In our Homework series, we explore the lives of ordinary kids with not-so-ordinary hobbies. Between school work and swimming lessons, these youngsters are also running successful businesses—(sometimes) with a bit of grown-up help.
Only two months into middle school, Brianna J. is already a seasoned entrepreneur. This 11-year-old started her online kids’ apparel store, Brianna’s Closet, in 2017 with the help of big sister Nina. She “really, really loves fashion,” and starting a business was much better than getting a job, she says.
Traveling is one perk of running your own business, according to Brianna. She recently took her online business to KIDZCON so she could meet her young customers in person. Next stop? Paris (she hears the bread is worth the trip).
Brianna is dedicated to learning because she has big plans for the future. When she’s not do-gooding or building her store, she’s working hard on her math homework and taking coding classes. But don’t worry: she still has lots of time for kid stuff, like binging her favorite cartoons.
Name: Brianna J.
My business: Brianna’s Closet
Where I live: Los Angeles, CA
What I do for fun:
I like to play on my trampoline, and I like to jump rope. I also like swimming. My friends and I play volleyball. I started taking coding classes last year. It’s super fun because I really love computers. I think one day I’d like to make sites for people.
What I’m watching:
I love everything cartoons: SpongeBob, DuckTales, StevenUniverse, Bob’sBurgers. I can go on and on.
My favorite book is:
Probably Harbor Me [by Jacqueline Woodson]. It’s a real eye-opener! It’s about different students who share their stories about life.
My favorite subject in school is:
Math. I’m learning decimals and fractions.
This summer I traveled to:
San Diego. I went to the park and the beach. Someday I want to visit Paris so I can see the Eiffel Tower and eat bread.
How I started my business:
My folks said I needed a job, and I really, really love fashion. Especially dresses. So I came up with Brianna’s Closet. My business is for kids. They get to try on my clothes and tell me their opinions. I wanted to start this to inspire other kids.
What my role is in the business:
I pick out all of the stuff on the site and I post on social media mostly. Sometimes I reach out to famous influencers.
The best part of running a business is:
Other kids’ ideas and how they inspire me to do this business.
The hardest part is:
Tagging all the merchandise, because it's a lot of clothes. And it's exhausting.
About my family:
I live with my mom, my dad, and my cousin. They all help me with my business, too. My sister helps with picking out the clothes and stuff.
Who inspires me:
My sister, my mom, and my cats, Eva, Sheila, and Sheba. They’re cuddly.
Something I’m proud of:
I think opening the store. This is like my baby. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur at such a young age.
What would make the world a better place?
Saving the turtles.
How I’m making a difference:
Me and my friend Tanya volunteer at City of Hope [a cancer research centre] or at my mom’s job, because she’s a nurse. I like to volunteer with the older folks because they give us candy.
My goal for the future is:
To be a doctor and do my business on the side.
Advice I have for other young entrepreneurs is:
I’d say, dream big. No dream is too small or stupid! If you can envision it, it is possible.Feature illustration by Joel Holland