Saturday was a big day for 8-year-old Abbie Owens of Boulder City.
Like a polished professional, she raised her hats with her hands to passers-by at a market for young entrepreneurs, eagerly telling them that the proceeds from her sale would benefit a local foster carer.
Help them get the school supplies they need and make sure they look good is important to the young man, who celebrated his seventh anniversary that day since leaving the foster care system.
Abbie, who will start third grade at King Elementary School next month, said helping foster children is important to her.
Being an entrepreneur will also help her in her goal of earning a Gold Award from Girl Scouts. It is the highest achievement one can earn in an organization.
Her mother, Sandy Owens, said Abbie’s ultimate goal is to become president of the United States.
Abbie manned one of the five booths inside Ruben’s Wood Craft and Toys during the first Young Entrepreneur Market.
The market was the brainchild of Dixie Valdez, who owns and operates the store at 555 Hotel Plaza with her husband, Ruben.
She said they often work with homeschooled children, and the Young Entrepreneurs Market seemed like an ideal way to support their educational efforts and business aspirations.
As a former kindergarten teacher, Valdez said she “loves” the idea of helping young children succeed.
Valdez said that unless a party is scheduled, the back room of the store is empty and the maker’s market was a good fit.
Young entrepreneurs were responsible for their stands. She said they provide all their own marketing materials as well as displays and handle their own sales. The store only provided the location and the tables.
Before they were selected, Valdez said she screened the young entrepreneurs to make sure they were making their products and were ready to sell them.
“I’m amazed at the response and I’m really amazed at the quality of the things the kids have made,” she said.
Valdez said they already have several other markets planned, all with different youth. The next one is scheduled for July 23, and the second one will be held in August. All in all, about 20 young people expressed interest in participating.
Boulder City sisters Samerica Vega, 17, Veronica Vega, 16, and Amanda Delcruz, 11, started their business, Las Hermanas, by making butterflies for girls who live at the St. Jude after moving here from California four years ago. They now offer classes in addition to making various other items including pendants, necklaces, earrings and hair accessories.
They sold their handmade goods at yard sales, but this was their first market.
Samerica and Veronica Vega also paint designs on applied nails, which they sell online through Etsy.
The girls, who are homeschooled, said creating the items and selling them started as a school project. They hope to use the proceeds from the sale to help their brother celebrate his birthday.
Siblings Michael and Brookelyn Drake, who are 13 and 10, respectively, said they are friends with the Valdezes and decided to participate in the market because they thought it would be a good opportunity to show off what they do. They brought an assortment of bracelets and pot holders along with lip balm holders and mystery pouches.
The two, who attend Doral Academy-Saddle, said they definitely want to expand their business and become entrepreneurs.
Harley Smith, 13, of Las Vegas also participated. She said that this is another market for her, although she used to sell jewelry on Instagram and Facebook.
Harley said she has been making jewelry for two years and is completely self-taught.
Sisters Klara and Maja Bachman presented their melting bead creations, drawings and paintings. In the past, they sold their art at a roadside stall in front of their house.
Maja said that participating in the pop-up market made them feel like real entrepreneurs. She added that they would like to continue with their art and running their own business when they get older.
Klara is 9 and Maja is 7 years old. In the fall, they will start the fourth or second grade. Both are homeschooled.
Like Abbie, they planned to use a portion of their sales to help others and donate 10 percent to Miracle Flights.
“This is so that the children become healthier,” said Maja.
All the young people who participated said they were satisfied with their sales for the day and the overall success of the pop-up market.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is the editor of the Boulder City Review. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.