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I’m an entrepreneur: Kids run their own businesses at the West Tennessee Farmers Market

It’s hard to say “no” to a deal at the West Tennessee Farmers Market, with the fresh produce, donuts, and hand-made crafts. It’s even harder to say “no” to a crowd of children. 

That’s what attendees faced Saturday, June 3, as dozens of kids lined up at Anderson Park to sell their homemade crafts, baked goods and lemonade. 

At the front of the booths were eager children, who had worked all week to make a little pocket change for the summer. Behind the children were even more eager parents, some of whom had worked just as hard as the kids. 

“Hopefully she’s enjoyed it. She’s been a little anxious a little bit. But I think the more we do things like this, you know, in the public, I think the better it will be,” Arista Hopson said. 

Her six-year-old daughter Celesta sold homemade necklaces and lemonade at the market. Celesta said she made the simple beaded necklaces leading up to the event. 

“I tell them, ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?’ and if they would like this or that. I can give it to them easily,” Celesta said. 

Hopson opened her bright red plastic cash register to explain how it works, as she has been learning about counting recently. 

By 11 a.m., Hopson had made more than $50 selling her homemade necklaces. 

“I think it’s fun because I get to do some fun things as a kid,” Celesta said. 

As the younger children were guided by their parents, older kids took more control of their booths. 12-year-old Lilly Hanks set up Lilly Bugs to sell homemade jewelry, phone charms, bags, and sweets. 

“I’ve sold quite a few things so far,” Lilly said, “and I like making my bracelets.”

The beaded bracelets featured different sayings and designs, and her booth was meticulously put together with displays and dishes for all of the jewelry. 

“She spends a lot of time on her bracelets and keychains,” Lilly’s mom Kayla Roatan said, “She has sold quite a few bracelets and phone charms and necklaces.”

The event was put together by the City of Jackson and Children’s Entrepreneur Market, which had strict guidelines. Parents are not allowed to help prepare or cook food, or take payments. Any time a parent helps, it must be through the child, not the customer, allowing the kids to truly run the business. 

The Farmers Market Plans to continue the kids entrepreneurship events, and more sign ups will be available at jacksontn.gov/governmet/communications. 

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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