In August, our 14-year-old daughter, Ivy, told my wife, Anne-Elise, and I that she wanted to spend six weeks at Camp Hochelaga in the summer of 2023. We’re on that plan — we’ve been sending them out for four weeks at a time for the past few winters — but he told her that if she wanted to stay longer, she’d have to pay for those two extra weeks herself.
Ivy accepted the challenge and began strategizing to achieve her savings goal of around $200 a month. She quickly discovered that many employers were reluctant to hire 14-year-olds – child labor laws put strict limits on working hours. Since she doesn’t turn 15 until July, she has to be more creative.
She took babysitting jobs and found pet sitting and yard work opportunities at our local front porch stage, but instead of waiting for more work to come along, she started beating her own drum. With the help of Ann-Elise, she set up an e-commerce site on Etsy at LoveArtsy Studio.
Ivy now makes and sells earrings, rings and friendship bracelets. She also offers the one thing she always has a knack for: a four-leaf clover. She did some market research before posting on her site. There are many people selling four-leaf clovers on Etsy, so she priced hers at $2 each, a little less than what others were charging. They are her best selling item to date.
Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen Ivy learn first-hand about marketing, customer service and copyright law — she was captivated by Etsy after making a listing for earrings decorated with Spotify codes. She is also earning money, and she learns to spend judiciously on material things so that she can earn more.
Favorite episode so far? The joy of the sale.
Entrepreneurship is trending right now: The number of new business registrations has surged as Americans try to change their work environment during the pandemic. Many are parents, although there is no hard data on how many. Children Vt Contributor Julie Garwood is one. She talks to three Vermont parents in a similar situation in “Meet the Parent-Pre-Trumps.”
We’ve combined that feature with three more parent startup stories — about a basketball coach, a winter wear designer, and a clothing boutique owner. I interviewed Raya Bronze, an 11-year-old entrepreneur who has raised over $10,000 for organizations fighting hunger and homelessness.
Although these Vermonters represent a wide range of ideas and approaches, they are all problem solvers willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
As summer approaches, we hope that reading about them inspires and motivates you to take action in your own life – to embrace the season, try new things, and put positive energy out into the world. The stories in this issue show that there is much we can all do to make a difference.
And if, like Ivy, you’re already thinking about summer camp, be sure to save our annual Camp and School Fair: February 4, 2023.