At seven years old, Sophia has already been an entrepreneur for three years. She started off selling cookies at her dad's office, and from there moved to taking people their coffee. Sophia's latest business venture, Decals by Sophia, offers a device that can be used to brand and hold objects such as smartphones, clothes, tablets, and binders.
She came up with her latest venture when she was six, as she watched her dad, Trevor, using an unsightly, prickly piece of VELCRO® on his dashboard to hold his phone. Sophia asked her dad why this object didn't have a more charming look to it, and her dad suggested that they could change that. They decided to inquire about the manufacturing of a different product to provide the same function, and that's when Decals by Sophia was born.
Sophia describes her product as an object that is able to hold your phone, and it's pretty. The competitors options just don't measure up. In her opinion, phone mounts stick out in your face like aliens and they are ugly. Other VELCRO® products are too prickly and blend in with the background, such as a dashboard. Stickers are beautiful, but her unique decals are more creative and better for grown-ups.
KIDS CAN DO IT TOO!
While the biggest challenge for Sophia has been selling enough products, she is proud that she has sold over 700 decals, and that people like them. She is happy that people won’t have to repair their phones after dropping them, because they can stick to the dashboard and will stay there even if it’s bumpy. Sophia and her dad have been meeting with many different companies in various industries to demonstrate how their product works, and have largely grown the business through word of mouth and referrals. So far, they've had clothing companies, construction companies, daycares, car rental companies, and Telus as their customers.
Although she'd love to spend all her time working on her business, Sophia does have to attend school, like a "normal" kid! This leaves a lot of the business management tasks to her dad, Trevor, who has taken advantage of the support and services we offer, as well as many other organizations. One of our Business Advisors, Sheila, has been helping Trevor and Sophia since the fall with everything from market research and manufacturing to intellectual property. We even plan to help Sophia practice her pitch in preparation for auditioning for CBC's "Dragon's Den". They’ve also participated in a TEC Edmonton Advisory Board thanks to Rajesh Jaiswal at TEC Edmonton, and have utilized local Edmonton companies 5 Star Promotional Advertising as a distributor, and Jet Label for help with manufacturing.
We asked Sophia what her advice is for people who want to start their own business, and this is what she had to say:
- First, shake everybody’s hand that you meet.
- Then, say hello and introduce yourself and your product.
- Then do your demonstration.
If you have the pleasure of meeting Sophia, you'll quickly learn that she puts her own advice to practice with a firm handshake and a business card.
Sophia's next big venture, in addition to Dragon's Den, is her crowdfunding campaign with Alberta BoostR, where she hopes to raise enough money to "fire her dad" and get a real designer. This young entrepreneur is one to watch, as we expect to see her make headlines. Please consider giving her a boost in her efforts to grow her business!
Sophia with Sheila, showcasing her decals.