Arden’s Market: 7-Year-Old Entrepeneur Investing in Business Education for Other Kids

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- An East Village business owner is taking "bring your kid to work day" to a new level when her seven-year-old daughter started showing interest in her work in retail.

Salon Spa W's President, China Wong, was shopping at a major Dallas market for holiday items for the business a few months ago when her daughter, Arden, who was tagging along, started to show interest in what her mom was doing and why.

What began as a little teaching moment turned into a major collaboration. Now Arden not only has her own kids' holiday line in the store, but she is also taking her profits to help other young aspiring professionals.

Filled with a variety of jewelry, hair accessories, toys, and anything else sparkly and involving unicorns, Arden's Market is led by Arden herself.

“One of my favorite items is the smelly hair brushes because they make my hair smell good and they are bright colors,” Arden Wong-Fortney said.

“What do they make your hair smell like?” Channel 13’s Whitney Blakemore asked.

“Cotton Candy,” Arden said.

With curious eyes and a drive to be just like her mom, the second-grader is selling kid-friendly items she picked out personally.

“We gave her a really small budget and she helped choose inventory and had to work within those numbers,” Wong said. “We had to talk about what would people be interested in giving as gifts and kind of went from there.”

Learning all about retail, marketing, and a good handshake, Arden became a businesswoman at just seven-years-old.

“What makes a good handshake?” Blakemore asked.

“A firm grasping one, with good eye contact,” Arden said.

“Her engagement level was just so high that we thought 'gosh, I wish that she could learn like this and other kids could too,’” Wong said.

With help from the Iowa Center for Economic Success, Arden is getting to help other kids with the basics of business. Fifty percent of her proceeds is helping fund a $1,000 microloan for one kid in the community to launch a dream business as well.

“So they can learn how to start a business, and so they can have a good life, and so they can know some great things for when they are older,” Arden said.

And maybe have just as much fun as Arden working alongside her mom.

“My favorite part has been meeting new people and making friends with them,” Arden said.

In order to have a chance at that microloan kids need to be signed up for the Iowa Center's Dream Builder Junior Workshop. It's on January 25th and is for kids ages 7-12 years-old who want to learn about starting a business.

At the end of the workshop, the kids get to pitch their ideas in a friendly “shark tank” like experience. From there one will be selected to receive that loan.

If you want to support Arden's Market at 400 E. Locust St., #2 and help other kids start a business, you need to shop now. Arden's Market is only open until December 23rd.

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