Business: Teen Turns Hobby Into a Business

Crafts can be a lot of fun, especially for children, but most seven year olds do not decide to turn their interest in Madison Wagstaffcreating something into a full business. However, that is how old Madison Wagstaff was when she first began creating jewelry in 2009 for her startup, Madison’s Fabulous Creations. What began as a suggestion from her grandma and a small business just for family members has now grown into a full website, a wide range of products, and orders across the nation.

According to Madison, the biggest challenge was “trying to get my name out there…[I had to think] what made my jewelry so unique?”

She began to develop new bracelets and earrings and necklaces in a wide range of colors and styles, and by reaching out to more people, she found that people liked her designs and were interested in her services. She was able to get her business off the ground even more once she joined KidBiz Market, an entrepreneurial program offered to children by the Small Business Development Center at the State University of New York Buffalo State. The program provides training and a space to sell goods for third-sixth grade students, and Madison’s Fabulous Creations took the top seller place for four years in a row! KidBiz Market has even invited Madison to return and teach business lessons to incoming students in the program.

MFC 1Madison branched out to selling at events like Kwanzaa celebrations, the Natural Science Museum, weddings, and jewelry parties, in addition to individual sale orders. With some of the proceeds, she has donated to the Roswell Cancer Park Institute and is looking into children’s hospitals as well.

Since she is balancing running a full business with school and extracurriculars, Madison has turned her hobby into a habit that she can do whenever she is at her grandma’s house. Over school breaks especially, she stocks up new products to ease the load later on.

Madison’s support system has always been instrumental in her success. According to Madison, her grandma and parents are “always there to motivate me.” They help her sell her jewelry and gave her her first start. KidBiz gave her experience and business knowledge and also important connections, including Madison’s role model, Zandra Cunningham. Zandra runs her own business called Zandra Beauty featuring natural skin care products.MFC 3

“I want to do something completely different, but I was impressed by [Zandra’s] business.”

Moving forward with her own business, Madison is ready for new challenges.

“I was really excited when I got a new logo!”

Madison is strengthening her brand and considering her future options for Madison’s Fabulous Creations and how changes would affect business. Continuing to work with KidBiz, she has been able to present her products for the International Day of the Girl at the University of Buffalo and also meet the founder of GenHERation, Katlyn Grasso! On the horizon, Madison looks forwards to increasing company merchandise, such as t-shirts, new packaging, and personalized signs. She plans to increase the success of Madison’s Fabulous Creations and continue to work in her local community as well.

Personally, Madison hopes to be an author one day, and she plans to be a serial entrepreneur, continually creating MFC 2new businesses to fill the needs of those around her. Also, as a way of giving back, she wants to continue to work with children who are looking into starting their own businesses and pursuing their dreams.

“It’s not gonna be easy at first, but as you keep trying and trying and never give up, your success will eventually come…[As my grandma says,] you have to walk the stairs before you take the elevator.”

Madison has received a lot of advice from family as she’s built up Madison’s Fabulous Creations, and she shared the best advice she has received: “You have to always be open to constructive criticism; you can’t just do things your way. You have to keep working harder and harder.”

You can find more information on Madison’s products and follow her story on her website and on Facebook!

Contributor: Raina Searles

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