blogMini Movers and Shakers- Theme NYC

There’s nothing Booked Parties loves more than supporting the creative, energetic spirit of entrepreneurs. Recently, we are finding inspiration by setting our sights a bit lower…literally. A new crop of entrepreneurs are on the rise, but you won’t find them running their businesses between the hours of 9am to 3pm when school is in session. Gone are the days of paper boys and lemonade stands. Today’s young business owners are savvy beyond belief, successfully identifying niche business models and leveraging the power of social media in a manner that’s so natural to them, it’s staggering to us grown-ups. The children are clearly ready to lead the future.

Since the age of six, Ariella Maizner knew that she wanted to be a fashion designer when she grew up. But, this intrepid girl had no intention of waiting until then. In the fall of 2018, at the age of nine, she launched Theme (@Theme_NYC) for The (dreamer in) Me with the goal of inspiring all girls to be “The Me” they want to be. Fittingly, the line features a limited edition collection of custom made pieces for stylish girls who go after their dreams.  

Ariella instantly became a social media influencer and thousands of followers regularly visit her Instagram page to watch her strut the streets of NYC in her covetable wardrobe. She’s won the hearts of major influencers, designers, founders and, most importantly, tween and teen girls! Whether it’s personalized tie-die, floral maxis, bomber jackets or even a reversible metallic skirt and cape, Ariella is setting trends and a total girl boss! 

We sat down with this young entrepreneur to learn more.

What prompted you to turn this hobby into a business?  

I began designing when I was seven. I took sewing classes and just started making what I want to wear! I loved giving pieces to friends. And then, everyone wanted me to make them something. 

Describe how you select the pieces that comprise each season’s limited collection? 

I make what I want to wear that season. I especially think about special events I’m going to or trips I’m taking. 

What are your favorite Theme looks? 

I love it all. But, my favorites are “The Nan Shirt,” that features a boxy, cropped fit in black and white gingham with a raw hem and exposed hunter green zipper and “The Noa Hoodie,” named for my sister that has flipping star and heart patches on the elbows and hood. I also love my Talita wrap dress for special events and am really into tie-dye right now. 

What do you think is different about designing a line for girls versus women? 

A lot of women actually want to buy my designs and especially my tie dye pieces! I think there is a big mom and kid overlap happening in fashion right now. 

What’s the best part about learning how to run a business?   

I get to meet with a lot of cool designers, founders, fashion influencers, production companies and store owners. I learn so much from them

How do you promote your business? 

Mostly Instagram, partnerships and cool people wearing Theme. Things are happening very naturally on Instagram. Each person that discovers me introduces me to the next!

What are your future goals for Theme? 

The number one goal is always to have fun. But, I also want to grow big and have fun doing it! 

How do you balance running a business with all of the other activities involved in just being a kid?

I mix my work into my activities and try to sew twice a week. 

What advice can you give other kids looking to become “mini movers & shakers”?

Trust yourself. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a designer, but I don’t want to wait until I grow up. So I started now. 

Photographs provided by Theme NYC

Shauna Levy is a writer, communications professional and a stay-at-home mom.  Her interests include flaunting her discount shopping finds, cooking food her children reject and restoring her 125-year old home.  She is currently raising three boys, ages 9, 6 and 5 alongside her husband in Chappaqua, NY.

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