FLINT TWP. — McKinley Mihailoff hopes to furnish her house with money earned from her new business.
But she’s only 10 and the furniture is for a dollhouse she got for her birthday. Her business, TBear’s Henna Hut, was one of eight run by children that were featured last week at Genesee Valley Center mall.
All were winners in a Kids, Inc. mall-sponsored contest last month which offered to young entrepreneurs the prize of running a mall store. Participants were allowed to keep the money earned during the one-day event.
McKinley and her sister Kennedy, 15, spent the day, drawing henna tattoos on customers’ hands. Kennedy said she learned to do the intricate hand designs from a friend then taught them to her sister.
Two different kid’s stores showed the wonders of mixing creativity with duct tape which is now sold in many different colors and patterns besides standard gray.
Aditi Desai, 11, and Neha Iska of Grand Blanc ran Sticky Stuff and twin sisters Rebecca and Alyssa Pray, 11, of Flushing ran Twins Tape Fashion Accessories.
Between the two stores, customers could chose from a broad selection of items made from duct tape including purses, hats, cellphone cases, tote bags made from ziploc bags, flower pens, photo frames, water bottles, bracelets and hair accessories.
Aditi and Neha planned to donate ten percent of their earnings to the American Cancer Society.
Chloe Tucker, 12, of Flushing, offered fashion accessories decorated with customized bottle caps including flowers, hair bows and flip flops.
She started about a year ago with a kit from an uncle for her birthday. She buys bottle caps from craft stores to make her items but also collects real bottle caps as a hobby.
Chloe’s aunt creates all the designs used on the bottle caps, said Chloe’s mother, Denise
Tucker. That lets Chloe customize the cap design with whatever a customer wants including school colors and logos, names and images.
Chloe even took a special order from a mall customer who bought flip-flops for her granddaughters and special ordered bottle caps with their names on them.
Madeline Daunt, 11, of Davison showed off her nail design skills at her business Madeline The
Manicurist. She taught herself by watching a video.
Madeline said running her mall business was teaching her patience.
Morning business was a bit slow because a lot of people didn’t have time to get their nails done but things started to pick up after noon, she said.
Jade Treder, 11, of Mt. Morris, ran a business called Kids Cakes that offered 13 different flavors of cupcakes including key lime and Chai flavored with real chai tea powder. But Jade said her bestsellers were cookies and cream and mint chocolate chip.
Her dad Greg said Jade hoped to earn enough money to help buy an iPod Touch.
All the young entrepreneurs saw steady business during the day, said Kristen Cassabon, mall marketing director.