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Child entrepreneurs turning passion into a business

Alakihihifo Vailala

A pair of Pacific kids are showing that you're never too young to get into business.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

“Follow your passion, follow your heart” is what a child entrepreneur wants other like-minded kids to know when it comes to starting a small business.

Malaya Fale at only 10-years-old owns her own small business, Madebymalaya where she makes and sells earrings and accessories.

She was only nine when she began her business journey and now she has almost a thousand followers on Instagram, has her own website and receives orders from overseas.

Her dream of starting her business was inspired by her aunt who makes and sells flowers in Hawaii who Malaya would visit with her family.

Currently operating online and selling at markets, Malaya says she’s always delighted to meet new customers.

“There was one lady who came up to our market and she was telling us about her small business and giving us some tips. She was just so kind.”

Most recently, Malaya has released her summer line inspired by her favourite summer fruits.

When talking about the beginnings of her business journey, Malaya credits her mum and uncle for helping her start.

“My mum does quite the work and my uncle Toko who gives me heaps of tips and ideas on what to do and what to make.”

Although finding inspiration from others in her family, Malaya has also inspired her younger brother Marius who wanted to start his own business.

Marius began his business, Madebymarius at the age of six selling bookmarks, luggage tags and keyrings.

He most recently gained attention when a video on Facebook posted by his uncle gained over 15 thousand views.

Madebymarius on Instagram now has almost two thousand followers and is also getting orders from overseas like Australia and Hawaii.

When beginning his business journey, Marius agrees that he found it difficult to decide on what to sell but his love for drawing helped him find his pathway.

From bubble tea designs to superheroes and well-known cartoon characters, Marius agrees that making his creations takes time.

Both Malaya and Marius juggle schoolwork and owning a small business but say they have their mum to thank.

Destini Misipeka says although it’s been hard, she’s learnt a lot throughout helping her kids through this business journey.

“We’re trying to look at investments but it’s just because I read books, but the books relate to me. So, trying to find a way to relate it to our kids.”

When looking at the future, she says the kids are wanting to eventually have a shop but says they’re focusing on growing for now but encourages other parents to support their kids’ dreams.

“If your child wants something and you can see the outcome of it, find a way."

Hero Image: Malaya Fale and Marius selling their products at a community market. Photo/ Supplied

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