Children’s Business Fair informational meeting slated for Dec. 18

Young entrepreneurs this year will again have the opportunity to learn and build a business with help from the Children’s Business Fair. An informational meeting for the fair is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 in the Maryville Public Library’s lower level. CBF is an entrepreneurial program that has youth, ages 8-high school, take a business idea from thought to creation; starting with a business plan through a one-day marketplace in which they can earn profits and compete for awards and cash prizes. Youth Services Coordinator Elizabeth Argo said applications for CBF will be available the evening of the information meeting and it is the optimal time for getting any questions answered about the process. 

Ivy Goldsmith is was a part of the inaugural Children’s Business Fair in 2018 at the age of 11. She became interested in quilting when she was nine years old and her mother and grandmother introduced it to her as a distraction while her father was away on a missions trip to Kenya. She enjoyed it right away and had the opportunity to learn on the “Cadillac of quilting machines” at a quilting shop in Allendale, Mo. After that, Goldsmith was hooked and knew she wanted to own her own quilting shop one day. She considers the Children’s Business Fair to be the catalyst that launched her business: Pieces of My Heart Quilting & More. 

Not only was CBF her opportunity to launch the business she had dreamed about, but she learned a lot in preparing for the fair and still uses those lessons as her business grows. Goldsmith said she learned about money management, banking, the “beauty of advertising” and keeping up with trends of what people want and will purchase.
“You really have to pay attention,” Goldsmith said. 

By putting her business plan together she learned about the planning involved in making a business work. “There are a lot more elements that go into making a business than what I thought there was.”

Goldsmith noted that managing time and sacrificing things she would have liked to have been doing to get ready for the fair were the hardest parts. “I spent a lot more time getting things ready than I expected,” Goldsmith said. “There was stuff I wasn’t getting to do because I was in the sewing room working.” She learned at an early age what most business owners discover (adapted from Thomas Edison), “It’s about 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but before the fair I thought it was 1% perspiration and 99% inspiration,” Goldsmith quipped. Ivy’s mom, Amy Goldsmith, added that it was character-building and she had to “buckle down and finish what she started.” 

One key component for getting ready for the fair was hand-delivering flyers to local businesses. She met a lot of business owners and was thankful for their encouragement. 

“Now I know a lot of the small business owners in Maryville and that encouragement was really nice.”

After a very successful 2018 Children’s Business Fair in which she won the award for Highest Business Potential, Goldsmith was matched with Holly Cronk as a local business owner who agreed to have her products in Ferluknat Farm for one month. However, that month has turned into a two-year agreement without an end in sight and has fostered a strong relationship between the novel and experienced business owners. 

“Miss Holly is great. She’s amazing. She’s helped a ton,” Goldsmith said. “I have two people helping me get to where I want to be, Miss Holly and [my Mom].” 

Currently, Goldsmith has fewer items in the store than at the beginning, but that is because she has more custom orders to fill which include quilts, doll quilts, runners, hot pads, soup bowls and finishing quilts on her machine which others have started. 

The machine, which has been integral to her success, was purchased by her parents initially and Goldsmith has had to work at her business to pay the loan off. 

“That’s been one of my major accomplishments in life – paying off the quilting machine,” Goldsmith said. 

Goldsmith has had specialty orders from the Kansas City area, Oklahoma and Tennessee through her Facebook page facebook.com/myheartquilting. She also receives orders through her email at myheartquilting@icloud.com. Through preparation for the fair and the business success that followed, Goldsmith has learned a lot about different types of quilting and has even done some of her own designs. “Practice makes progress and I got a lot of it,” Goldsmith said. 

As an eighth-grader with a successful business, Goldsmith has had to learn time management which she says is still difficult. She said the hardest part is telling people “no” and risking disappointing them or referring them on to others who might be able to do the work. 

“Balancing school, the rest of my life, hobbies, and a business is something I’m still working on and it’s hard to say no, but I have to sleep sometime,” Goldsmith said.

Not only did Goldsmith purchase the quilting machine with her earnings, but also an iPad with which she taught herself to use the Clips app to make commercials. She noted that when Miss Holly saw her working with Clips, she was interested and Goldsmith taught her how to make commercials for the store as well. 

Along with her presence at Ferluknat Farm, Goldsmith has also been involved in several community events such as Rust Under the Stars and Shop Hops where she has met many other business owners. She enjoys encouraging them and receiving encouragement as part of the entrepreneurial community at such events. Goldsmith also enjoys working toward a cause. She has raised money for The Source, Lettuce Dreams, and the Humane Society locally and the Children’s Home orphanage in Kenya.

She said that tithing was something she always planned to do from the beginning and one place she saw a need was the Children’s Home that her father had visited years ago which initiated Goldsmith’s quilting journey. What started out as a distraction from missing her father, ended with a thriving business, stronger character, increased knowledge, community involvement, enhanced skills and progress towards her dreams. 

Leave a Reply