aWhen idan Hall later launched KC Handmade Goods in eighth grade, he said he felt the support of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Years later, the young executive is trying to live up to that sentiment.
Hall, a freshman at Iowa State University and a Shawnee Mission West graduate, started selling duct tape purses at pop-ups in shopping malls. Lenexa Public MarketToday, his KC Local Craft Fair event is the fruit of that first venture, helping to support other local makers, including other young entrepreneurs.
“As far as manufacturers go, there’s a whole small business community,” Hall said. “I met a lot of other vendors through the events I attended and the vendors I attended. It’s cool just to see what everyone is doing. Everyone is there to build each other up. Technically there is competition out there, but when everyone is there to support each other, it doesn’t feel like competition.
His own journey began when Hall sold a duct tape purse to an elementary school friend, eventually leading him to appear in a pop-up in 2017 when he was in eighth grade.
“I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.
After buying a die-cutting machine to add designs to his purses, he said he shifted his focus to making T-shirts after realizing that the machine could be used for a variety of products. He now sells KC-themed shirts, hats, stickers, and several other items online. past and present with Lenexa Lux by Mitzi In missions and in various popup locations including: Made by KC Lenexa Public Market.
Additionally, Hall accepts custom screen printing orders. His latest two shirts honor Super Bowl champion Kansas City, his Chiefs, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a “one-ankle marvel.”
click here Go shopping for KC handmade goods.
“Kansas City is very unique as a small business community because everyone has something to contribute,” said Hall. “There’s been a big initiative lately to shop locally and I like it. You keep your money local but you’re supporting your neighbors and you have a face behind the product.” .”
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Hall wanted to do something to help other manufacturers affected by the lack of in-person pop-up events.So he started virtual KC Local Craft FairAccording to his website, the goal is to connect local manufacturers and vendors to customers and help them thrive.
“It’s not like anything else out there,” he explained. “And the vendors really liked it.”
As in-person events resume, the KC Local Craft Fair evolves into a holiday market and Shop Small Saturday pop-ups brew haha coffee house At Overland Park — this spring, the first Saturday morning of every month starting April 1st.
Hall said the KC Local Holiday Market at the Lenexa Thompson Barn in November had about 60 vendors, including several youth vendors, up from about 1,500 shoppers in the first season of 2021. and attracted more than 2,000 shoppers. Registration for this year’s event is already open.
“People love the traffic that goes through as well as connecting with other vendors and customers,” he added. “It’s a high-demand event.”
“Unparalleled” community support
One of the 2022 holiday market sponsors is cloud coffee, owned by fellow youth entrepreneur Ben Cloud, a recent graduate of Shawnee Mission North. The two met in high school and started a group for young entrepreneurs to support each other’s business ventures.
“We meet sometimes when I’m in town,” Hall said. “We just talk about what each other is doing.
Cloud’s Coffee has sold over 5,000 bags since its launch in Spring 2021. Available online and at the Made in KC store, and served at St Andrews Episcopal Church and Shawnee Mission North High School coffee shops.
RELATED: Why Ben Cloud Is The First (and Last) Hand In Touch With His Evolving Coffee Brand
Cloud said Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is also beefing up to support him.
“They gave me tips and information whenever I needed it,” he previously told Startland News. “So I love the community here.
Cloud also plans to make that upfront payment itself, doing its part to inspire peers and the next generation of entrepreneurs. He has visited several Kansas high and middle schools and shared his stories. inspire my kids.
“I want to use my blessing to bless others.” I know it’s a big saying, but you have to start somewhere. increase.”
No need to wait to start
Livia Viall — owner of crafty girl creations — was one of the youth vendors at the 2022 KC Local Holiday Market. Hall linked up with the 13-year-old at one of his events.
“It’s cool to hear her story and hear how young she started,” he said.
Viall, who uses reclaimed wood pallets to create a variety of wooden modern home and farmhouse decor and gifts, got her start early by helping out in her father’s workshop. By the age of five, she was building a farmhouse bed for her American girl doll. A friend of her family encouraged her to start selling her own work.
An eighth grader at Pleasant Ridge Middle School (Blue Valley) explained: “[Making doll furniture]was when I first got hooked. I was like, ‘This is so cool.'”
In addition to Etsy, she sells handmade decorations at local pop-ups inside Hall’s, Made in KC’s Strawberry Swing Craft Fair, and Shawnee Parks and Recreation KidsFest Business Fair.
click here How to stop Crafty Girl Creations on Etsy.
strawberry swing It helped her establish herself as a local manufacturer, she said.
“There were a lot of manufacturers who didn’t treat me as a novelty, but actually gave me tips on how to grow their business and make it better, supported me, and thought I was doing something great.” she continued.
Viall — recently named Outstanding Entrepreneur Under 30 in the East Central Region by the Kansas Department of Commerce — She also said she gets support and inspiration from young entrepreneurs like Hall and Cloud.
“I really like that it’s becoming a city with more young entrepreneurs,” she said. I love the Shawnee Kidsfest because it’s the 8- and 9-year-olds who are starting businesses..it’s just so cool to see it all happen.”
Shawnee Kids FestFeaturing about 50 entrepreneurs aged 6 to 16, gave her the opportunity to start giving back.
“It was actually probably my favorite show of the year because it inspires other young kids and lets you see all the talent that everyone else has,” she explained. We have so much to give, but I feel there is so much more that children can do that adults underestimate.”
Viall also supports the community by raising funds to provide craft kits for children at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
“I thought it was another really cool way to use my influence to make the kids’ day,” she added.