Author Archive for baileyaa1

Tonami’s Creations: For Children Aged 4 to 95 Years

Tonami’s Creations is the creation of Tonami Abiona, 7 year-old Nigerian entrepreneur who loves to draw, paint, color, write, and create.

At the humble age of five, Tonami began creating her own books of sorts, collections of art and stories. She gave them to her friends, wanting to spread her love for creation, and encouraged them to do the same thing. Her simple art form soon turned into a business opportunity when she was approached by Kid Entrepreneurs, “an organization that is primarily focused on raising the next generation of entrepreneurs;” they wanted to showcase her product!

A few pivots later, Tonami, with the help of her computer engineer and entrepreneur mum and financial analyst dad, arrived at what is now the My Story Book Kit. This product is “a creative writing resource for young readers, writers and illustrators,” containing a detailed instruction manual that guides kids through the contents and their own story-writing process. The kit encourages kids to be creative, and sharpens problem skills, all the while helping with personal and educational development.

Tonami’s branding is, quite frankly, genius. It’s a brand by kids, for kids, but appealing to parents, teachers, and gift-givers as well. The business increases their presence by showcasing at events and offering their products through different retailers. They also market the My Story Book Kit as a great gift idea and sell t-shirts to increase brand awareness.

Taking an everyday piece of joy and turning it into a business, Tonami’s Creations has re-created the way kids around the world look at creativity. To see their website, click here.

TaliaAnn – Clothing with a Cause

She’s only 18 years old, but her age has not stopped her from making a difference.

Talia has a goal – she wants to see an end human trafficking. And she’s already taking the steps she can to make that goal a reality. Talia runs an online clothing company, TaliaAnn (named after herself), where she sells high-quality, high-end clothes including dresses, outerwear, and tops. Her website is flooded with content that clearly portrays her brand and explains to viewers why she does what she does. It also shows specials, advertises her traveling team, and allows customers to connect with her.

Clothing isn’t a new thing. Talia didn’t invent sweatshirts, or tank tops with elephants. But she did something new by combining her style and yearning to set people free from slavery. Based on the success of her business, she has also provided value to customers by allowing them to integrate their love for clothing and heart for freedom as well. She has allowed everyday students, parents, and workers to play a small role in ending human trafficking just by doing something they already regularly d0 – buy clothes.

I talked with Talia on the phone just last week, and learned a lot about her heart and business. Only 18, she spends her time running this business, instead of spending money on herself to attend college. Talia’s end goal is this: to start a company where she can hire women who have been rescued from trafficking, giving them a secure job. In doing this, women will have a steady income and won’t have to go back into trafficking. TaliaAnn is just the first step in this larger end goal.

TaliaAnn is a great example of a company with a social mission. Entrepreneurs don’t have to invent something to be successful – they may just combine a mission with a simple consumer good, and make it available to as many people as possible.

EvanTube – Where YouTube & Legos meet Entrepreneurship

Eleven year old Evan Silva gets to do what he loves and make money at the same time.

Starting by making YouTube videos reviewing toys and building Lego sets, Evan has grown his YouTube page into a community for any kids seeking fun videos. Some of the videos that he creates now are various challenges, science experiments, special affects, and of course he sticks to the classic, creating sets with Legos. It may not seem like much to just hear it, but this eleven year old powerhouse has grown his YouTube page to have 4.6 million followers. More than that, he makes an estimated $1.3 million a year with his videos!

Much of Evan’s success can be attributed to the fact that he knows what his viewers want to see and is providing it. As a kid himself, he knows how kids like to be entertained with fun videos, and he has created a page that draws in kids his own age.

He has also done a great job connecting with his audience, as young as they may be. He has two different emails that people can contact him on, depending on what exactly they’re inquiring about. He also has a variety of social media pages (his Instagram has over 279 thousand followers!) where he posts about his latest videos and what’s going on in his life as well.

What can we all learn from this eleven year old entrepreneur? Have fun! Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be serious all the time – especially when your audience just wants to make Lego creations and see how many marshmallows someone can stuff into his mouth.

Check out Evan’s YouTube page here.



Me & the Bees – A Sweet Story

Two random events in Mikaila Ulmer’s life at just 4 years old have sparked an entire business. First, she got stung by two bees. Second, her Great Granny Helen sent her family her 1940’s cookbook, including a recipe for flaxseed lemonade. As Mikaila’s interest in bees grew, she began to think of ways she could contribute to help honeybees, knowing all that they contribute to our ecosystem. She ended up using her Granny’s recipe and adding honey, creating Me & the Bees Lemonade.

Her sweet lemonade soon grew into more than just a lemonade stand. What started as an idea for a children’s business competition grew into a business that sells out at youth entrepreneurial events, and donates a percentage of its profit to organizations that fight to save honeybees. Mikaila’s idea hit rapid growth after she was featured on Shark Tank at just 10 years old. Her passion and success lead her to receive a $60,000 investment! Me & the Bees Lemonade is now sold at a variety of restaurants and food delivery companies, as well as in Whole Foods Market.

One of the contributing factors to Mikaila’s success is her content. She doesn’t only sell lemonade, she provides her customers with information and an experience. She recently created a Facebook page that shares interesting facts about bees and honey. She also shares recipes and other fun information on her website, and she has a Beelieve blog. These all ensure that customers aren’t just buying lemonade, they’re learning about the mission of Me & the Bees, and are building a good brand image in their minds. The simplicity of Me & the Bees Lemonade, drives by Mikaila’s creativity, can be an example to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Penny for Your Thoughts? Fighting Trafficking One Cent at a Time.

One penny may not buy a whole lot, but for Kendall Altmyer it is the key to a successful business.

After working with human trafficking survivors for three months in Greece, Kendall Altmyer knew she wanted to join the global fight against human trafficking. “I didn’t think I could make a dent in a worldwide injustice,” she confessed, “but doing nothing was not an option.” Using the resources and knowledge she had available to her, Altmyer created The Penny Story.

The Penny Story is an e-commerce store that sells small goods made from pennies. Some of her products include bracelets, key rings, and a “welcome box” with a variety of Penny goods. Each penny has the word “worthy” stamped into it, making a bold statement: it is not our material wealth that defines us, but our mere being, because we are children of God. This truth applies to those who are trapped in human trafficking, even though the world may tell them otherwise.

I admire Altmyer’s honesty. The quote above was found directly on her website, letting all viewers know that she doesn’t have everything figured out. This reality applies to all of us; as much as we’d like to learn everything there is about starting a business or making a difference, we simply can’t. But that didn’t stop Altmyer. She is now selling thousands of penny bracelets, and funding one of our country’s leading anti-human trafficking organizations, A21.

How did she manage this? By doing something. Altmyer explains that change begins by realizing you don’t have to be significant to make a significant change. This makes me wonder: if everyone had this mindset, how much more would we create? How much more would we be willing to put ourselves out there and strive to make a difference, even though we don’t have all the answers? I think the effect could be tremendous.

The product itself is beautifully simple, and The Penny Story’s website reflects that.  Altmyer offers only a few products, each one simple. The result of this is that customers don’t get caught up in the variety of stuff sold. Rather, they can see a clear mission through a few appropriate items.

I always appreciate seeing an individual who takes what he or she is passionate about and mixes it with innovation to create something new and effective. Altmyer has done this with The Penny Story, and she has created an outstanding example for young entrepreneurs who know they want to make a difference but aren’t sure where to start. Don’t be afraid to make a move – it’s common cents! – Feeding the Hungry Made Easy

Kutoa’s birth was pretty simple, actually – Joey Grassia saw a problem, and he used the resources he had to create a solution. I’ll explain.

In 2007, Grassia was struck by the severe malnutrition and sickness he witnessed when he traveled to South Asia. A few years after that, he had a health scare of his own, due to his diet filled with additives and preservatives. In marrying these two problems he encountered, he came up with a solution for both. Kutoa (Swahili “to give”) is a website that sells gluten free, sans GMO health bars with no added sugar or preservatives. The best part? For each bar sold, one is given to a hungry child. Having just started Kutoa in 2010, Grassia has already driven it to deliver 1 million meals to children in need.

One thing that Grassia has been very intentional in doing is inviting the consumer not just to buy a health bar, but to be a part of this global change. connects with its consumers through its blog, which can be found on The blog highlights various individuals, organizations, and schools in the community that are doing their part in fighting hunger both locally and around the world. Scrolling through the reviews for their health bars (among which you can find Chocolate Espresso Bean, Blueberry Almond, and Cherry Cashew), it is obvious that Kutoa’s consumers are ecstatic about finding a health bar that is truly healthy, and being able to make a tangible difference in an easy way.

Perhaps one of the most driving factors in Kutoa’s success has been Grassia’s mindset towards entrepreneurship. He believes that someone doesn’t need to have loads of experience in the business world to make an impact. He or shes just needs have to have an experience. Grassia’s happened to include a life-changing trip and a new diet. In the “Our Story” page of, Grassia challenges his audience to take a look at the experiences they’ve had, and figure out how we can turn those into ideas that will improve our lives and others’. “Please,” he writes, “always remember that each of us have the power to make a difference.”