How old were you when you started and where did your idea come from?
I was 7 years old (almost 8). I have been living with cerebral palsy since I was born. I love to draw and paint. 5 years ago I started to paint jeans for therapy and fun. Painting helped me use the side of my body effected by my CP. It was occupational therapy but also very fun to do. People asked about my painted denim designs and wanted to purchase them. So it gave me the idea to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where I and thousands of children receive treatment. I became a Junior Ambassador and started to paint denim items for donations. 100 percent of the proceeds support the Art Therapy program to help kids like me heal through art.
What was the biggest mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
I don’t remember making mistakes. My mom helps run the non profit. Everyone has been very patient and allow me to take time creating my denim designs. It’s been a fun journey so far!
What are your future plans for the business?
I’m planning to collaborate with a shoe designer to help bring more awareness and funds to CHLA’s art therapy program. I’ve designed a pattern for a shoe (that’s denim). It’s scheduled to launch this Fall. Can’t wait to share more. I’m also trying to build a Splatter Squad. A group of kids and teens who want to help me spread the word and raise funds. I have 40 members so far and am hoping to have lots more by the end of the year. It’s free to sign up and you’ll receive a Splatter Squad t-shirt for trying to meet a fundraising goal of $50.
Any advice for other girls starting a business?
Whatever business you want to start, I would just say make sure it’s something you love to do! That way it will never feel like work and will always be fun!