11-year-old entrepreneur Alaina Burnham starts crafts business
MADISON – Eleven-year-old Alaina Burnham has started an arts-and-crafts business, “All Tied Up.”
This Madison Elementary School sixth-grader realized an interest in arts and crafts about three years ago. “I wanted to start some sort of business. I started with many different ideas, but none were really something that would sell.”
After deliberating more than one year, Burnham focused on handmade, fleece-tied throw pillows, suitable as accessories for a bed, sofa or pet’s bed. She has added fleece-tied rings as decorative reminders and fleece purses in numerous patterns.
Burnham’s American Girl doll-sized sleeping bags include fleece shawls and scarves. “I make Rainbow Loom bracelets in many styles, some as single bracelets and others more detailed,” she said.
Using Rainbow Loom charms, she fashions Christian crosses, bananas and seasonal charms. For fall, Burnham is making decorative, fabric-wrapped pumpkins.
Surprisingly, her age isn’t problematic, causing only minor issues like festival customers assuming her parents have done the work. “Finding time is a big challenge because I have schoolwork and other activities to balance. My parents have been really supportive of my business. That helps a lot,” Burnham said.
Fun is her main motivation, but she welcomes the cash. “I would like to buy a car as I get older and pay part of my college tuition,” Burnham said. “It’s not like schoolwork where you have a deadline … just a free-flowing activity you can do at any time.”
Burnham enjoyed selling her crafts at the Madison Street Festival, less than one mile from her house. “Lots of my friends came and supported me,” she said. She also participated in the Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) Bazaar. Her classmates have endorsed her work by buying items at events.
Her parents are John and Lisa Burnham. John works as an engineer at ADTRAN. Lisa works as a part-time Tupperware saleswoman and a full-time mom. Alaina’s siblings are Cloee, 8, and Jay, 3.
Alaina participates in AWANA at church, LEGO Robotics, baton and acrobatics classes.
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