach us how to make stuff during a “crafternoon.” We branched off into making kids unique purses, barrettes, earrings, bracelets and even some funky home decor. We had a ton of inventory for the YEM and I was so excited and nervous.
On the day of the event, I walked in and felt worried that nobody would like what I had made and I wouldn’t sell anything. My mom told me that it wasn’t about selling anything or making a ton of money. The experience was about just that - the experience, the learning and coming up against things I didn’t understand.
Within five minutes of the doors opening, I sold $20 worth of necklaces. I had to pull more stuff out for the table - it was going quick! I then felt like a real creator and entrepreneur. I was so proud of myself for overcoming the fears, obstacles and bumps in the road leading up to the event.
I remember so clearly people browsed the booths and when they came to mine… I was exhilarated! I loved getting the opportunity to talk with other kid makers and hearing their stories made me feel the magic of running my own business. I felt so good inside. Not because of the money I was earning, but the joy that I was able to spread with my happy products and the best part was spending time with my mom making all of the products. We both learned a lot.
Some days I faced challenges and I didn’t know what to do to fix them. Things would break and I would get frustrated when something didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. But I realized I didn’t need to fix anything because every day was a new opportunity to start over and come up with ideas and solutions. This made me feel empowered and excited.After the fair was over I had earned $500 and I was so happy! We went to the Young Americans Center for Financial Education and I opened my very own bank account. I had to sign lots of papers and pledges. I felt like I was making lots of progress and learning so many new things. The money I earned helped me understand hard work and the importance of saving.
After I participated in the YEM, I thanked myself for having the courage to do something that I knew nothing about. It was an awesome experience and my Mom and I have so many memories. I hope to do the YEM again one day soon.
*Editor’s Note: Scout was also featured on CNN iREPORT and BUILDERS LAB for Happy Wear. This is one amazing Kudos Kid!