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Young entrepreneur: Colette Young

Colette Young is just starting her education at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, but by some standards, she’s already an old hand at the rag trade. Now 18, Young was just 14 when she founded L’Colette Boutique, a women’s clothing store in her hometown of Tulsa, Okla. Because she was a minor, her mother, Chae Young, had to put all the loans, permits, bills and taxes in her own name, but the institute freshman, whose official title is creative director, is responsible for everything from store design and fashion decisions to financing, marketing and advertising. (Her mother’s title is active professional CEO; they’re in the process of making Colette a legal partner.) 

Since opening the shop, they have turned a profit, the young entrepreneur says. “The store does contribute to the household income,” she says. “A lot of our profits we put back into the business for renovations, but the rest of the money goes to either savings or disposable income. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute.”

Not all of the youthful business owners profiled here are focused just on the family finances. Some were simply lured to the business world because it seemed like fun.But like Colette Young, many are finding an additional benefit to pursuing their small-business dreams: With the economy spiraling downward, these startups have become a way to stay occupied, make some money and help their families at the same time.

Four years ago, when he was just 9, Jason O’Neill of Temecula, Calif., came up with a simple idea to sell at a local crafts fair: colorful, buglike pencil toppers that would make schoolwork a bit more fun.

Little did he know that people were going to like his products — which come in eight colors and perch on the eraser end of pencils — as much as he did. But they do, and now Jason is the CEO of Pencil Bugs Plus, selling his wares on his Web site and shipping them internationally. 

“His business is profitable — otherwise we wouldn’t spend as much time with it as we do,” says his mother, Nancy O’Neill. “He’s certainly not making millions or even close yet, but he’s on his way, and we’re always coming up with new marketing ideas to expand and working on getting his Pencil Bugs mass-produced.”

The young toy mogul — who donates some of his income to charity and socks away the rest for college — now also has a Pencil Bug-related board game, and a video game is in the works. Last year, Forbes.com placed him on its list of 10 role models 18 and under.

To read more or watch the video of colette young, go to this link: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/StockInvestingTrading/young-entrepreneurs.aspx#pageTopAnchor

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July 3, 2009 - Posted by | Entrepreneur, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, News, Uncategorized

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