Young merchants get Silly, too
July 7, 2007
While some Park City kids rise early to stake their claim on the couch for Sunday morning cartoons and Coco Puffs, one pair of young local entrepreneurs has more ambitious plans. They pack up their wares and head to Old Town, for the Park Silly Sunday Market.
Alongside antiques dealers and purveyors of clothing, Ashleigh Hatch, 10, propped her umbrella and arranged her jewelry near Heber Avenue last Sunday. For support and company during the long sunny hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Hatch’s friend, Marlee Thomas, 11, joined her.
Hatch makes earrings, bracelets and necklaces, pre-made or made-to-order from the saucers of beads on display at her booth.
"People can place an order and I’ll make it for them," says Hatch.
Hatch has a passion for bead stores. When she travels, she says she’ll often stop inside. She collects opal and amethyst and vintage beads, and sticks to sterling earring backings and clasps for her creations. Her earrings have been her best-selling items, she said.
At the other end, near 9th Street, Graham Reynolds, 13, and his brother Ethan, 10, set up shop closer to the competition, where other jewelry makers were a few paces away.
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Yet the boys’ stock of neatly aligned necklaces on a framed board and arranged in small sandboxes on their table attracted quite a few customers, including teachers and friends familiar with their business, KGEK.
They make turquoise necklaces and pearl earrings inspired by designs from bead magazines and consultations with their mother.
KGEK stands for all the first letters in Reynolds family, including the brothers’ mother, Kathryn, and father, Kevin. The boys began their business last May when they started making jewelry for their mother and then family friends. Already, their goods are on display at Park City’s Ooh LaLa Hair Studio Boutique and Soree Productions, a bridal shop in Quarry Village. They say their products are also available at Nostalgia, a coffee shop in Salt Lake. They sell just about as many as they can make, they say, giving some ribbon necklaces away to girlfriends.
"We were just going around one day and we went into a bead store and my brother and I made some earrings and then we decided to sell it," explained Graham. "Then it just kept getting bigger and bigger."
Ethan and Graham admit boys their age don’t typically make jewelry and they don’t wear jewelry themselves. And sometimes, Ethan confessed, "I just want to play with friends."
So far, however, the work (one 50-bead bracelet took Ethan two and a half hours, he says) has paid off.
And according to Graham they’ve started something of a trend: one of his friends was so inspired by their success that he has started to get to work on his own jewelry. "Everyone’s like ‘that’s cool,’ especially since you get money to do stuff."
Kevin and Kathryn Reynolds, who accompany their sons on Sundays, note that this is not their first business endeavor. When Graham was seven years old and Ethan was four, they began "Reynolds’ Cookies," which involved paying their mother to bake. The rewards were Gameboys, a television and some extra spending money.
The boys exceeded their expectations by 50 percent in the last year, they said, redirecting half their earnings back into their business, saving half of the remainder and reserving the rest for spending money.
Graham says he’s saving money for college. Ethan says he hopes to get a college scholarship and buy a Lamborghini.
They’re considering buying stock in Under Armour, according to their father, Kevin, who has also helped the boys create a business plan that includes someday outsourcing some of the labor-intensive work involved.
For now, catch them, and Hatch at the Park Silly Sunday Market before school starts this fall.
For details about the Park Silly Sunday Market, visit http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com.