Bright and joyful statement accessories are every little girls’ dream…but a bright and joyful accessories business? Well, that was Emily Araujo’s dream, and in 2020, she made it happen.
Choosing to become an entrepreneur was a way to express her creativity and share her authentic self but being a business owner turned out to be about so much more than selling things.
A growing girl with a vision for helping others, a courageous speaker recognized for her strong voice and public poise, and a friend who inspires classmates and teammates to push toward their goals, Emily is a kid we should all know.
TBPM: What inspired you to become a business owner at 10 years old?
EA: I first got inspired by my friend, Arika, who started selling her art on Etsy during quarantine. I thought how it would be so fun to create something of my own. For my birthday, my grandmother gifted me a Cricut so that I could do more crafting. Since masks were required everywhere at that time, I started offering personalized masks. And that’s how ‘Little Miss Emily’ got started!
TBPM: Where do you come up with the ideas for new product introductions, and how often do you add something new to the website?
EA: I like to create things that I would be interested in. Once masks were not required anymore, I started offering t-shirts with Hamilton quotes (because I LOVE Hamilton), and I’ve also added personalized sports-themed keychains (because I am a softball player). Right now, I am concentrating on the keychains, but I like to test out new products.
TBPM: We saw your big donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with the sale of your masks- great work! Is give-back a part of your business? If so, how do you choose the charity that you support?
EA: Giving back is a big part of my business because I really like helping people. I picked St. Jude’s because a few years ago a student at my school passed away from cancer. I’ve also donated to the softball league where I play because they are a non-profit organization and I love how much they help girls, like my sister and I, progress in their softball career.
TBPM: When you speak on camera to your audience, you have incredible presence and confidence. What has helped you feel comfortable connecting with others and presenting in such a professional manner?
EA: That’s so nice! Thank you! I really think that public speaking in general comes naturally to me. I’m passionate about it, especially if it’s about topics that I like learning about. Before presenting, I like to practice my speech to make sure that I have it down. While I’m presenting, I make sure to make eye contact and I’m thoughtful about what parts of my speech to emphasize to grab the audience’s attention. If allowed, I like to use body language to engage the audience.
TBPM: Can you share what the Tropicana Speech contest was that you competed in last year? How did you do, and what did you talk about?
EA: Tropicana Speech is a public speaking contest that my elementary school participates in. In fifth grade, I placed first in my classroom and first in my grade which made me eligible to compete in the district semifinals, where I placed first. At the district finals, I was awarded Honorable Mention. In my Tropicana Speech, I talked about my business and the importance of having a plan for your business (revenue, expenses, profit). As a sixth grader this year, I joined Future Business Leaders of America. I competed in the elevator speech competition, and I placed first in my district and third in the state! I love public speaking!
TBPM: Do you feel like other kids can relate to what you’re doing as a young business owner?
EA: Yes! Some of my friends have had great ideas and started their own businesses. I also went back to my elementary school for the Great American Teach In and spoke to my sister’s first grade class about how I created my business. Some of them were really excited to be future entrepreneurs. My friend, Amelie, has helped me at a market at my softball field. While I was playing a game, she ran my booth and helped my customers.
TBPM: How can families in Tampa Bay support your business?
EA: They can support my business by going to my Instagram page: @emily_createsthings or Facebook: Little Miss Emily.
TBPM: What are your goals for Little Miss Emily in 2022?
EA: I would like to partner with local businesses that would like to carry my keychains. I would also like to find more ways to give back locally.
Originally published in May 2022