ROSELAND, NJ — Young entrepreneurs from Roseland will be selling their products on Saturday at the first “Kids Today, Entrepreneurs Tomorrow” holiday shopping bazaar, organized by Roseland resident Margaret Wohltmann after her 8-year-old twins, Joseph and Samantha, recently showed interest in “opening their own business.”
Wohltmann, a business teacher at Livingston High School, was inspired when her two sons approached her with entrepreneurial interests—knowing immediately that there had to be other kids out there feeling the same need to create. Evidently, Wohltmann’s assumption was correct, as about 15 kids in grades three through six have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming event.
“The products that these kids created—I was so inspired by it,” said Wohltmann, who hosted three mandatory meetings at the library to help the 15 students get their new businesses off the ground. “I taught kids and their parents how to start their own business in the most simplistic of forms and I backfilled it with a day to sell their items. If kids don’t learn it now, when are they going to learn it, and who am I to tell them no? This is when the kids are most creative and have the best ideas.”
During the meetings, entrepreneurs and their parents participated in lessons about target markets, marketing, pricing, customer service, table display, advertising, and more. As an example of what the young entrepreneurs have learned through these lessons, Wohltmann explained the process of how her own son, Joseph, has created and is prepared to sell “The Chip Dog.”
“My son had to take out a food permit and I had to rent a hotdog cart for him,” she said. “It’s crushed chips on top of hotdogs, but we followed the process. We took out the permit and did what we needed to do.”
During the final meeting earlier this week, the kids had an opportunity to present their products in a persuasive video. In describing his “new and improved” hotdog, the 8 year old said, “How many of you like hotdogs with chips on the side? Well, I’ve created something that involves both of those. It’s called ‘The Chip Dog.’
“The Chip Dog is a Sabrett Hotdog with your favorite crushed chips sprinkled on top. Try one at the Roseland Library on Dec. 1 for Todays Kids, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs.”
Wohltmann, specifically recognizing a third grader who handcrafted her items using leather and feathers, said that the “quality and craftsmanship” of some products being sold is extremely impressive.
Other products include handmade jewelry, suncatchers, slime, Infiniti cubes, phone cases, ornaments, holiday cards, bookmarks, banks essential oils, activity sets and more.
“The kids were really excited about this,” said Wohltmann. “I even have one kid, Avery, who walked in and said, ‘I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.’ The energy level is just really inspiring.”
These young entrepreneurs will be showcasing their new businesses from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Roseland Free Public Library. Whether to buy or simply to take a look around, community members are urged to show their support.
“It’s just a really great opportunity, so we hope they come out and support and see what today’s kids are coming up with,” said Wohltmann, who added that although some items being sold are not holiday-related, many of the kids came up with great gift ideas for people of all ages.
Pictured above along with a group photo is a compilation of flyers that the students helped create during their marketing lessons. Videos of the students’ presentations from Tuesday’s meeting can be found on the Roseland NJ: A Great Place to Live and Work Facebook page, courtesy of Roseland Councilman Richard Leonard.