At the Oct. 21 Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair, shoppers of all ages came out to support local youth entrepreneurs. This was the fifth year this annual event graced Live Oak Park. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Council Member Kathy Watanabe spoke at the awards ceremony.
“This year, we got permission from the City of Santa Clara to expand our booths from 60 booths to 70 booths,” said Mikhil Kiran, 15, who, with his father, Kiran Ganesh, runs this fair and Kidz Rule California. “To inspire future participants, we took small excerpts from the surveys of our past participants to compile them into a free book on Amazon.”
At this year’s fair, Meher Birari, 13, sold her handmade paintings and stickers through Everything Art, a business she co-ran with her friend, Veda Iyer, 12, who sold her crocheted crafts. According to Birari, her art was made with watercolor and a mixture of mediums with markers and Micron pens.
“I’m also selling handmade stickers I drew myself,” said Birari, referring to her collection of stickers featuring Garfield and Snoopy. “I made a bunch of sticker designs on regular paper, and I printed them out on sticker sheets.”
Aarna Agrawal, 11, was selling her self-published children’s books, made with Procreate, and promoting the third book in her “Magic Bracelet” series, “Sarah and the Rainforest Rescue.”
“Sarah travels to the Amazon rainforest to save the creatures from a forest fire,” Agrawal said of her book. “The magic bracelet helps Sarah navigate the Amazon rainforest.”
Harper Liu, 9, oversaw Harper’s Golf Wonderland, where she offered shoppers tote bags, hair ties and pens for purchase, and the highlight of her booth – the chance to “play golf.”
“People come here and get a putter and a ball,” Liu said. “You hit the ball around the wood court. The ball will roll down to one of the spaces with a labeled score. I’ll sum up the points for each player. When the business fair has ended, I will contact the people with the two highest scores. They will each receive a stainless steel water bottle.”
Molly Avalos, 7, ran her business, Lil Mija Frida, selling merchandise she made by hand, along with a puzzle of Frida Kahlo she assembled.
“I want to be an artist like Frida Kahlo when I grow up,” said Avalos, cosplaying the famous Mexican painter. “She is pretty just like me. We have the same kind of eyebrow. I’m selling Día de los Muertos shirts and pins and buttons with Frida’s picture. I have earrings that feature calaveras (skulls), munecas (dolls) and Frida Kahlo.”
Aaron Bien, 10, ran A & R Handmade Crafts with his sister, Rachel, 8, where the siblings sold fuse bead art, candles and candleholders.
“First, I take the colors of the beads I want to use to make a design and I put the beads on a grid,” said Bien, describing how he made a fuse bead design of a rocket. “Then I iron the beads down to make a design. It took about 45 minutes to make this rocket.”