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Anna Brekken, owner of AnnaMade Design Co., was not only a finalist in the 2021 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition, she also runs her own Etsy shop, is a regular vendor at YouthBiz Marketplaces and craft fairs, and – fun fact – she plays the organ(!).
Anna has always enjoyed arts and crafts, so when her grandmother taught her how to make cards, she was hooked. Anna has been in business for almost three years and has developed a style of hand-crafted greeting cards that stand out with fun, bright colors, interesting textures, and designs that make her customers smile (like her pop-up Christmas cards!)
Although she didn’t win the first time she applied to the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition, she appreciated the valuable feedback she received from the judges. Over the following year, she made tweaks to her business based on that feedback, re-applied to the YouthBiz Stars competition in 2021, and finished as a finalist, winning some cash to put toward growing her business.
Since then, Anna continues to experiment with new card designs to feature in her Etsy shop, and she takes advantage of opportunities to interact directly with customers at craft fairs and the YouthBiz Marketplace.
One of the many great things about Anna is how supportive she is of other young makers and business owners. In fact, she recently hosted Soaring Together 2022 — an online event to help creative teens’ businesses flourish.
Not content to sit back and wait for things to happen, Anna likes to challenge herself by bravely walking outside of her comfort zone and trying new things. We suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more from this talented teen entrepreneur.
If you are (or know) a business owner between the age of 6 and 21, Anna encourages you to apply for the 2022 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars. There’s no down-side. It’s free to enter. And even if you don’t win, you learn a lot just by completing the application and getting feedback from a distinguished panel of judges. And, who knows, maybe you’ll walk away with the grand prize – $5000 cash and a chance to be mentored by a prominent local business leader.