Springtime Success

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A customer browses fancy duct tape wallets at the Spring Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace.

A customer browses fancy duct tape wallets at the Spring Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace.

Congratulations and a big “thank you” are deserved for the 55 business that made our first Spring Marketplace a giant success.  They attracted over 300 customers in four short hours, selling over $5,000 in merchandise!

Prep work pays off

Many of these businesses have been preparing for weeks — or even months — to create their specialized inventory.

Funky Flip Flops shopped for flip flops and fabric to cut and tie for their dozens of fun sandal creations.   The owners of Love Nina Designs, The Rhino and The Rabbit, and Darling Doll Attire have been shopping and sewing in their spare time to keep a constant supply.  And Fragile Glory Impressions has been carefully designing new, beautiful greeting cards for springtime.

Not everyone can prepare so far in advance. The food businesses, including Barraza Burritos, Lumpia Craze, and Sweet, had to cram all their preparation into a few short days. These youngsters and their families stayed awake until 3:00 am rolling egg rolls to be freshly fried on Saturday, or woke up at 4:00 am to make eggs and potatoes to stuff their burritos. Their hard work paid off.  Many customers came hungry, ready to spend cash in exchange for a tasty treat, and walked away with a full stomach and a smile.

These first-timers sold egg rolls for great success.

These first-timers sold egg rolls for great success.

First timers and old hands

The customers weren’t the only ones smiling. Half of these business owners were repeat sellers at the Young Americans Marketplace and have practiced their customer service skills. These young entrepreneurs know how important it is to express their excitement to their customers.

The other half of the businesses were new to the Young Americans Marketplace; for many it was their first sales experience ever.  Remy, who was recently featured on Colorado & Company, is a new business owner. She was inspired to start her business to earn money for an extracurricular trip. On Saturday she started out a little a shy with customers trickling in; when she made that first sale, however, her wide smile spread the excitement.

These fishing poles could be spotted across the room as unique item.

These fishing poles could be spotted across the room as unique item.

Favorite glimpses

I enjoyed seeing big items, like Huck Finn Supply Co’s six-foot fishing poles and ZARL Inc.’s rocket launchers, proudly carried out the door by their new owners.  I smiled when I heard of a dad who gave his son $20 to pick out a pretty blue pen.  When his dad asked why he spent all the money on just one thing, the boy responded that it was a Mother’s Day present.  It made me happy to hear that Nyla, owner of Aahhh 2J’s Lemonade, had a birthday party to attend on Saturday afternoon and waited until the Marketplace to purchase a gift for the party, just so she could support a fellow young entrepreneur.  And I was thrilled to hear that one of the Sweet Bee Sisters was carrying a fishing pole around the building for several hours, acting as the “traveling marketing team” for her friend’s business.

The Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace is great place for young business owners to practice time management, hard work, and customer service. On top of that, it allows kids to support each other and learn from mistakes and successes.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support these fledgling businesses.  Share your favorite story or purchase below.

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