Budding business owners debut at the mall on July 25



FLINT TWP. — Jolie, 10, wants to raise money to pay for playground improvements at her school in the Kearsley School District.

Her business, Crafts for a Cause, will help her do that when it opens for one day at the Genesee Valley Center mall center court from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 25.

Jolie’s business was one of nine winners chosen in the mall’s Kids Inc. contest which concluded last week.

The contest offered children an opportunity to pitch a business plan and operate a temporary business at the busy Linden Road mall.

“We are excited to put kids in business and offer this opportunity to budding retail entrepreneurs,” said Kristen Cassabon, marketing manager. “Allowing kids to sell their products or services in a retail environment will give them a real taste of what it takes to run a business. We’re looking forward to hosting these ‘merchants of the future’.”

Jolie’s business will offer crafts made by her and friends.

“My school doesn’t have a good playground,” Jolie wrote in her business plan. “It consist of some swings, some monkey bars and some small slides.”

To stock her store, she and her friends will bake treats, make jewelry and art to sell. She’s also recruited parents to do face painting.

“If the mall lets me open my store, It would be successful because Kearsley is a very caring community and would help me every step of the way,” Jolie wrote.

A business called “Sticky Stuff” is the winning idea pitched by Aditi, 11, of Grand Blanc. The store will sell products made of duct tape including clothing, ties, hats, belts, vests, trendy tote bags, clutches and technology cases.

“School supplies? I’ve got that covered too,” according to Aditi’s sales pitch.

“Pens and flower pens that will never be left at home, pencil cases (with) multiple pockets to carry your student ID and more. Come on over to my store and get your stick stuff on.”

A winning business plan pitched by McKinley, 10, of Flint, is called T-Bear’s Henna Hut and will offer five “simple and elegant henna tattoos,” all hand done by McKinley and her sister Kennedy.

Jade, 11, of Flushing, loves to bake so her featured business called Kid’s Cakes will offer samples of her wares.

“I would love to have my own cupcake shop and this is the closest thing I can get to it right now,” said Jade, who’s been baking since she was 9 and includes red velvet cakes in her repertoire.

Madeline the Manicurist is the name of the winning business pitched by Madeline, 11, of Davison, who has a passion for nail art.

“I can do any kind of art you want- in about a million colors,’’ she wrote. Examples include butterflies, baseballs. peace signs, undersea motifs, cheeseburgers, ladybugs, flowers, watermelons and rainbows. She can also “jazz up’ the designs with embellishments such as mini rhinestones, striping tape and glitter.

Madeline shrewdly pointed out that her services are “waaaaaaay more affordable” than professional salons and that she hopes to open her own nail art studio someday.

Kassi’s Kookies and Krafts, to be operated by Kassi, 12, of Grand Blanc, will sell cookies and handmade items.

Rebecca, 11, of Flushing won a chance to operate Reboria’s Fashion Accessories, which includes rings, bracelets, headbands, hair ties and other fashion accessories made of duct tape.

Pink and Chic is the winning business plan from Chloe, 12, of Flushing.

“I have taken the bottle cap idea to a whole new level,” she said in her pitch.

She uses magnets to attach the caps to fashion items like flower headbands, flip flops, necklaces, hats, boutique bows and pins.

Customers can choose their favorite bottle caps, initials, school mascots, sports, holiday themes and other designs. The magnet allows the caps to be interchangeable among different styles.

The youngest winner is Kimesha, 6, of Flint whose business Tiny Hands Catering will serve kid’s favorite bitesized foods “in a creative way.”

Cassabon said it is hoped that all nine winners will participate in the mall event on July 25 but some may opt out.

Participants get to keep all the money they earn from operating their business.

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