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 is 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.
7thgrade student, Alexa Taviloglu found herself drawn to clothing adorned with patches. As she began seeing the look with increasing frequency, the DIY generation 12-year-old was inspired to start designing her own apparel. With the help of her mother, she began buying patches and officially formed her own business, Patched Up, this past April. Patched Up is a collection of shirts designed by Alexa that stand out for their patches that create an assortment of fun looks, patterns and themes.
We sat down with this young entrepreneur to learn more.How did you become interested in designing patches?
I was inspired on the streets of New York City and in shops where I saw clothing with patches. I became interested in designing my own clothes in this style and realized that this could become a business. I also knew that I was beginning a hobby that I would enjoy very much.
What are your favorite looks?
My favorite looks are the themed shirts – I personally love the heart, tennis and Rolling Stones themes! I am very thoughtful about the design and placement of each patch to create a trendy look. My trademark is placing one or two patches on the shoulder with the rest on the front. Our patches are very stylish and cute, so I never get bored of them! Our clients seem to feel the same way and wear their Patched Up t-shirts with jeans, leggings, or shorts depending on the season.
Is there a difference between the patches for teens versus women?
Teens typically gravitate towards the themed and patterned tops, while women usually prefer our basic layout, which is a personalized design.
What’s the best part about learning how to run a business?The best part is that I’ve learned so many new things about running a business including the hardships that can be involved. People may think running a business is easy, but you have to put so much time and energy into it. I am so thankful that I have the support of my mom. Without her, I would never have started my own business or even be participating in this blog right now!I promote my business by using Instagram and word-of-mouth to all of my friends from school and tennis.
Speaking of tennis, we know you are also an avid tennis player. How do you balance running a business with all of your activities?
Time management is really important. I play tennis about for about four hours each day. When I come home, I have one hour to talk with my mom and get ready for tennis. I don’t do any other sports, but I find time for meditation on Saturdays from 9:30 am – 11:30 am before tennis practice.
What advice can you give other kids looking to become “mini movers & shakers”?
Pick something that you just enjoy doing! Then, work hard and get the best out of the experience.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be the number one tennis player in the world.
Photograph provided by Silvia Taviloglu
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.