From homemade baked goods, cotton candy and an array of cacti, several young area entrepreneurs gathered at King’s Cross Church on Saturday to learn the value of owning a business.
About 20 children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade were part of Seguin’s first Children’s Fair sponsored by the local congregation and nonprofit Acton Children’s Business Fair.
“The local Children’s Fair is set up on the basis that the kids themselves create their product Then they display their product on their own and they sell and explain their product,” said Cynthia Johnson, event organizer and educational director at King’s Cross Church. “They’ve gotten help to develop it, but they actually do the product themselves.”
Kaylie Dylla, 9, took her love of sweets and a cotton candy machine and sold the sugary treat.
“I think cotton candy is fun to make and it is hot in the middle part, but it’s still very fun to make,” she said. “I’ve had a few people come and buy some.”
Kaylie’s mom, Kimberly Dylla, believes the fair offers valuable life skills.
“I think it’s important to show these kiddos work ethic. You have starting costs you have to save for that so you can start your business,” she said. “Then, in the end, you have profited so you can have fun money to play and save as well.”
Others like 10-year-old Molly Bridge opted to make her business one that doesn’t just focus on a single product.
“I’m selling origami bookmarks that my grandma helped me make. You slide them on the corner slide them on the corner that holds your page. There are butterflies, hearts and samurai hats,” Molly said. “I have 10 cent Japanese bookmarks. I also have some colored and plain kettle corn for $2. The beaded bookmarks are only $1. There are some tiny beads, kitten beads, which are really cute.”
For Molly selling at the fair wasn’t just about making money, she said.
“I like selling stuff because it just sounds fun. You get to sell stuff and you get money in return. I’m not even doing it for the money,” she said. “I’m probably going to give most of it to my brother.”
Many of the young business owners focused on incorporating their hobbies into their products such as baking, sewing and crocheting and drawing.
Kelton Martinez, an 11-year-old from Floresville, chose to use his love of nature to start Kelton’s Earth Collection.
“We sell different kinds of plants such as cactus and succulents. Did you know when you water a barrel cactus it actually doesn’t go to the roots? It actually goes straight up and makes a little flower,” Kelton said. “You also get free rocks that we painted every time you buy a little cactus.”
The idea to host Seguin’s first Children’s Business Fair came about after a group of families approached Johnson, she said.
“A group of families wanted to have a business fair and I found (Acton’s) ChildrensBusiness.org. They have all of the tools you need. It’s all free. You get a tool kit with PR material and help to get you started. It’s like a kids fair in a box,” she said.
Acton Children’s Fair was founded in 2007 by Jeff and Laura Sandeer in Austin, Johnson said.
“The purpose of the Children’s Business Fair is to grab that kid while they’re young and before life, school, whatever has plastered that creativity out of them and reward them for that spark of job,” Johnson said. “It’s all about entrepreneurship. The world has an attitude of ‘what are you going to give me? I deserve more than this.’ But entrepreneurship says ‘If you want more than find a way to meet the needs of the world around you and you’ll get more.’”
Johnson hopes all the young vendors walk away knowing their idea was good.
“Even if their idea wasn’t successful I want them to feel good about having created something and having offered it to other people,” she said. “If they had fun that’s what it’s all about.”