By René Mahfood
We had the unique opportunity of meeting and interviewing this extraordinary young lady; Jessica, an 11 year old girl with an extra special purpose in life, to create and over- achieve. We were introduced to Jessica a couple of years ago and we have watched her and her business grow by leaps and bounds.
Jessica started making rubber band bracelets several years ago as a fundraiser to help her friend raise money to assist her family’s cost for cancer treatments. The bracelets were well received and the creative juices kept flowing.
She then decided to start her own business and named it “Friendly Bands”. Today Friendly Bands has over 50 different styles all designed by Jessica. These bands can be found online and in local stores. She then decided to add charms to the Friendly Bands and these charms have been extremely popular too.
As a result of her love for making these bracelets Jessica decided to make her very own loom, a circular machine named The Sunshine Loom, one of the many products under the Friendly Bands brand. The Sunshine Loom was one of the first looms on the market and is unique due to its circular shape. Because of its design and the way it was engineered, it takes less than half the time to make multiple row bracelets and only requires one Sunshine loom instead of the three looms required by the other looms that are rectangular. The Sunshine Loom has become one of the hottest items this season; if you can find it.
The Sunshine Loom was sent to a buyer at Walmart.com and was approved within 24 hours and posted to sell within a week. They did a test run with 1,000 pieces, which sold out in a few days. The Sunshine Loom was also selected by Toyrus.com which also sold out instantly.
Jessica also started selling her Friendly Bands at local schools. The family decided to apply for a specialty license to sell Friendly Bands with logos to colleges. They just processed their first order from Florida State University with the FSU logo for 10,000 bands.
Jessica’s mother and father have admired and supported their daughter through the process and her mother Madeline is now running the business side of Friendly Bands with the help of her husband, Doug.
Not only is Jessica an accomplished entrepreneur at the age of 11, she is also a self-motivated straight A student in all honors classes, as well as excelling in sports. Jessica plays on her school volleyball and soccer teams in addition to the Team Boca U11 Travel Soccer Team, and plays the cello! Jessica gives 100% to everything she does and yet she is still a very humble and sweet young lady. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.