Young entrepreneurs in each state
Chloe Smith, 7
In 2012, DeRidder, Louisiana, resident Chloe Smith wanted a $249 electric scooter; her parents told her earn the money herself. So, she used her great-great-grandmother’s recipe to make tea cakes and other baked goods to sell. Chloe made enough to buy the scooter within six weeks, then continued her business.
Raelynn Heath, 8
Raytown, Missouri, entrepreneur Raelynn Heath, now 8, began making and selling her own jewelry at age 4, and she plans to branch out into other areas of fashion and become a millionaire by 16. Raelynn crafts with new and recycled materials and regularly donates her creations back to the community.
Jelani Jones, 9
Lani Boo Bath
Jelani Jones of Fredericksburg, Virginia, caught the entrepreneurial bug after attending a farmers market class on making bath products. Soon, she was creating her own bath bombs and promoting them on Facebook; now, Jelani serves customers across the country through Etsy.
Jahkil Jackson, 10
The Project I Am
Chicago’s Jahkil Jackson created his social program Project I Am at age 8 to help the homeless population of his city. His program distributes Blessed Bags of toiletry essentials to the homeless and those in need; in 2017, Project I Am gave out over 6,000 bags to areas in and outside Chicago.
Hanna Grace, 10
Hanna Grace Beyoutiful
On New Year’s Day 2016, Hanna Grace accepted a casual challenge from her father to create her own beauty products—within weeks, she was selling her bath bombs in stores. Now, the 10-year-old runs her own e-commerce website, which donates 20% of its profits to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
Ava Kelly, 10
Ava’s Cookie Jars
In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Ava Kelly wanted to travel to see a theatrical production of The Lion King; her mom advised her to raise the money herself. Within months, Ava was selling her homemade cookies in signature mason jars. She’s since expanded her business vision with the Kids Travel Channel.
Maddie Rae, 12
Maddie Rae’s Slime Glue
Fairfield, Connecticut, native Maddie Rae was a slime enthusiast with a problem: local stores were sold out of the glue she fashioned slime from. So she set out to create her own glue specifically for playtime slime-ification. After selling thousands of jars, her SlimeMaking.com is a one-stop shop for all things slime.
Patrick Hutchinson, 11
Patrick’s Farm Fresh Eggs
Patrick Hutchinson of Carrollton, Georgia, became fascinated with chickens at age 6 and eventually figured out he could sell the delicious eggs from the chickens he cared for. At 11, he now has his own customer base, LLC, and bank account, and he’s the youngest member of the state farm bureau.
Gabby Goodwin, 11
Gabby Goodwin of Columbia, South Carolina, like most girls, was tired of hair bows that were either painfully tight or loose and inevitably lost. With help from her mom, she created a double-snap barrette design that’s since won praise and awards. Gabby Bows now sell online and in retail outlets.
Haley & Dylan Landress, 12 & 11
Arctic Blast Snow Cone Stand
Haley Landress, 12, and her brother Dylan, 11, had no grand plan when they pooled their money to open their own snow cone stand in Dibble, Oklahoma—they just didn’t want to spend the summer remodeling rental units with their dad. Arctic Blast has since invested in branded reusable cups.
Brandon & Sebastian Martinez, 12 & 10
Are You Kidding
Kendall, Florida, brothers Brendon and Sebastian Martinez turned their passion for crazy colorful socks into a business model, designing 30 of their own patterns with markers and crayons. Eventually, they sold 70,000 pairs of custom socks and donated portions of the profits to charity.
Sofi Overton, 12
Wise Pocket Products
Fayetteville, Arkansas, local Sofi Overton initially set out to solve the problem of where to keep her phone in stockings and leggings, but she soon realized she could help out kids who also needed to store EpiPens and inhalers. Sofi says Wise Pocket Products will eventually donate one item to charity for every item sold.
Kheris Rogers, 12
Flexin’ in My Complexion
In 2017, Los Angeles’s Kheris Rogers became the youngest designer to ever present a line at New York Fashion Week at 11. Since then, her line—which she started after being teased as “too dark-skinned” by schoolmates—has blown up, being featured everywhere from Huffington Post to CBS News.
Jack Bonneau, 12
Jack’s Stands & Marketplaces
Some kids get the idea to start one lemonade stand; Broomfield, Colorado, resident Jack Bonneau thought franchising many stands to other kids was a better idea—so did Shark Tank in 2016. Since then, Jack has put thousands to work in his stands, and he educates young people on the value of entrepreneurship.
Seanna Mullins, 13
In Somerset, Kentucky, Seanna Mullins and her mom hand-sew and sell Healing Hearts therapy dolls with personalized messages addressing depression, anxiety, pain, and grief—a gift she wishes she’d received when her own father passed away. Seanna’s idea won a local investor’s prize of $1,000.
Jaequan Faulkner, 13
Jaequan’s Old-Fashioned Dogs
Jaequan Faulkner of Minneapolis, Minnesota, received some unexpected national publicity in the summer of 2018 when his Old-Fashioned Dogs hot dog stand was reported for operating without a license. Local officials were so impressed with Jaequan’s work ethic, they covered his permit fee.
Mikaila Ulmer, 13
Me & the Bees Lemonade
Mikaila Ulmer went from selling lemonade made from her grandmother’s decades-old recipe in front of her Austin home at age 4 to shipping 360,000 bottles of Me & the Bees lemonade to 500 stores at 13. Mikaila received accolades along the way from Shark Tank, Time, and even President Barack Obama.
Brighton Hood, 14
The Change Bands
Nampa, Idaho, teen Brighton Hood fashions bracelets, pendants, and rings from coins, hence the name Change Bands. The aspiring silversmith, who finds materials at antique stores and coin shops, sells his custom items at craft fairs and through Etsy, and he donates 5% of his earnings to charities.
Maddie Lee, 14
E Nani Hawaii
Maddie Lee began trading and selling her colorful, handmade jewelry at her Honolulu school playground, eventually finding a wider clientele on Instagram. The attention bolstered her confidence enough to approach local stores, which now sell her creations for as much as $120 apiece.
Gabrielle Williams, 14
Glorious Pastries by Gabrielle
Accokeek, Maryland, native Gabrielle Williams had to prove her commitment to baking to her mother before gaining full-time access to the household kitchen. After whipping up an impressive chocolate-espresso frosting, Gabrielle was literally in business. Now, Gabrielle sells 22 varieties of sweet concoctions.
Asia Newson, 14
Super Business Girl
Asia Newson got her start in Detroit at age 5, reselling candles while also learning how to make them from her father. Today, she produces her own custom candles and trains other young people in entrepreneurship. Asia has also appeared on Ellen, on NPR, and as a keynote speaker at TedXDetroit.
Gus Schoenbucher, 14
Gus’s Eats & Treats
New Durham, New Hampshire, teen Gus Schoenbucher began his food-service business in an unusual location: a boat on Merrymeeting Lake. He’s still on the lake, just with a bigger boat and menu, selling hot dogs, ice cream, chips, soda, and—thanks to social media attention—Krispy Kreme donuts.
Cory Nieves, 14
Mr. Cory’s Cookies
Cory Nieves started selling cookies in his Englewood, New Jersey, neighborhood at age 6 with the goal of buying his mom a car. A few years later, he was successful enough to appear on Ellen (who handed his mom the keys to a new car) and count Aetna, Viacom, and Williams-Sonoma as cookie clients.
Donovan Smith, 14
Albuquerque’s Donovan Smith learned how make soap in order to donate it to homeless shelters, as he and his Navy veteran mother were once homeless themselves. Word reached Returning the Favor TV host Mike Rowe, who surprised Donovan by building him a soap store in downtown Albuquerque.
Michael Wahba, 14
New York skateboarder Michael Wahba didn’t like the commercial electric boards that were on the market, so he made his own, with a game-changing twist: a foot sensor in place of a remote control. Now, Michael’s Hover-1 Cruze board sells online through Best Buy, Walmart, and other outlets.
Vignav Ramesh, Tej Singh & Rishab Mohan; 14, 15 & 16
In Clyde Hill, Washington, STEM students and coders Vignav Ramesh, Tej Singh, and Rishab Mohan created Zigantic, a validation platform to connect high-school hopefuls with influencers and game developers to ultimately lead to better-quality games.
Dana Purington, 15
Gardiner, Maine, teenager Dana Purington works Monday through Saturday (his parents told him he has to take Sundays off) running his Dana’s Dogz cart and keeping the menu simple: five bucks for two hot dogs, a bag of chips, and a soda and $1.75 for just a dog. He expects to pay off the cart by summer’s end.