Learning entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking is invaluable at any age, though especially for our youth. Young entrepreneurs learn how to be curious, cope with obstacles and challenges, think creatively, set goals, and solve problems, and they bring these skills with them into adulthood.
At Hub101, we passionately support local initiatives that ignite and nurture entrepreneurial mindsets in our youth, including Startup Kids and Oaks Christian High School’s entrepreneurship program. We are elated every time we hear about young, budding entrepreneurs in our community!
We recently met one of these young, inspiring entrepreneurs, who is the granddaughter of one of our mentors, and we are excited to shine the spotlight on her here.
Parise Rogers is a local 5th grader who runs a home baking business called Parise's Pastries. Parise creates and makes cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more. Her specialties are Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Chocolate Cream Pie, and Pumpkin Pie.
Readers, are your mouths watering yet?
Parise baking treats for her customers.
A crucial part of entrepreneurship and running a business is product innovation and development — ideating and coming up with new ideas to meet customers’ needs. For her innovative baked goods, Parise draws inspiration from online resources, baking shows, and various holidays.
When asked what makes her business unique, Parise says, “One thing that makes my business stand out from other home bakeries is my seasonal menus and special offers.”
“For example, this past Christmas, my menu included cupcakes and cookies in gingerbread, eggnog, hot cocoa, and peppermint flavors. I also offered Christmas cookies and apple cinnamon coffee cake. Last but not least, I brought back, by popular demand, chocolate cream and pumpkin pies.”
Entrepreneurs typically have an inherent impulse, a calling, a need, to create and invent — often drawing inspiration from the world around them, from identified inefficiencies, from experienced user pain points, and beyond.
Parise, who is the youngest entrepreneur we’ve spotlighted, shares that she was inspired to start her business by the world around her, “I have always loved watching baking shows, and I was inspired to start baking by shows like Nailed It! and Holiday Baking Championship.”
Feeling inspired to create and innovate fuels an entrepreneur’s fervor for the entrepreneurial journey.
When asked what her favorite thing about running a business is, Parise shares, “when customers enjoy my desserts and give me good reviews. One review that stands out the most is from my school teacher. She said I was a celebrity in her house because of my desserts!”
To ensure that her creations continue to delight her customers’ taste buds, Parise tests her recipes with taste testers, including her mom, sisters, and neighbors, who she says “enjoy the role very much!”
Parise holding one of her cookie creations.
Creating, inventing, and receiving positive customer feedback are a few of the many entrepreneurial enjoyments. Though the entrepreneurial journey isn’t without challenges. Parise affirms, “Running a business is tough, but rewarding. The toughest part of running my business is when I have BIG orders, it can be very stressful for me. On Thanksgiving I made 8 pumpkin pies and 4 Chocolate Cream Pies!”
An individual’s reaction and response to challenges is what distinguishes an entrepreneur. When head-to-head with a problem or challenge, an entrepreneur doesn’t see a permanent obstacle or grounds to accept defeat; but rather, they see an opportunity to create, think outside the box, and experiment to find the best solution.
Parise is no stranger to experimenting until she gets her recipes just right. One of her current business goals is “to perfect French Macarons. It is the most daring recipe I’ve ever tried. In my experience, the toughest part of making macarons is whipping the meringue.” Her determination and resilience help her to stave off defeat.
Parise with her mom, dad, and two sisters.
Many entrepreneurs’ journeys started in their youth – Haley Pavone of Pashion Footwear launched a lemonade stand; Tony Hsieh of Zappos started a worm farm; Daymond John of FUBU customized pencils for his first grade classmates; and there are countless others.
When asked about what her dreams are and what she wants to do when she’s older, Parise says, “Some of my dreams for when I'm older is to own a bakery or become a veterinarian.”
A true inspiration and reminder to tap into our inner selves, to draw inspiration from within, to observe the world around us, and to always continue creating, Parise also has some advice to give other young entrepreneurs.
“My top advice for young entrepreneurs, especially for those who want to start a business but don’t know where to start is: first, think about your talents and passions. Second, practice your service. Third, advertise. And fourth, keep track of how much you make and spend.”
To support Parise by purchasing her baked goods, readers can reach out via email at email@example.com.