Barrington Sidewalk Days is bustling this year! The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) set up shop on Cook Street just outside McGonigal’s Pub passing out information and guides along with free 60010 Coupon Booklets. But they were not alone as they were surrounded by young business owners. Today was the official launch of Barrington Area Junior Entrepreneurs (b.a.j.e.) an organization supported by the BACC founded to teach its members all they need to know about managing a small business and making it a success.
Joe Gerak owns G3, Gerak’s Global Goods, formerly Joe’s Place which began as a friendship bracelet business. He creates his own designs and manufactures his merchandise all over the world. He loves talking about his products at sidewalk days with customers but also sells to stores like MC Sporting Goods and Learning Express. His products include everything from sports items to bound journals. He will be a Senior at St. Viator High School and plans to study international business in college.
Claire Sincox, owner of Clairenannas, is the new Co-Chair of b.a.j.e. Claire, soon to be a Junior year at Barrington High School, began sewing at the age of 7. She made shirts for her first sidewalk sale at age 10 and now sells pins and skirts in addition to clothes to fit American Girl dolls. Although she used to sell online, she now only sells at Barrington Sidewalk Days and is excited to be leading the b.a.j.e. in their launch season. Her merchandise ranges in price from $1 to $10.
Mixed in with the veterans were some very young business owners including Molly Bingham and Lillie Murphy. Molly, of Molly’s Muffins, at just 7 years old was very busy serving up the 107 blueberry muffins she made of berries picked just Monday in Michigan. She enjoys mixing the batter and using an ice cream scooper to make sure the muffins all come out the same size. And for just $2 you can enjoy one, or maybe two tomorrow.
Lillie, at just age 9, makes wallets and accessories from duck tape and named her business Turtle Taped, just yesterday. A few bucks will go a long way with her colorful mix of products from small coin purses to pencil cases. She sells individual pieces and fun mix and match sets. Her helper keeps a running total written in pencil in a small bound notebook. They seem very excited to be amongst the ‘veteran’ business owners.
Rajiv Raju, received a perfect score on the ACT. How? Well you’ll have to read the book titled Dissecting the ACT 2.0. Rajiv is a graduate of Barrington High School and on to University of Illinois at Chicago where he will study in the combined Medical Program, a guaranteed spot into Medical School. We caught up with sister Silpa, who is preparing for the ACT test this fall going into her Junior year at Barrington High School as she was explaining the inspiration for the book. “There is a disparity in financial means in order to prepare for the ACT. We wanted to bridge the gap and provide a methodology that was under $50, ” said Silpa. It was the summer after her 8th grade and Rajiv’s 10th grade when they wrote Dissecting the ACT, the previous version to 2.0. The book has made the #1 best seller’s list in ACT preparation, sells for $10 and is updated as the test changes over the years.
My last stop was a visit with Marco Bustamanté, who brought some fantastic jewelry to the launch of b.a.j.e. from his company based in Greece, 4L13N 34Rs (Alien Ears). Marco, in his first year of high school at an international school in Greece, was intrigue with wire in a class and started making earrings. His business has since expanded to other pendents and bracelets. He sources the beads in Greece when in school and Milwaukee when he’s back in the US. Most items are between $8 and $10.You can shop and meet with all the b.a.j.e. members along Cook Street and Station Street for the remainder of Barrington Area Sidewalk Days. Or visit the BACC website at http://www.barringtonchamber.com for more information.