By LaMar Price, II, Guest Columnist
Edited by Barbara A. Kellom
Sponsored by People’s Community Church, Detroit City Youth Opportunities Magazine and Acton Children Business Fairs- the 1st Annual Youth Business Market held on June 23, 2018, can be described as nothing else but a success with attendance being around seventy-five including all vendors and customers who weathered heavy showers throughout the day to attend. DCY~Opp youth reporter Trevon Martin was on site to help our social media followers experience first-hand the ingenuity of children ranging from ages six to fifteen. WDIV-Local 4 was there to interview guests and the young creators of well-crafted products, delicious baked goods, and there were resources from the Attorney General office’s OK2Say School Safety Initiative . Some of their coverage appeared on local news that evening.
All twenty-nine businesses were voted upon by judges based on three options: Most Business Potential, Most Creativity, and Best Presentation. The business receiving the most votes in specific categories was selected as the top winner. The business with the Most Business Potential was Pearl Art, an art and greeting card company, which is led by phenomenal artist, 13-year-old Jumana Abdullah from Orchard Lake Middle School. “It was challenging because there wasn’t much [sic] people, but I’m happy I won 1st place.”
The business with the Most Creativity was a book called The Story of the Curse, which was written by 9-year-old Darien Belcher from Cheyenne Elementary. “The YBM was a success, I had a chance to showcase my book as well as meeting many young entrepreneurs that I have connected with on Instagram now. I hope that there is one next year.”
The youth business with the Best Presentation at the location was Alona Leoine Couture run by homeschooled 11-year-old Alona Leoine, whose mission is to promote beauty, education, motivation, body care, and self-esteem through my t-shirts, art, hygiene products and more all created by me. “Thank you, DCY Opp! I really enjoyed myself. I learned from others, I inspired others, and we all supported each other. My advice to my fellow young entrepreneurs is to never give up on your passion because we set the tone for the future, and other kids need to know that they are not alone in wanting to show the world what they are capable of. We are all awesome!” stated Alona Leoine.
Young Ben Danckaert (age 7) from Wyandotte, is the owner of Ben’s Candy Shop. Ben was the winner of Best Elevator Pitch. First, apprehensive about entering, Ben expressed his experience with his first fair. “The fair was awesome! I got to sell things and make lots of new friends. I can’t wait to see them at the next fair.”
It can be said without a doubt that most of the guests and vendors thoroughly enjoyed their experience at the Youth Business Market.