Young businesswomen show entrepreneurial spirit

Community COVID-19 Featured

Friends spend August making masks, and money

Instead of spending the hot August days at the pool, two young entrepreneurs decided to make some cash.

The 12-year-old BFFs put their heads together, combined their creativity and talent, and made personal protective masks, which they sold and are still selling.

It all started, Avery Chabassol explains, with her grandmother.

“My Nana came over the week before my birthday and she was making a bunch of masks. She got me into it and I told Delaney (Dean) about it.”

That was the beginning. Avery received a sewing machine for her birthday in July and made several masks on her own at first for her own personal use.

The mask production and becoming business women is due, in part, to Avery’s dentist, Dr. Tara Carruthers.

“I went to the dentist and she was asking who made our masks and my mom said, ‘Avery did.’ So my dentist bought some and then we made a bunch more.”

The friends, who have been hanging out having fun since their March Break five months ago, decided to be productive with their remaining days of summer vacation and use their sewing skills to make some more cash.

“Avery invited me over and we decided to start making them. People were starting to buy them so we decided to work together to produce more,” says Delaney.

“We went steady every day for about two weeks,” she says. “I was here (at Avery’s house) from 9 to 5.”

They began their business at the first of August and to date, the entrepreneurs estimate they have made 50 or 60 masks and have generated more than $600. They charge $6 per mask, or two for $10.

And business has been booming.

After the initial order from Avery’s dentist, they had another larger order from an individual; and they ship their product as well — even as far away as the Valley and Ontario.

The young businesswomen invested $100 back into their business to purchase fabric, elastic, thread and such. “Sometimes our moms will help us buy larger things,” Avery says gesturing to a bolt of fabric. And Delaney chimes in, “Sometimes we don’t know what needles to get for the sewing machine, or what thread to get.”

They split the remaining $500 and used it to shop for back-to-school clothes and other items. Being smart businesswomen, they kept some money in reserve for additional business expenses.

Delaney and Avery, who live in the same neighbourhood in Stellarton, were looking forward to returning to school. They start the new school year in Grade 7 at Dr. W.A. MacLeod school.

And they have no plans to end their burgeoning business once they return to their studies.

“I don’t think this whole mask thing is going to die down anytime soon,” says Delaney. “If we keep getting orders we’ll just keep it going.”

Bobbing her head in agreement Avery adds. “We’ll just have to find a day to get together, after school or weekends.”

The two give credit to Avery’s parents, mom Jenn, for her expertise in sewing and crafting and dad Shane, for his sound business advice.

And of course, to their dentist.

“I think that order made us realize that people will want to buy our masks,” Delaney says.

The intrepid friends advertised their masks on Avery’s mom’s Facebook page and created their own Instagram account: a.d_masks. Orders can be placed through either Jenn Chabassol’s Facebook or by Instagram DM.

The 12-year-olds have definitely had a lucrative summer and should be proud of their accomplishments.

“I just feel like we were doing something good,” Delaney shrugs. Avery adds, “We got good things out of it.”

They definitely had fun with their project and they feel the skills they developed will be transferable to other aspects of their lives. Delaney wants to go into medicine and Avery wants to be an elementary school teacher.

Delaney Dean, left, and Avery Chabassol, of Stellarton spent the month of August starting a small business making personal protective masks. Here they display a variety of their offerings. (Jardine photo)