Actor bullied for many years in school wants to make an impact with Positive Choice Apparel
We are creating a new interconnected world for teenage entrepreneurs to network with fellow members, cultivate innovations, apply for funding, access entrepreneurship education, join local chapters, share expertise, and solve challenges.
We are super excited about young entrepreneurs who are improving the lives of other teens, applying solutions to real-world problems, producing thriving businesses, and pivoting the world to the future.
If you know of any teenager who has launched a business as a teenager and is below 25, we would be happy to cover his/her story. Please reach out to [email protected], sending some basic info, and we will respond within 48 hours.Ayden Mekus, Founder
Positive Choice Apparel
By Abhishek Kumar and Pragathi Uragonda
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. March 7, 2020. This 14-year old grade 9 homeschool student from Coronado Island, California is a young, charming actor and has been selected to film numerous positive message productions but there is a deep scar of school days bullying left on him when he studied at public school.
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Meet Ayden Mekus who faced 7 years of bullying during his grade and middle school years. The bullying was so bad that it left a lasting mark on him. For many days he didn’t want to go to school. His grades fell, he became lonely and didn’t want to interact with his peers. In many lunch periods at school, he would sit alone and eat by himself. It was a lonely world for him with a lot of sadness.
Talking to parents and teachers only helped in a limited way as bullying was very prominent in public schools of Coronado Island, California as well as in the neighborhood of this 25,000 resident town. He saw other kids interacting with one another but he was left alone and this brought tears in his eyes. He felt something was wrong with him and that he was the problem.
Ayden Mekus wanted to change it. He gathered courage and started reaching out to individual kids. He tried to make friends and have open interactions and dialogues with them listening to their situations and also explain with what he faced. He realized talking to them that most other kids also faced bullying of some form or other and it also hurt them emotionally.
At that time he and his mom came up with an idea of custom “tee-shirts” to spread positive messages with a desire to help other kids. Kids do wear tee-shirts every day at school and Ayden wanted to use a combination of graphics, visuals and positive messages in giving out anti-bullying messages in schools”. Affordability and comfort were key. He decided to give his venture the name of “POSITIVE CHOICE APPAREL”.
Ayden wants to see other kids benefit from his messages and lessen bullying. He is not going to quit. “No Way,” he says. “My parents are entrepreneurs with a lot of drive and determination. That has been passed on to me. Giving up is not an option”.
When Ayden landed several acting engagements at age of 12, his family moved to Burbank, California. Today he is successful and being advised by acting managers, coaches, peers. Steve Jobs is his idol because Steve thought outside the box and didn’t stop until his dreams became real.
Ayden got his funds from his acting career and decided to invest some of it in his passion to reduce bullying in schools. His mother Maria Mekus helped him with domain registration, business setup. His father Larry Mekus is now a co-founder in business.
“I have a desire to help and inspire kids everywhere, so they understand there are ways to handle and stop bullying. My wish is to also interact with as many schools as possible to spread my message. All of this must be accomplished in a fun and exciting way.”
He has been invited to talk about his venture at three large social events and eight of his designs will be featured and modeled at the LAKIDZFASHIONWEEK - Saturday, March 28th, 2020. Last year also he was involved with three anti-bullying events, each one hosting 100 plus kids.
In responding to Teenager Startups, Ayden adds “Now since I have few acting assignments, suddenly the world is wide open. I am in the entertainment capital of the world along with hundreds of other friendly kids. The anti-bullying shirts I had with positive messages have been overwhelmingly perceived by everyone. It seems everyone wants a tee-shirt”
Ayden is busy pursuing his acting career but is very much determined in growing his “Positive Choice Apparel” clothing brand. He is focusing on finding good vendors, figuring out even better tee-shirt designs and messages and putting up a website that would be a go-to platform for kids to place online orders for his tee-shirts.
Ayden’s favorite motivation quote is “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” STEVE JOBS
Being an inspiration for others, we asked him if he has any tips for the budding entrepreneurs, he said "Yes – believe in yourself. As a teenager, you have a powerful platform – all of the other teenagers where you can help educate and lead."
INSTAGRAM (https://www.instagram.com/ayden.mekus/) (https://www.instagram.com/positive.choice.apparel)
LINK TREE (https://linktr.ee/ayden.mekus)
POSITIVE CHOICE APPAREL: (https://m.facebook.com/PositiveChoiceApparel/)
Abhishek Kumar is a valued member of the Media Group at Teenager Startups. He is a cheerful person and a 19-year old student keen on learning and growing. Pragathi Urangoda contributed the original story with a review by Abhishek Kumar.
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