Can’t find your own? Make it!
Snazzy dresser Moziah “Mo” Bridges wanted an accessory to help him look sharp, but found his options limited at stores. As a fun-loving young gentleman, nothing really spoke to his personality or style. He and his grandma, a retired seamstress, got to work creating at her kitchen table in South Memphis, Tennessee.
Bridges’ grandmother taught her well-dressed grandson to cut patterns and sew fabric. Tramica Morris, Bridges’ mother, saw her son’s potential and helped him start a business and taught him the basics of being a boss. Little did Morris and Bridges know they were creating an internationally-recognized brand that would bring in hundreds in sales.
Get some sound advice
Morris and her fashion-forward son gained enough notoriety with their burgeoning business to appear on Shark Tank in 2013. That’s where something unsuspected happened: Kevin O’Leary made a deal but Daymond John said he’d be Bridges’ mentor for free if he didn’t take O’Leary’s deal. John said it was best for them to avoid giving up ownership.
Following John’s advice paid off in the end. Bridges and his mother have brought in $600,000 in sales since 2011, according to a 2017 Business Insider article. That’s a three-fold increase in revenue since the family appeared on Shark Tank! You’ll never believe what particular fashion accessory could bring in so much dough…
Making your passion a career
Bridges and Morris named their business, Mo’s Bows after Bridge’s nickname (“Mo”) and the product he designed — bowties! Bridges mainly serves as the creative director while his mother runs operations. Now that he’s older, his mother is gearing him up to become more involved in decision-making for the company.
Eventually, Mo’s Bows started offering products other than just bowties. On their website, you can purchase handmade pocket squares, neckties, t-shirts, and more. Seven full-time employees help the small family with the business in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Their good deal is leading to even bigger deals for the young CEO.
Good deals lead to bigger deals
Mo’s Bows signed a seven-figure deal with the NBA in 2017 to make bow ties for all 30 basketball teams. When Business Insider asked CEO Bridges about the deal, he said the NBA found out about him and “they decided I was a cool guy who makes cool ties.”
The deal represents a new chapter for the young entrepreneur who started the trendy company when he was 9-years-old. Morris told Business Insider that Mo’s Bows will be working on more licensing deals. And just as Daymond John gave back to Bridges, Bridges gives back to the community in his own way.
Inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs
Bridges started accepting speaking engagements in 2011 and has since gone on a public speaking circuit, encouraging other youngsters to start their own businesses. He’s talked to kids all around the U.S. and has even gone international, speaking in Germany in 2016. Bridges also gives back to needy children with a special bow tie.
A bow tie is designed each year with all the proceeds going towards a charity. Bridges and his mother finalized a deal with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where we’re sure Mo’s Bows will do more good. Next, Bridges wants to design a complete line and attend Parsons School of Art and Design in NYC. Next, another kid using their business for good.
When a bee sting leads to inspiration…
Sometimes painful experiences can lead to inspiration. For Texas-based Mikaila Ulmer, a bee sting at 4-years-old led to a fascination with the yellow and black striped insect. She learned everything she could about them, ultimately finding out a tragic fact about the species during a school assignment: Their population is dying.
Distraught with the news, Ulmer decided to take action to save the insect she liked so much. She created a business and began donating profits towards saving the endangered population. You won’t believe how much money this youngster made after getting a well-deserved boost on Shark Tank. We’ll tell you what happened on the show next.
Turns out, Sharks like bees
Ulmer presented her product to an impressed panel of judges on Shark Tank. The Sharks, charmed by its potential and philanthropic mission, doled out $60,000 to kick start Ulmer’s business. The Shark bump proved to help Ulmer immensely, getting her delicious product on the shelves of a major grocery store.
Ulmer became a millionaire at 11-years-old when 55 Whole Foods stores picked up her product for $11 million, according to Fundera. Despite her wild success, Ulmer still donates profits to her original mission: The bees! Now, what product could possibly make this young lady so successful? We’ll tell you more below.
Giving a classic recipe a twist
Ulmer’s success stemmed from her special blend of lemonade, Me & the Bees Lemonade. The brand stands out from other lemonades with its unique recipe: Texas wildflower honey, flaxseed and lemon juice. Her favorite insect receives benefits from the profits of Me & The Bees and also contributes to the creation of the delicious drink! Someone else helped inspire the recipe…
Ulmer’s great-grandmother, Great Granny Helen, once sent her a 1940s cookbook which included a special recipe for flaxseed lemonade. Inspired by the classic beverage, Ulmer gave it her own twist to make a product for the Acton Children’s Business Fair. Me & The Bees has several unique flavors you wouldn’t expect from lemonade — more on that next!
Good taste + healthy ingredients = $$$
According to its website, Me & the Bees has four flavors: Lemonade Original Mint, Lemonade with Ginger, Lemonade with Iced Tea, and Lemonade with Prickly Pear. All flavors use 100 percent fresh-squeezed lemons — none of that concentrate stuff! Its unlikely flaxseed ingredient makes this classic beverage actually good for all consumers.
Flaxseed is rich in the good stuff you should have in your diet: omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Research also says flaxseed lowers the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. There aren’t many products that are both good for you and the planet. Scroll on to find out where Me & The Bees’ funds are going.
Make a profit to profit others
If you buy any of Me & the Bees’ four delicious flavors, profits will go towards several organizations that work towards saving the bee population and supporting sustainable food. Heifer International donates honeybees to needy families, teaching them to care for them, thus boosting their income and stimulating the families’ crops through pollination.
Texas Beekeepers Association and the Sustainable Food Center also benefit from Me & the Bees’ donations. Ulmer’s support helps research on bee preservation at Texas A&M University and improves access to nutritious food in Austin. Next, we’ll introduce you to a young entrepreneur that benefitted from providing for a niche market.
Finding the solution to your own problems
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Zietz loved playing lacrosse but didn’t love the quality and price of most equipment out there. With the help of a program for young entrepreneurs co-sponsored by the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Zietz went to work starting a business, Gladiator Lacrosse LLC. She hoped to create sturdy lacrosse equipment that players couldn’t find yet on the market.
Using a $30,000 loan from her parents, Zietz made high-quality products that lacrosse enthusiasts were desperate for. Zietz’s company made a whopping $200,000 in sales its very first year. You won’t believe how much her company made in sales in just a little over two years — read on to find out.
Jumping into the Shark Tank
Leading up to her TV debut, Zietz carefully prepared for her appearance on ABC’s business-centric show, Shark Tank. She employed the help of a couple friends, who helped her prepare by asking hard-hitting questions about her product. Wearing her number 8 jersey from Pine Crest, Zietz walked into the studios.
“Hi Sharks,” said Zietz. “My name is Rachel Zietz, and my company is Gladiator Lacrosse.” The 15-year-old explained the need for sturdier lacrosse equipment and the success the new company has seen so far. She asked for $100,000 for 15 percent equity in Gladiator. Would the Sharks take the deal?
The Sharks were impressed with Zietz’s pitch, her demonstration of the Gladiator products, and her early success. “The fact that you are the brand – you play the game. It’s so credible,” said Kevin O’Leary. “When people look at which product to buy, they’re going to buy from a player.”
Unfortunately, Zietz walked away from Shark Tank without a deal. Her friends, teammates, and coach all gathered to watch the airing of her episode on TV at her house. They were shocked the young CEO didn’t get a deal. Turns out it wasn’t the worst thing to happen — Zietz didn’t need the Sharks!
Making it on her own
As of 2016, Gladiator Lacrosse was on track to hit a whopping $2 million in sales for the year. Consumers can find their lacrosse goods much easier now too. The lacrosse retailer is an e-commerce company but its products are also distributed at DICK’S Sporting Goods Stores nationwide. You can get your lacrosse on across the nation!
Gladiator Lacrosse now makes equipment other than goals and rebounders like apparel, accessories, parts, targets, and the Casey Powell Collection. Casey Powell is Zietz’s favorite lacrosse player who agreed to work with the youngster on creating his own rebounder and goal. This hard work didn’t go unnoticed — read on!
You won’t believe who recognized Zietz
Zietz’s hard work on Gladiator was recognized by Florida Governor Rick Scott in his state of the state address in 2016. He included Zietz as one of the state’s top business leaders and awarded her the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award for her business success. Journalists loved her story as well!
Young Zietz has been in many publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., and named one of the 30 most influential teens of 2016 by TIME Magazine. Not many teens can match this success! Next, this young lady found entrepreneurship to be rewarding for several reasons.
A young, very young, businesswoman
New Yorker Noa Mintz always had a passion for entrepreneurship and helping other kids at a young age. First, she ran art classes for kids during the summer in 2008 for a small fee. Her second venture was a children’s party planning business two years after the art classes.
She gained experience managing staff and even wrote an employee handbook to make sure they were following the rules. Mintz tells Fortune she wasn’t impressed with the business in retrospect. “Since I was, after all, under the age of 10, the execution wasn’t perfect,” she said. Her next vision came together much better…
At just 12-years-old, Mintz started a new business that’s earned her media appearances on NBC’s “Today Show,” CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Fox Business’ “Money with Melissa Francis,” the “Steve Harvey Show,” Ryan Seacrest’s radio program… the list goes on! Everyone became obsessed with Mintz’s story and her creative way of finding solutions.
As of 2015, Mashable reported that the teen was making $500,000 a year and racked up 190 clients. Mintz was getting so busy that she decided to hire a CEO with more than 25 years of experience to help her run her business — Joanne “Jo” Barrow. What kind of business by a 12-year-old could be this successful?
The kids are alright
Turns out that New Yorkers really need a good nanny service. Having been raised on the Upper West Side of New York City, Mintz built a reputation among her family and friends for finding the best sitters the City had to offer. Thus came about Nannies by Noa, a full-service childcare company.
According to Mashable, Mintz charges a flat $5 for sitters and 15 percent initial salary fee for nannies that start around $64,000-$100,000. The publication said she has about 25 full-time nannies and 50 babysitters working an average of 15 hours a week. All of this was hard work and Mintz needed help!
School comes first
Mintz told the New York Post that bringing on CEO Barrow was a lifesaver. Because of Barrow, Mintz was able to focus more on school rather than swimming in the hundreds of emails from clients and the excruciating hours. Nannying is hard work — Mintz has to thoroughly vet each nanny and match them to a family.
With Barrow’s help, Mintz was able to grow Nannies by Noa and finish her homework on time. It even led to other opportunities, like a partnership with Ivy Key tutoring, and finally being able to go on vacation. For someone that claimed she wasn’t a good student, Mintz got into a great university. Which one was it?
Channeling one venture to help another
Young entrepreneur Mintz started at Brown University in Fall 2018, an Ivy League school in Providence, Rhode Island. She’ll be just a four-hour drive away from the hustle and bustle of New York City — the stomping grounds of Nannies by Noa. She told CNN that she’s always been more business rather than school-minded.
Mintz added that she’s tried to channel her business success to give herself more confidence in school. It’s something she’s struggled with and a big reason why she hired a CEO to help with Nannies by Noa. This next child entrepreneur also helps care for cherished creatures, but of the four-legged and fluffy variety…
It all started with the animals
Mia Felber always loved animals — especially her family pets. She valued all natural, healthy foods and didn’t understand why there was such a lack of this at pet stores in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. For Felber, this was not only a necessity for her pets but something she felt passionate about.
To solve this problem, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps to figure out how to create products that were natural and good for pets. Although some chemical treatments are effective, they might still be risky and full of dangerous toxins. What would Felber do to get her pets healthy products?
Taking the all-natural way
Felber started Paleo Pets, a family-run business, when she was just six-years-old. The small company carries dental care items, supplements, flea medication, pet beds, bowls, grooming, and pet aromatherapy products. Felber’s company claims all its products are 100 percent natural and organic. They stress that chemical-based items can pose health hazards.
Although some chemical treatments are effective, they might still be risky and full of dangerous toxins. One of Paleo’s aromatherapy treatments, for example, is made from all-natural ingredients like olive oil, lavender, chamomile, and sage. This harmonious blend of oils combined help soothe a restless, anxious cat without exposing him to toxins.
Doing smart business
All natural, organic ingredients can become extremely expensive — potentially racking up the costs for Paleo Pets’ products. In order to cut costs, Paleo Pets decided to use local and regional ingredients. It can take a long time to get overseas ingredients from a supplier to a manufacturer, so Felber is saving time and money.
Not only does this benefit Paleo Pets, but it also benefits the local suppliers that the pet company works with. This is a good business model for entrepreneurs to follow, as this allows you to price your products accordingly. Felber is also very entertaining in the videos she films for Paleo Pets’ social media.
Big personalities go a long way
Felber adds her own special touch to Paleo Pets that makes the product appealing. The youngster drew Paleo’s logo featuring a cute dog and cat image but a professional graphic designer cleaned up the logo. She’s also highly energetic on Paleo Pets’ social media videos as she explains the various products.
Felber had been auditioning for a CBS TV show about kid entrepreneurs — Inspired Insider last reported she was in the second round of auditions. Felber can’t do all of the work for Paleo Pets on her own because she’s so young. Someone you might expect has helped along the entire way.
Taking after her parents
Although young Felber has done a lot of the work for Paleo Pets on her own, her parents Josh and Trina Felber have guided her along the way. The masterminds behind Primal Life Organics, LLC, mom and dad Felber are serial entrepreneurs focusing on creating healthy and sustainable products.
Josh Felber told Inspired Insider that he homeschools his three children (including Mia, the CEO) which includes a solid curriculum on entrepreneurship. A tutor helps out, but Josh guides the children through ClickFunnel, Facebook advertising and the basics of e-commerce. Next, learn about a teen that took flight to the next level.
Passion over playtime
George Matus started working on this product at age 12, while most kids were busy playing videos games and hanging out with friends. By 16, he had a fully functional product that those in his market wanted to get their hands on. He graduated from high school, but wanted to focus on his company’s growth.
Matus was selected in 2015 from 3,000 applicants to be a Thiel fellow from Peter Thiel’s foundation. This program pays young entrepreneurs $100,000 to drop out of school (or forgo college) to work on their own ventures. A year later, CNBC reported that the company had $3 million in sales! What’s Matus making?
Matus locked himself in his room trying to raise money, build a team, and grow a company. He admitted to CNBC that starting his business involved a steep learning curve. However, an influx of cash from its first angel investor, Northgate Capital’s Mark Harris, made starting a new business a lot easier.
Matus got attention from investors and media outlets alike because his product is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. His four full-time employees and 15 contractors helped build a product that broke a world record! What sort of product built by a teen breaks a world record? You’ll be surprised…
Creating the perfect product
Matus told CNBC that he had driven every drone on the market between 11 and 16 years of age and was frustrated with what he couldn’t do yet. So what does one do in that case? Make your own drone! At age 16, Matus came up with the concept for Teal Drones.
He became the CEO of this company, eventually creating the fastest drone in the world! To design his ideal drone, Matus put together a “wish list” of what he wanted in a drone and then began prototyping. However, it took young Matus awhile to create the perfect drone — all while balancing homework and school!
Pick yourself up and try again
After years of building, flying, crashing, and rebuilding homemade drones, Matus was able to create the Teal — his idea drone. The Utah-based teen’s drone can fly faster than 70 mph (that’s like a car!) with no modifications needed. It’s also able to withstand 40 mph gusts of wind — perfect for any sort of weather.
Matus told CNBC that he was able to get one of his drones to fly up to 85 mph! That article was in 2016 — we’re sure Matus has already developed add-ons by now that make it go even faster. How much would it cost you to get your hands on one of these? More on that below.
To infinity… And beyond!
Teal’s pricing is similar to the market-leading DJI Phantom series at $1,300, according to CNBC. There’s the Teal Sport and Teal One drone models available. Teal Sport is the dedicated racing model. Teal One is also fast — fast as a car. Teal also offers various accessories via its website.
Matus says there’s not much fine tuning drone pilots need to do once they receive their product. Teal drones are turnkey more or less; consumers can start using them right out of the box! Matus’ success might stem from his vision which he tells The Daily Universe is to “redefine what a drone is.”