Fifteen-year-old Detroit resident De’Shaia Ventour, the creator of Her Hands are Crafty Inc., will be among the young entrepreneurs featured at the upcoming Kidpreneur Expo Sept. 15 at the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe.
ROSEVILLE — It takes a good idea and a little know-how to start a business. An upcoming workshop aims to help kids out with the latter while giving their businesses exposure.
Called the Kidpreneur Expo, the event will educate kids interested in starting their own businesses in how to do so, and it also will be providing resources to young people who already have started their own businesses.
“The Kidpreneur Expo is highlighting Michigan kids ages 8 to 17, and we’re going to have a few small workshops for attendees, and the goal is to get our kid entrepreneurs more exposure and connect them with mentors,” said event organizer Talia Foster. “I’ve been thinking about it for the last few years. I enjoy working with youths, and I volunteer with a friend of mine to help youth in the city. I thought it was a great opportunity to continue to do that.”
The expo is organized by the Princess Zaria Fan Club, Lavish Events and Prints, and Make Your Dreams Come True Corp. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe building at 18185 Sycamore St. in Roseville.
The event will feature vendors ages 8-17. It costs $5 per person to attend.
“We’re going to have kids selling their products, and we’re going to have several workshops about how to start a business, on topics like video game coding and so forth,” Foster said. “We have two virtual guests: 9-year-old Cece (Caitlyn Price) from the Cece Show will be taking part in a virtual Q&A session. She will be talking about how to become an internet star. The other one is 9-year-old Kinyah Vean. She is a kid author and started B Chill Lemonade, and she will be talking about writing a book and how she started her business.”
Among the other features at the expo will be workshops on coding, web design and starting a T-shirt business.
“We’re exposing kids to entrepreneurship. We’ll be exposing them to children who already run businesses, and showing them and parents how to support those kinds of businesses. … We have several vendors who are kids I have met over the last few years. There is quite a lot of interest from families who are interested in starting businesses or finding mentors,” said Foster.
One of the young people featured at the expo will be 15-year-old Detroit resident De’Shaia Ventour, the owner of Her Hands are Crafty Inc. In 2016, she began her business of making or decorating different products with duct tape.
“It started when my grandparents gave me some duct tape and I was playing with it and making dresses for my Barbie dolls, and my mom saw it, and I started talking with a friend (that) you could also make duct tape pens,” the young entrepreneur explained. “It was a hobby for a long time, and I noticed that my cousins and aunties were saying that they would pay money for that, and I saw I could turn it into a business in 2016.”
Ventour said she will be showing off and selling her different creations at the expo and giving advice to other teens looking to start their own businesses.
“I will be showing people things like duct tape wallets, clutches, rings and pens,” Ventour said. “I hope people learn to do what they want and pursue what they believe in. A lot of people said duct tape is nothing, but you can make something out of anything if you have an idea.”
Her products are available at www.herhandsarecrafty.com.
Ventour’s mother, Sharisa Robertson, said Her Hands Are Crafty Inc. has not only given her daughter a source of revenue, but also a drive to succeed and improve herself and the world around her.
“I feel like she is changing the narrative of this generation of our family for the positive,” Robertson said. “She is doing things I or my parents or their parents have never done. She is learning about business, how to run a business properly and she is learning how to sell.”
Robertson also stressed the importance of parents supporting their children when they express interest in potentially starting businesses.
“It could just be a hobby, or it could be something they’ll be interested in for a few weeks and then forget about, but it also could be the start of something very important to them, and you, as a parent, need to support that,” she said.
Robertson cautioned that parents have to learn how to be involved without becoming too much of a presence in their child’s new enterprise. She hopes other parents will be able to see how this is done at the expo.
“As a mom, I have had to learn how to support her, keep pushing her to do her best. I would tell other parents to let kids try it out if they have an idea,” she added. “They should test the water, make a solid business plan, do the research to see how to proceed in the smart way. I also had to learn how to back off and let her be in charge of her own idea. You have to support them without taking it over yourself.”