Every now and then I come across a story that really touches me, and Alexa’s story was one such story. Alexa is an 11-year-old entrepreneur who not only started her own business at an age when most of her peers weren’t even thinking about career goals, but she also decided to incorporate a charitable aspect into her Framed By a Fairy business model.
Alexa makes custom picture frames and donates $2 from every frame she sells to the My Arms Wide Open organization. It is children like Alexa, who is just starting sixth grade this year, who make me hopeful for a more compassionate world. Alexa took some time out of her busy back-to-school schedule to share her story with me.
MNN: How did Framed by a Fairy start?
Alexa: My mom signed me up for a craft class. At the class, we learned how to make picture frames. It was so much fun. I got to pick out paint, the paper and embellishments for my frame. We learned all the steps on how to make a frame — thanks Ms. Deb! On the way home, I told my mom that I wanted to start a business making frames. As we talked about the idea of selling frames, we thought it would be nice for me to donate some of the money to charity too.
Why did you want to get involved with an organization like My Arms Wide Open at such a young age?
A good friend of our family, Warren Te Brugge, is the Founder of My Arms Wide Open. The foundation provides support for mothers, children and youth in South Africa to build sustainable communities and responsible businesses. (More information on My Arms Wide Open can be found at www.myarmswideopen.org.) I think it is really cool that he helps people in South Africa. Mr. Te Brugge was born in South Africa. I had heard him and my mom talking about some of the projects My Arms Wide Open does and I wanted to help too because there are a lot of young girls in South Africa my age that don't have the things that I have.
One of the ways that My Arms Wide Open helps communities in South Africa is by giving them seed money to start a business and they mentor the employees to be successful. My mom and stepdad gave me the seed money to start my business, just like My Arms Wide Open does. They have also given me business advice and have shown me how to track my income and expenses.
Tell me about the frames you make and how sales help My Arms Wide Open.
I make picture frames of wood, scrapbook paper and fancy embellishments. I donate $2 from every frame that I sell to My Arms Wide Open. Since I started Framed By a Fairy last summer, I have raised $106 for My Arms Wide Open and I want to raise a lot more. My first donation went towards supporting their Pads4Girls program.
How can someone purchase a frame?
You can purchase a frame by going to my Facebook page. I have some frames listed in my gallery that are for sale. I also take custom orders for colors/styles. You can post a comment on my page and we will contact you. I am hoping to get a website soon.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a doctor when I grow up. One day I would like to be able to go to South Africa and visit some of the people that My Arms Wide Open has helped.
Wow, what an amazing young lady!