The fourth annual Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair livened up Live Oak Park on Oct. 22, as 60 youth-owned businesses peddling products and services were set up. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and City Council Member Kathy Watanabe attended the awards ceremony. Gillmor surprised Mikhil Kiran, 14, and his father, Kiran Ganesh, who oversee the Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair and Kidz Rule California, with a Certificate of Commendation for their efforts to organize this annual fair.
“This year, we had four to five times the amount of applications,” Kiran said. “We put out a call for applications toward the end of June, and we had 60 finalized applications by the end of July and start of August. This is our fourth business fair. We did not do the fair in 2020 because of COVID. I really like running these fairs and hope to continue hosting these fairs during my time in Santa Clara.”
Jared Wong, 13, of San Mateo, owns Jared’s Art Shop. Available for custom-designed paintings, Wong was selling his artwork, many of which presented astronomical themes and cityscapes with dazzling arrays of colors.
“I do spray paint art on skateboards, poster board and canvases,” Wong said. “I offer planet paintings. I can do sunsets. I also do stencil art with letters. Art helps me express my emotions.”
Naiara Vidal, 11, of San Jose, owner of Naiara’s Dog Hotel, advertised a hospitality service for canines while selling stickers, dog bandanas she sewed and homemade organic dog cookies. A big banner hung behind Vidal’s booth, showing pictures of her cuddling with different dogs. Having heard about how some dogs are mainly stuck in cages at other pet care facilities when families are away, Vidal explained how Naiara’s Dog Hotel does things differently.
“When we get a dog, we help socialize them with pup friends,” Vidal said. “We let the dogs exercise in our swimming pool. We will take the dogs on field trips out to places, like the beach. We ask the owners where their dog should sleep- in a cage or out in the open. We know some dogs also sleep outside.
“Our dog, a Corgi pit bull mix, keeps the other dogs company,” Vidal continued. “We have had our dog hotel open for a year. We are offering holiday discounts for dog stays. Twenty percent of our profits are donated to a dog hospice.”
The Yarn Girl is the name of a business owned by Anuhya Gottam, 15, of San Jose. Adorable hand-made crochet plushies graced Gottam’s booth.
“I own a handmade crochet art business,” Gottam said. “The work I do range from keychains to tote bags to stuffed animals. It’d take me about five to six hours to crochet a Hello Kitty. To prepare for today, I made an inventory of my stock and I made a checklist to make sure I have my decorations and set-up ready. Being a part of this fair, I get to learn how to manage a business and gain leadership skills.”