Everen Tan, a fifth-grade student, started crafting wildlife art featuring tarantulas, eagles, wolves and owls just weeks before the Young Entrepreneur Fair at Marblehead Community Charter Public School.
He sold his wildlife portraits for $7 each, adding a personal touch with his autograph on each one.
“I had to purchase all the frames, the tablecloth and also cover the $20 vendor fee,” he said energetically, standing behind his booth where his artwork was arrayed on a round table. “I had to plan everything.”
Tan took home almost $200, planning to use this money to buy a new tablet.
He was one of nearly 50 young participants at the Young Entrepreneur Fair, orchestrated by Charter mom and Marblehead resident, Jessica Gelb. The event took place in the Charter School’s community room and gymnasium and attracted a large, supportive audience.
“I loved the creativity of each child,” Gelb said. “The event was well attended and it was so wonderful to see how many people came out to support these young entrepreneurs. It was an overall success.”
The fair showcased a diverse range of student-run businesses and products including homemade dog treats, soup kits, jewelry and sea glass. Young entrepreneurs, aged eight to 16, had the chance to exhibit and sell their creative products. Participants came from several schools across the North Shore.
Gelb’s three daughters took part in the event. Samara, a fifth-grader, sold packages of sea glass and pictures, along with bottled messages. She and her sisters gathered the sea glass from local beaches.
“I want to bring the beach into people’s homes,” she shared. “It’s exciting to see and meet new people.”
Her sisters Maddie and Maya, both in the 8th grade, also participated. Maddie sold soup kits and heating pads, while Maya offered a range of items, from makeup bags to jewelry.
David Bruno, a fifth-grader from Swampscott, manned his round booth with a Norman Rockwell-looking sign that read, “David’s Local Gifts.” He sold bookmarks themed around Marblehead, Swampscott and Harry Potter for $5 each, mentioning that his parents had helped him.
“I enjoyed making these bookmarks,” he said. “We all love Harry Potter.”
Jessica Gelb highlighted that the fair gave young people a chance to acquire fundamental skills and understand concepts related to entrepreneurship.
“Kids learn about the importance of business planning, market research, product development, pricing and profit margins,” she stated. “They also develop skills in public speaking, financial management and realize the importance of self-reflection and evaluation.”