MOUNT VERNON -- Knox County Commissioner Thom Collier recently started a Facebook Page specifically geared to encourage young entrepreneurs.
Today he works as a real estate agent in the region, but he has fond memories of starting as a young entrepreneur himself.
“At 19, I started in sales. And as a young boy, starting at age 10 or 11, I (started) distributing newspapers (then moved on) to mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalks and to all the things that I could do at that age I did.
“I believe we need more entrepreneurs and more people who understand the business process at a young age … I just want to encourage people to support young entrepreneurs.”
The Facebook page has garnered hundreds of likes and featured a variety of young, local entrepreneurs.
Kershner Mobile Vehicle Detailing Service, for example, is run by brothers Andy (14) and Austin (12). The Kershner brothers, who previously washed their parents and grandparents' cars, had started their business as a way to earn some extra cash.
“We want to do it because some people want to clean their cars but can’t and they want it done because they’ve had a rough day and need to take care of their kids,” Andy Kershner said.
The Kershners learned about how to clean cars from professionals who posted videos on Youtube. As for their favorite tools to clean vehicles, the Kershners love the power washer and a type of slime that removes dust from air vents.
If you’re looking for your car to be cleaned, the Kershner boys can be reached through their Facebook Page: Kershner mobile vehicle detailing or you can call them at 740-501-5712.
Hadleigh Rowland, a 13 year old Knox County resident, started her business Hadleigh’s Sweet Treats nearly a year ago.
“I’ve always been busy with sports and school and when quarantine started I had a hard time finding things to do at home," she said. "So I made a bunny cake for (last) Easter and my mom posted a picture of it on Facebook and everyone seemed to think it was really cool.”
After setting up a Facebook and Instagram account, Rowland started fielding calls to bake sweets for eager customers. Her first official order was a gluten free strawberry cake, but her current top sellers are a Reese’s cake and an Oreo cake.
To order from Rowland, you can reach out to her via her Instagram and Facebook pages: Hadleigh’sSweetTreats.
Domenic Wolpe also started a business centered around selling baked goods. His business, Big D’s Delicacies, is a way for Wolpe to save up for cooking in a commercial kitchen. Wolpe, an aspiring chef, loves to cook and bake almost anything.
As for what he has learned from his customers, Wolpe has enjoyed the opportunity to bake and share his food with others .
If you’re looking to feed your sweet tooth, you can reach Wolpe via his Instagram page Big D’s Delicacies or give him a call at 740-507-3767.
Not only are these young entrepreneurs motivated, they had lots of advice to share.
“The money that you make: cut it in half and give half of it to your business so that it grows. It comes from the business and feels like you actually got a business,” shared the Kershners.
They also explained that, “if you give money to the Lord he will bless you back.”
Rowland recommended that young entrepreneurs find a balance between extracurriculars, social activities, and managing their business.
Jean Wyatt, owner of the Weather Vane, shared that she is impressed by these young entrepreneurs.
“Well the world needs more hard workers … well that’s what an entrepreneur is," Wyatt said. "Someone who is willing to work to get it off the starting block.”
While Collier’s Facebook page has certainly featured talented young entrepreneurs, he hopes it will gain more attention.
“I have always said that even as an elected official, two or three entrepreneurs can make a huge difference in employment, community activities, and in donating to local events or charities," Collier said. " I always want to encourage entrepreneurs and, more than that, I would like for more people to understand what it takes to run a small business.
"I wish that everybody could, even for a short while, run a small business.”