On February 1, over 70 kids from all over Connecticut came together at West Hartford Town Hall for a pop-up kids market that was the first of its kind in the area. The event was designed for participants aged 5-17 and featured booths showcasing a wide variety of kid-created businesses, all child generated and run. This event included four budding entrepreneurs from Kingswood Oxford who took part.
Ninth-grader Eli Brandt created his own business named Craftelised which features beautiful and unique handmade print art. In addition to having artwork on display at the show, he also runs an Etsy store
and can be followed on Instagram @craftelised.
Seventh-grader Ryan Sadowski showcased his woodworking talent with a variety of items including driftwood candle holders, while seventh-grader Jacob Barash mixed up his own mocktail creations at his booth with the idea that people could sip them why they shopped.
Lastly, seventh-grader Ethan Miller had a booth where he sold a variety of headbands and t-shirts featuring his tagline: DEAFinitely Talented. Miller also has an Etsy store
The market was the brainchild of Buzz ELM, LLC
, a company started recently by Laura Barash, Elyse Fox, and Melissa Geller, with the mission to help foster children’s and teen's creative and entrepreneurial spirit and provide a forum in order to help them learn and succeed in this pursuit.
Barash said, “We wanted to create an opportunity that would complement what students learn in school. Starting a business is a way for kids and teens to hone skills to be successful in life. As an entrepreneur, you're faced with handling a multitude of tasks including customer service, sales, branding, face-to-face interactions, math on the fly, among many more.”
Each child vendor was responsible for setting up their sales table and managing the money exchanges, as well as interacting with customers about their product. Turnout for the event was incredible, and next year there are talks to potentially move the location to give additional room for participants. A host of local organizations including Camp KO and KO sponsored the market
“Lessons learned from this experience can help kids navigate the world. In having the pop-up kids market, we created an environment for kids to apply these skills and get real-world experience,” said Barash.
The trio plans to have more markets and events in the future.