While lemonade stands, lawn mowing, and pet sitting were the quintessential businesses for kids and youth in the past, many of today’s kids have found new and innovative ways to start their own entrepreneurial endeavors right at home.
When Alana Peitscher was just six years old she decided to forgo store-bought bath items to ensure she had a healthier alternative to her self-care routine. Now, at nine years old, instead of going to the store to pick up the latest bath bombs, Alana simply heads over to her at-home work station where she will sift together her ingredients, wait for them to set, then plop them into the tub for an upgrade to her usual bathtime routine.
“I just wanted to take a bath with bath bombs,” Alana said. “We wanted to use more natural ingredients so I asked my mom and she looked up a video about how to make your own at home and that’s how FizzieFoxx started.”
FizzieFoxx, named for her love of foxes, has grown since she started crafting the fizzy treats three years ago. Alana now teaches others how to make their very own bathtime fun.
“In second grade, my teacher had a student of the week highlight. We could tell about something we liked or were interested in. I told my whole class how to make bath bombs.”
This demonstration led Alana to begin offering bath bomb-making classes for birthday parties and family events. Commanding the demonstration like a pro, Alana outlined the process step by step, just like she did with her class.
“First you need a bowl and sifters. You put baking soda and citric acid into the sifter. You sift that together. Then you put your oils in, whatever oils you choose, and mix that up. Then add witch hazel and mix until it’s kind of clumpy. You put them in your molds and can either bake them or let them sit overnight.”
From Easter eggs, polar bears and paws, to unicorns, baseballs, and butterflies, Alana’s cart of tools has grown and so has her knowledge. She recommends using silicone baking molds (like you find in the baking aisle) and, after some trial and error, liquid dyes as opposed to powdered. She’s currently experimenting with adding surprises to her bath bombs to take them to the next level. Alana’s mom, Jenn, is a doTERRA consultant and offers guidance on which scents to use.
“I’m happy that she’s able to have fun making the bath bombs with a product I totally trust is healthy and going to be good for her body,” Jenn said.
Alana and FizzieFoxx are no strangers to giving back as well.
“We did a fundraiser for Batting for Kids (a local non-profit) so I made baseball bath bombs,” Alana said. “That was a tricky mold. Most recently, we had a family friend in an accident and we did a benefit for her at Bettendorf High School. She’s a fan of monarch butterflies so we did a butterfly mold. I also donate to King’s Harvest.”
Jenn wants to make sure they’re balancing Alana’s love of creating, learning to manage a business, and just enjoying life as a nine-year-old.
“We don’t want to make it feel like too much work. We try to keep it light,” Jenn said. “I love her learning the management and the giving side, learning to portion her money out. She manages the business side, the accounting – she’s learned that the supplies don’t just appear. We’ve talked about how you can make money to buy the things you want but how are you also going to make more products for the next event?”
Freddie’s Cheesecakes are all mixed together with family. At just 10 years old, Freddie Lassers found a love of baking through his grandpa and with the time spent in the kitchen learning from his mom, Christine.
“I just love eating cheesecakes. My grandpa has a friend in Ohio that makes cheesecakes. That made me want to make them,” Freddie said. “I also like spending time with my mom and baking in general.”
“It’s all my father’s fault. He worked at General Motors with a friend we affectionately nicknamed Marky Mark,” Christine said. “They started their own ‘cheesecake of the month’ club. Marky Mark would make a cheesecake, he would sometimes experiment with flavors, then bring it to my dad. My dad would freeze it until Freddie came to visit him. He always waited for Freddie to eat the cheesecake.”
These special memories with his grandpa, who he refers to as “Papa,” planted a deep seed in Freddie’s mind years before Freddie’s Cheesecakes was born.
“In first grade, Freddie was asked to draw a picture of someone important to him. He drew a picture of Papa because ‘he brings me cheesecake,’” Christine said.
Pulling up a picture of Freddie’s drawing, Christine read exactly what Freddie wrote: “My grandpa is the best because he gets cheesecakes. He gets a mix of crust. The cheesecake he gets most is turtle. That’s why he is the best.”
Just about three years after that drawing was created, Freddie was creating his first cheesecake for Thanksgiving, a pumpkin cheesecake. Since that time, Freddie and his cheesecakes have grown and changed. While he starts his process with a few recipes, he always makes them his own. And mom is teaching him to add his own flair.
“We never measure spices. We teach him to go by the heart,” Christine said. “Like vanilla, you never measure vanilla! He’ll never make this cheesecake again. It’s never the same.”
Like Alana, Freddie is finding the balance between the love of his hobby, learning the business elements, and being a kid.
“Freddie bought boxes to hold the cakes. We bought two really nice cheesecake pans for him, that was our investment in it,” Christine said. “He keeps a journal so he can track what he’s made and spent. It’s important he learns the accounting side. But there’s a balance between making cheesecakes and being a kid. Plus mom needs her kitchen sometimes.”
Freddie’s sister Lizzie also helps out from time to time, brainstorming ideas of new recipes, but most importantly, giving her feedback as a taste tester. Recently, Freddie made one of his special creations for Christmas, complete with red and green sprinkles.
“It was really good. Papa said he nailed that one,” Lizzie said. “And Papa is very particular.”