Getting down to ‘bizzy’-ness
School board honors successful student entrepreneur
Posted December 18, 2013
MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Most 6-year-old kids just want to play outside and have fun, but Skylar Bisel was already dreaming of starting his own business.
Bisel, now a 15-year-old sophomore at Dakota High School, received bath fizzies as a homemade Christmas gift from his mother, Laura, in 2004. He initially used them as part of a school science project to learn about chemical reactions, but he loved the effervescent fun that they added to bath time so much that he asked his mother to make more of them. They soon began giving them away to friends and family members as gifts.
Skylar then started coming up with ideas for new fizzies, writing up lists for his mother that detailed everything from what they should look like to how they should smell. As the designated manufacturer, Laura spent a great deal of time experimenting with these ideas, getting her various fizzy recipes just right through extensive research and trial and error. After about a year, Skylar decided that it was time to turn their hobby into a full-fledged family business.
“That was just me being 6 and not understanding everything that goes into running a business,” he recalled. “At that age, I was just really entertained by fizzies and thought they made taking baths a lot more fun.”
Laura was on board once she saw her son’s passion and enthusiasm for the project.
“His sweet little face asking me to do it made it really hard for me to say no,” she said.
And thus, Bizzy Fizz Bath Treats was born. As with many of the company’s creative decisions, its name came straight from the mind of 6-year-old Skylar.
“He told me repeatedly, ‘We’re a business that makes fizzies, so we have to call ourselves Bizzy Fizz,’” Laura said with a laugh. “He was very adamant about that being the name.”
Fast-forward nine years, and Bizzy Fizz Bath Treats has seen a great deal of growth and success. Its sales are on the rise, its catalog continues to expand and its products have even been featured as giveaways for celebrities at a handful of prestigious award shows. Most recently, Bizzy Fizz was recognized at the local level when, on Dec. 2, the Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education presented Skylar with an award honoring his entrepreneurial skills and ambitions.
Bizzy Fizz Bath Treats are currently sold at five different stores across Michigan and northern Ohio, including the Art-Is-In Market at The Mall at Partridge Creek. They are also available online at www.bizzyfizz.com. In addition to a variety of bath fizzies, the company’s product line has grown to include body oils, lotions, scrubs and tablets; bath balms, bubbles and powders for kids; and a new line of moisturizers and shaving lotions for men.
Perhaps Bizzy Fizz’s biggest claim to fame at this point, though, has been its brush with Hollywood. The Bisels were invited to apply to have their products included in the “swag bags” offered to celebrities at major award shows. They were eventually selected to be featured at the Oscars, the Emmys and the Golden Globes, which introduced Bizzy Fizz to an audience of Tinseltown stars and starlets.
Still, the business remains entirely a family operation. Just as she has always done, Laura singlehandedly produces each and every item in the basement of their house, while her husband, Steve, handles the company’s finances, as well as marketing and promotion. Skylar, meanwhile, has become the face of the company and continues to generate ideas for new Bizzy Fizz products and business strategies.
“I’ve been given the title of creative director, but I don’t really have an official title because I’m not 18 yet,” he explained. “Basically, out of the three of us, I’m the one who does most of the talking.”
Members of the Chippewa Valley school board were certainly impressed with Skylar’s speaking skills when he addressed them after receiving his award earlier this month.
“It was really amazing to see how self-assured he is about everything,” said Board President Denise Aquino. “He’s a very eloquent, articulate speaker, especially for someone so young. I was really excited to see a student who exemplifies what we would like to see all of our students become. Our vision as a district is preparing students for tomorrow, and he seems like he’s already well on his way.”
Aquino added that it was “heartwarming” to witness the great support that Skylar has received from his family in developing real-world business expertise.
“It’s so nice to see a family working together toward a common goal like this,” she said. “And the entrepreneurial spirit that he’s building is something that he can use, no matter what career he chooses down the road.”
Skylar was thrilled to be acknowledged by the school board, especially as a student who bounced around from school to school before arriving at Dakota just this fall.
“It’s definitely something that I didn’t expect because I didn’t seek anything out,” he said. “It’s really nice to be recognized in such a positive way when you’re the new kid at such a big school.”
In the near future, the Bisels would like to move Bizzy Fizz out of their house and into their very own storefront. The next step would be hiring some outside help, which would allow Laura to occasionally step away from the business of making fizzies and spend more time with her family.
For his part, Skylar continues to dream big: He hopes to move the company forward by growing it into a substantial operation that can bring numerous jobs to the area where he lives. Until then, though, he will keep spreading the good word about Bizzy Fizz and everything that it has to offer.
“The hardest part is getting people to open their minds to a smaller company,” he noted. “Our biggest challenge is just convincing them to try our stuff that first time. But once they do, they always love it and come back wanting more.”
For more information, visit www.bizzyfizz.com.
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