I suspect I am in the minority in that I have never given either of my children an allowance.
I buy them things occasionally and for a while I would give them a
thrifting-day stipend (to help them learn to manage their spending, reduce whining for me to buy them things, and um, okay, to buy myself some time.)
But normally they earn their own money.
When Sage was four he started his first small business.
grated our LuSa soap trims, packed them into little drawstring bags,
and sold them at the farmer's market as "Soap Sachets". By the end of the day he had
something like $24 in his little pocket.
At age four.
And that was powerful for me.
decided that I wanted my kids to experience wanting ("I really want those fancy pencils!" I really want to have a scooter!") and then find a way to make
it happen. I wanted them to experience the satisfaction of earning
their own money as well as the patience for delayed gratification.
I wanted them to learn that they are capable of having whatever they want, if they choose to make it happen.
I also didn't want
their participation at home (IE: chores) to be linked to the money in
their wallet. I think chores are done by all members of the family
simply because that is how a family functions and survives. You don't do it in order to get paid in dollars. (More on how we do that over here.)
And then there is the fact that our family lives entirely off of income from our own small business. So to me it's a pretty important message that yes, you can follow your passion and earn a living – joyfully!
But I digress.
second business venture, "'Magical' Play Silks" dying and selling silks, was a huge success as
well ( thanks to you beautiful people) and when he and I calculated how much he earned per hour we were
both amazed. (Okay, I was floored. He was mildly engaged.)
And now it's Lupine's turn.
Lupine began her first small business venture last week, called "Rainbow Dough".
She is making homemade, essential oil-scented play dough. (Yes, she raided LuSa for the essential oils.)
Currently Lupine's Rainbow Dough is available in turquoise (eucalyptus), deep pink (rose geranium), purple (lavender), and light green (spearmint).
Because it is her business (not mine) she chose the recipe, set her prices, and picked her scents. She made the dough. Sage is helping her here and there (as am I), but mostly she's on her own. At six.
In case you were wondering, Lupine will be selling Rainbow Dough to anyone who is interested. (And yes, she ships!) She is charging $3.50 each, plus postage.
Truth be told I don't know how big each dough will be. I'm guessing every one will be different. Because, well, she's six. (But she's a generous six so I don't thik she'll dissapoint anyone.)
I hope that Lupine, like her brother, will learn that hard work and passion pay off – quite literally. And that work can be fun. That's a lesson that most of us didn't get as children that I think is vital to finding joy in adulthood.
I mean really. Who wouldn't benefit from that message?
For your own kids, the possibilities are limitless. Cut flowers, jewelery, freezer paper t-shirts, tea blends, cookie mix, poetry, painted peg people… Ask them what they love to do and then support them as they run with it. (But when they're ready to be done remember that that's okay too.)
Oh, and for the record, the play dough smells heavenly.
So. Who wants some?
38 thoughts on “Small-business for kids.”
I was just reading this to my daughter (who’s 5) and she’s interested in buying some for both her brother and herself using her birthday money. Does sweet Lupine take PayPal by any chance 😉 Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love, love, love. Some great inspiration, I can’t wait to share this with my kids 🙂
Would love to buy oone of each for my 5 year old twins.
Does lupine have an ingredients list? Mostly I’m asking if there’s any peanuts and hazelnuts around because my 2 y/o is allergic. We would love some!
How sweet! I’ll ask my son what he would like to do.
We would love some! Details on how to order please 🙂
Need some ordering details please!
I have my own greeting card company- screen printed & collaged mini pieces of art for the mail – I have been doing this since before my kiddos were born so they have just always been around card making. A bonus for them is they get all the duds- which they have started turning into their own cards and selling! So far it’s just to Grandmas & Auntis but I think they are onto something!
I love love love this! I’ve heard about entrepreneurial kids before and thought it a brilliant idea but you explained my reasons behind it much better than I could. 🙂 Go Lupine! 🙂
I love this post! We are the same way here about allowances and chores and such. I feel like I am in the minority about that and I am happy to read that I am not alone.
My son (who is 8 now) is also an intrepid entrepreneur. I posted about this last summer http://zachaboard.blogspot.com/2012/05/summer-sales.html
He ended up getting a regular crab client and made $50. I love seeing how careful he is with his own money. Things he thought he HAD to have, now don’t seem so urgent. Especially since crab season is over for a while.
Well, how cool is that? I still get happy butterflies when I’m so lucky to make money doing something I love. May her business prosper!
My daughter has been making clay charms and jewelry since October and has an FB page. But the problem is getting orders, lots of people like her things, but don’t buy.
Any suggestions on how she can generate more orders would be appreciated.
Love what your children are doing.
My son’s scout troop were given £1 ($1.60 ish) before Christmas. They were told to make it grow, however they liked, and the profit would go to a British charity that supplies emergency aid in disaster zones http://www.shelterbox.org/. He made flapjack and sold it and raised £164 ($260) in 2 months! (Not sure if flapjack translates into American- it’s a sort of cake made of oats, soft brown sugar, butter and golden (not corn) syrup. Very moreish!)
Otherwise he mows lawns for pocket money in the summer whilst his older sister babysits for local children.
Love that your kids have such gumption! And I love your adorable measuring spoons!
She’d be happy to take paypal! We’ll spend this week building up her inventory then contact you next week. Sounds good, Tracy? Many thanks to your little one!
Hi Aron, The dough contains: wheat flour, salt, olive oil cream of tarter, and food coloring. Some organic ingredients, some not. Our house occasionally contains peanuts and/or hazelnuts though not currently. Let me know if that helps and if you are interested!
We’ll spend this week making a bit more inventory and then I’ll let you know where to order. Thank you!
So that Lupine can fill all orders we’ll spend this week making dough. Then I’ll let you know where to order. Thank you!
Awesome! I shared your post with my kids. Thanks for reaching out.
Hi Kathryn, I’d start with people who know her – family, neighbors, etc. You could also organize a kids’ craft fair where she and her friends could sell to folks in your community (and each other!).
Amazing! I love it. Now THAT would be a fabulous homeschool project. 🙂
Thanks Melinda! The spoons and cups were a gift from my rad sister for Lupine. They are the only set she’ll use. 🙂
Lovely! She keeps packing and unpacking and repacking your order. We’ll be in touch in a week or so (once all ducks are in a row). Thanks so much. She’s so very pleased!
this is wonderful! i am inspired to help my 5 year old daughter learn such wonderful lessons (and myself along the way). i’ll order some when you are ready 🙂
put me on the list!
I really enjoyed reading about how you are going about raising your children without spoiling them with too much money or too many things. And I love their entrepeneurial ventures at such young ages! Can’t wait to see what my 4 yr. old granddaughter comes up with. Probably will have something to do with fishing or fly-tying. 🙂 Also, I love your matryoshka doll measuring cups and spoons! Where did your find them?
Loved this post. We don’t pay our kids for chores either for exactly the same reason. I had a friend who actually never asked her kids to do chores, because she said she was the one who wanted a clean house so it was unfair to ask those who didn’t care about having a clean house to help (!). But anyway, I do give them pocket money once in a while if I have spare and they’ve done something extra good. I want them to learn the art of charity and kindness too, but mine earn their own too! They sew things and sell them and they know if they want something they earn it. And I think this is the most powerful tool we can give our children, actually.
How pretty! My toddler would love a set of the colors when you are ready for orders.
I love this Rachel. All of our kids earn money doing odd jobs and art commissions and other creative stuff. But they also all get an allowance, just like their dad and I. It’s not tied to chores it’s given simple because you’re a member of the family and we share our resources. Every family member gets a set amount each week of personal money. It’s not much. We use this money to help teach the kids to save and spend and give wisely. And for the adults its personal money that does not have to be accounted for in the regular budget. Contributing around the house has nothing to do with earning money and everything to do with being a part of the family.
I love that your granddaughter has a love for fly fishing! The measuring spoons and cups were a gift for Lupine from my sister. She found them in a little gift shop in her town, but I’ve happened upon them online. Perhaps search “nesting doll measuring cups”.
That sounds like the perfect balance, Renee. I like it. Thanks for sharing how it’s done in your home!
Thank you Keri! I’ll be in touch soon.
This is good. My kids will surely love this. We’ll gonna do this this weekend. Thank you for giving me a great idea. It’s a sort of our bonding, too.
How nice! This will teach the kids to be more productive so that when they grow up they could already know what’s the best things to do. Surely, kids would be interested to engage in this.
You are indeed an amazing parent! We are a family of businessmen and of course we would love to make our children get into the business world also in the future. But I never thought that as early as four we can already instill in the mind and heart of our children the love for business. I appreciate your strategy. I am totally inspired. Maybe we will now start also exposing our kids to the business scenario. Thanks for a great idea…you made my day 🙂
I so love it. My kids will surely love this also. Thank you so much for sharing!
I like the idea, and I think it can be done also at school, where teaching for entrepreneurship. I’ll try to interest the founder of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program to make this project. They carry out many projects with young students in schools as you can see here https://www.tomorrowsuccess.com/kids_initiate.html
What recipe did she choose? Did the recipe work out well? I think my daughter would love this! Thanks!