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Hayden Hopkins has her own business creating notecards called Lightner Designs. Her hand-drawn designs are impressive—it’s hard to believe she’s only 11 years old! Hayden is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.
Learn more about Hayden below, and watch her segment on Colorado & Company!
Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?
Answer: My name is Hayden Hopkins, I’ll be 12 in September. I started selling handmade bookmarks about four years ago to neighbors and friends. I started Lightner Designs on my 11thbirthday and I’ve participated in two YouthBiz marketplaces at the Young Americans Center for Financial Education.
Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.
A: Yes, I do have a website: www.lightnerdesigns.etsy.com
Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?
A: I like to share my art to make people smile. I also like to be able to save my own money. My parents loaned me money for my 11th birthday to start a business on Etsy.
Q: Please share an overview about your business.
A: My business is primarily a note card business. I have about 20 different styles, including some holiday ones. I also sell gift tags and few bookmarks at the marketplace, but not online.
Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.
A: There are few challenges to being a young business owner. I have to have a lot of help from my parents with shipping, printing, the website and filing taxes. Sometimes people say no to carrying your product, and it’s sometimes hard not to feel discouraged.
Q: Why should other young youth start a business?
A: I’d definitely encourage other youth to start a business. It teaches responsibility, you have to learn discipline to keep it going. They can make their own money. And, they can share their talents with the world.
Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?
A: There are three reasons why I like having my own business. You learn a lot about how to manage money and planning for sales events. I’ve been able to meet other nice business owners when trying to sell my cards to them. And, it makes me feel happy when other people give me positive feedback about my business.
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 the competition?
A: I learned about other winners that received money for their business and my mom suggested I enter the competition–so I did. I hope to get paired with a business mentor to learn about how to grow my business and what I can do better.
Q: Please share about your involvement with Young Americans.
A: I first learned about Young Americans when my 5th grade class took a field trip to the Young AmeriTowne program. Also, when I was trying to sell my cards to local businesses, one of them suggested we look into the YouthBiz Marketplace. I had a lot of fun at the Marketplace and sold quite a bit of product and it made me want to do it again!