Hustle doesn’t have an age limit. No one’s shown that more clearly than T’yonna and Arianah Cruickshank.
These two kidprenuers, 15 and 10, sell baked goods like cookies and cake pops to commuters in New York and Brooklyn. This past July, however, the girls were robbed by two teens with pepper spray while selling in the subway. The girls continued to sell their wares, however, all summer long. They even launched a Go Fund Me page for help expanding their business, raising money for commercial space and equipment to one day co-run a business with their mother.
Our editors at Entrepreneur were so inspired by this story, we decided to help, planning a special morning of advice and surprises at Make My Cake, a Harlem Bakery. There the girls got in-person sales and business advice from Stacy Itzel, a sales consultant at Pampered Chef, and an offer of mentorship from Aliyyah Baylor, Make My Cake’s owner.
The morning held a few more surprises for these girls. Joann Stores sent the girls a one-year membership to Creative Bug, a streaming platform for arts and crafts classes, as well as gift bags packed with cake pop pans, baking tools, and inspirational items, like cookie cutters shaped like stars. Pampered Chef sent its own baskets, ones filled with items such as mini pie and bundt pans, emoji cookie cutters and a marble rolling pin, many from the company’s latest fall line.
Hot Bread Kitchen, the Brooklyn incubator, has also offered to provide the girls a free phone consultation about their business.
The girls were armed with smart questions for their experts and the advice they received could help entrepreneurs of any age. Baylor, for instance, suggested the girls keep a journal of the products they make and the work they do, to remember what goes wrong and how they can learn. That’s a process Baylor used when getting started, and one that helped her test recipes.
Itzel, a mom of five, reminded the girls of the flexibility entrepreneurship can bring and shared some key advice: always lead with a smile.
To learn more about these kidpreneurs, take a look at this short video.