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Searching for a source of income, Brenden Coney started selling unique, handmade wood crafts when he was in 7th grade. Now 17, his business Elevations Creations has “exploded!” He has an average profit of $16,000 a year, and he now employs his siblings to help him. Brenden is a finalist in the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition, and he will be honored at an annual gala benefitting Young Americans Center for Financial Education on Thursday, October 5.
Watch Brenden’s segment on Colorado & Company, and read more about his business below.
Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?
Answer: My name is Brenden Coney, I’m 17, and I go to Castle View High School in Castle Rock. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was about 13, when I first started my business in middle school.
Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.
A: Yes: ElevationCreations.com
Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?
A: I was motivated to start my business because I was looking for a way to make money as a middle schooler. I thought that starting my own carpentry business would be the easiest way to go. I had asked my dad to teach me since he had been a carpenter a while back. He taught me how to use a lathe and how to make cutting boards and other simple things.
Q: Please share an overview about your business.
A: My business, Elevation Creations, specializes in custom wood crafts and gifts. I make a lot of cutting boards, bread knives, wine accessories, wine racks, and a lot of home décor too including coasters, ornaments, cribbage boards and wall hangings. I also do a lot of custom carpentry as well as custom CNC milling.
Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.
A: One of the greatest challenges I face with running my own business as a busy high school student is the time commitment. I play basketball, go to school, and do a lot of other activities, so trying to give my business as much attention as it deserves can be difficult sometimes.
Q: Why should other youth start a business?
A: I think other youth should start a business because it’s a great way to make money as a kid. Hours are typically pretty flexible, it’s a great way to make a lot of money at a young age, and there a ton of great things to learn!
Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?
A: The best part about owning my own business is the fact that I get to work my own hours whenever they fit into my own busy schedule. It’s also nice because I get to meet a lot of great people and work with them.
Q: So, you’re one of the finalists for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition–congratulations! What motivated you to apply for the competition, and what do you hope to get from this experience?
A: I was motivated to apply for the competition because it is something that I thought I might have a good shot at winning, and I think it would just be great to see all my hard work finally pay off. From the experience, I hope to make a few connections and meet some new people as well!
Q: Please share about your involvement with Young Americans.
A: I was first introduced to Young Americans in elementary school when I attended International Towne with my 6th grade class. Since then, I have done YouthBiz Marketplace with Young Americans, and I have also entered the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars competition!