Fifth grader shows entrepreneurial spirit

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At Camp WinShape last summer, Bryce Wallace, a fifth grader at Cleveland Elementary School, learned how to make bracelets with parachute cords. He enjoyed making them and decided he wanted to go into business making them. Too Cool for School, his business was soon born, and Wallace and his family, which made a small investment in materials, set up at a booth at the final Market Day of the year in Fayetteville.

“I had 50 bracelets there that day and sold 45,” Wallace said, adding that it was the first time he had sold them. He also sold orders for even more bracelets that day, with a local teacher ordering some for her students. The success at Market Day encouraged Wallace to expand and he will have a web site and a Facebook page at the beginning of 2012 to go along with plans to appear at more Market Days and local events.

When he first started making the bracelets, which come in a variety of colors and combinations, it took him close to 20 minutes to complete one. He estimates he can do one in half the time now and spends about five hours a week on his business, which leaves plenty of time for school (he’s an honor student), student council (he’s class vice president) reading club and school choir.

Bryce’s mother, Sharon, works with Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and had him make some bracelets for the children at the homes as a way to pay back the initial investment. She beams with pride at her son’s initiative and work ethic. After the interview, Wallace networked with a person nearby and handed her a business card.

Wallace stated that his goal was to be a millionaire and he wanted to own and manage his own business. He’s been interested in business ever since he read a book in third grade about a teenage boy who became a millionaire. His family has been supportive, lending ideas and encouragement along the way, while his older sisters have also lended their hands to make some bracelets. He may even meet with a potential vendor in Arizona soon and has been making contacts on his own to sell the products in local stores.

“The bracelets are nice looking and they don’t cost a lot of money,” Wallace said, giving this reporter the pitch. “They are $6 and there are sizes for adults and kids.”

Wallace is a driven and focused young man and right now his focus is on enjoying Christmas break and getting ready for a strong 2012. If he has anything to say about it, it will be the year of Too Cool for School kid and adult bracelets.

E-mail shawallace@hotmail.com for more information on Too Cool For School bracelets.