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Denver resident Julia Doolittle, age 9, started her dog business, Olaf’s Dog Cookies, as a delicious, “dog-approved” solution to calm and entice her untrained dog during neighborhood walks with her older sister. Owning a business has taught Julia the value of determination, a quality that will help her business grow over the next year as she works with mentor Jena Hausmann, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Winning the the 12-15 Age Category was 13-year-old Maile McManis, a Denver resident and owner of Sewing with Smiles. Since discovering and learning to use an old sewing machine two years ago, Maile’s business has grown to include two product lines: fashionable purses and eco-friendly produce bags, and Maile has recently added masks that she both sells and donates to essential workers in her community. Guided by mentors Bob and Judi Newman, Maile will focus on marketing in the next year.
Looking at the success of winning business Cardbound, one would never guess the owner is 18-year-old Broomfield resident Leonard Shearer. The business resells graded Pokemon cards and accessories to collectors across the globe, and Leonard figures he has made 25,000 orders since he started in 2015. Mentor Raju Patel, Denver Market President for Bank of America, will help Leonard with his accounting and inventory systems as they work together this year.
Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars also recognized six finalists:
- Snacks for Dollars, created by Seth Huntley, age 8
- Tuff’s Chickens, created by Tuff Glassman, age 7
- Evan Hoing Woodwording, created by Evan Hoing, age 13
- Simply Denver Soap Co., created by Hannah Doolittle, age 12
- Mountainside Lifestyle, created by Colin Patterson, Rowan Steger and Carter Galyardt (all age 17)
- The Teen Entrepreneur, created by Shouken Lopez, age 17