Start It Up: Getting Your Creative Biz Off the Ground

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Like PB&J, Bieber and Usher, or Malala and bravery, creativity and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand. Some creative teens take their talents and find ways to make them not only fun, but profitable as well. Sound like you? Good! But it’s a little more complicated than starting that lemonade stand in your front yard.

To get your idea in gear, you’ll need a solid concept and the support to make it happen. So whether you plan to sell fresh-baked cookies or run a modern dance studio out of your basement, here are a few general tips to keep in mind:

1. Get started!

2. Identify what’s in demand. The most successful businesses tap into an existing need in your community or school. Where is there an untapped market? A niche that needs to be fulfilled? Start there!

3. Make your business correspond with your interests. There may be a great need for affordable handbags amongst your girlfriends, but leave it to someone else if you don’t give a hoot about fashion. Starting a creative business takes lots of time and energy, so tap into your existing passion. Whether your passion is comic books or clothing, odds are you can find a way to make it profitable.

3. Come up with a solid financial plan. How much will go back into your business? How much will you save? And don’t forget to save those receipts—you’ll need to file taxes just like anyone else.

4. Don’t give up. If your business doesn’t take off immediately, it’s easy to throw in the towel. But like beginning all endeavors, businesses take perseverance.

5. Do your research. Learn about others who’ve tried similar businesses. What worked, and what didn’t? Where is there a lingering gap? Be familiar with any previous attempts at your niche.

Think all this sounds daunting? Fear not—it can be done! Get inspired by these three creative teen entrepreneurs.

Tavi Gevinson, (pictured above!)
Tavi started her journey from fashionista to fashion blogger when she was just 13 years old. That effort led to the development of her online magazine, ROOKIE—a forum for her writing, celebrity interviews, art and, naturally, fashion commentary. This teen trailblazer can be seen at New York Fashion Week and even teamed up with design team Rodarte for the creation of their Target line.

Jessica Cervantes, Popsy Cakes
Where business and creativity meet, you’ll find Popsy Cakes creator Jessica Cervantes. Jessica loved baking as a child, but her biz took off at the age of 16 when she began selling her trademark “Popsy Cake”—an innovative cupcake on a pretzel. Today you can buy her tasty treats online or throughout her home-state of Florida.

Maddie Bradshaw, M3 Girl Designs
This 16-year-old knows what it means to identify a need and fill it. When she was just 10 years old, Bradshaw wanted some cool decorations from her locker, resulting in her very own “Snap Caps” bottle necklaces. M3 Girl Designs is now a $1.6 million dollar-a-year company, selling over 50,000 necklaces per month. Want to hear more from Maddie? Look out for her first book—all about inventive business ideas for kids with a similar entrepreneurial attitude.

Need further inspiration? Check out Maddie Bradshaw on The Nate Berkus Show!

Have you ever thought about starting a business using your own creative skills? Share the scoop in the comments!

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