Charmaine (11) and James (9) are frequent fliers at our Dallas markets!

Charmaine (11) and James (9) are frequent fliers at our Dallas markets! James sells Hawaiian donuts at their booth, while Charmaine face paints and plays her violin for tips. We were excited to talk to them more about their experience as youth entrepreneurs!

CEM: Tell us about your business. How did you first get the idea?

James: We have so many things! My sister plays the violin and does face painting. I sell Hawaiian donuts like my mom because I help her when she does farmers markets, and then we sell hot chocolate too. 

Charmaine: Well, my orchestra teacher told me I needed to practice playing my violin, so I wanted to play like how people play instruments in the streets and get tips. I came up with face painting because I like to put face paint on for Halloween, but you can do face paint anytime, not just for Halloween. Plus, my friends like face painting and sometimes they come help us. I started out using my old Halloween paint until my mom bought me more colors.

James: We got the idea of hot chocolate because we sell snow cones in the summer, but the markets we did were cold, so we decided to do hot chocolate instead. People like to drink it when it’s cold outside.  

CEM: What supplies and resources did you need to get going? How did you get ahold of them?

James: We needed a hot cocoa machine, Swiss Miss, cups, my sister’s violin and all of her face paints, and we have to get up early and help our mom with the donuts.  She does the dough part and then we do all the rest, and it takes a long time! We need our tables, and table cloths, our tent, our chairs, our posters, our clover machine, a plan, and then we just go with the flow.  

Charmaine: Our parents pretty much bought everything we have, but they said we have to pay them back when we make enough money. Except my violin, I borrowed that from my school! 

CEM: What are some challenges you’ve faced in business, and how did you overcome them?

James:  Too many donuts, arguing with our friends and my sister, rushing to get to our event on time.  We’re always rushing! We had to get used to it. We had to talk to our friends and each other and come up with our plan first. And we have to tell our mom to chill because she sometimes tries to help us when we’re arguing. We also have to pack all of our things the night before so we don’t have to rush in the mornings.

Charmaine: When we don’t make enough donuts and sell out or if we forget something and have to figure out what to do. We’re starting to make more donuts though so we don’t run out. Also, I kind of get sad when people are walking by and I say hello, but then they don’t say anything back.  Sometimes it’s because I don’t speak loud enough, so I’m learning not to be so shy and speak a little louder so they can hear me. Then they usually will smile or say hi. 

CEM: Do you have any advice for other aspiring kid entrepreneurs?

James:  When stuff gets hard, remember, you can take breaks, but just never give up.

Charmaine: Never give up, never stop learning.

CEM: How can potential customers get in touch with you?

James: They can get our business card at the markets and give us a call.

Thanks so much for talking with us, Charmaine and James! We look forward to seeing you both at more markets in 2024- keep up the great work!