Sew Awesome | Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship
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.Ella Psaila, Founder
By Sanjana Yadav and Yashika Khurana
NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA. APRIL 19, 2020. Ella Psaila had a great desire to do something for humanity as a surgeon or a bio-engineer.
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Ella's sky-high aspirations have been supported and kindled by her mother. Buoyed with confidence in 2015 at age 10, she started her brand, 'Sew Awesome Designs.' Ella's mother's charity, 'Sewing Seeds,' funded Ella's start-up phase. Monica Candy, Psaila’s mother, and sewing minion credits her daughter’s creative pursuits for giving them special bonding time. Ella originally made bookmarks and cards and then fused her passion and creativity with her sewing abilities.
Socially conscious teen entrepreneurs like Ella Psaila recognize a responsibility to provide economic well-being to the poor. Approximately 36% of the world's population lives in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.25 per day. Ella's world fits within the handloom industry, one of the largest sectors of economic growth and employment in impoverished countries, especially India.
Charitable giving is at the heart of Ella's mission. Giving back has always been Psaila’s “why”—her reason for turning her passion into a business. When she was a start-up, Ella contributed 25 percent of her sewing revenue to Sewing Seeds, a nonprofit that empowers women and children in Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Peru, and Mexico through initiatives such as sewing training programs.
She told Teenager Startups, "I know how much of a difference each contribution makes in the lives of women who have so little." We also learned that Ella recently raised enough money for five sewing machines. Together with the Sewing Seeds team, she donated a machine to a sewing school in Mexico.
Two years ago, Ella started making felt monsters. She made her first felt monster for a school fair by shaping it like a teardrop. She showed it to her mother, and they realized the sad expression looked like a teardrop. Her mother loved her outlook, and while framing up more details, they came across the idea of emotional drops, which they later abbreviated as EDs. A selection of colours represents various emotions. Eventually, the line evolved into a collection of fifteen products.
The handmade Emotion Drops evolved as an interactive tool. They then became popular aids in developing emotional intelligence. Customers are primarily women with children or professionals that interact with kids. The majority of her sales are online, and purchases are made from around the globe. She reinvests 50% of the revenues to purchase materials and supplies and to generate marketing and awareness. 25% goes to her charity. The remaining 25% goes to her schooling fund. The company made a profit of $5000 over the last three years, and Ella plans to double her revenues this year, as Emotion Drops gains momentum.
In addition to her mother's support, Ella also won $1000 in Lion Lair Adult Entrepreneurs, a prestigious competition. She applied the prize money toward branding and brand identity for Emotion Drops. Also at that time, Psaila developed the idea for her new nonprofit, Cause WE Create, when she took part in Lions’ Lair—an intensive six-week entrepreneur training program supported by the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is now the CEO of the innovative non-profit marketplace and a safe community for young entrepreneurs to become socially responsible entrepreneurs.
Ella was featured in a magazine article in 'Alive' in 2017. She believes that she has a lot of space and freedom to learn new skills and explore innovations for her brand. But sometimes, the work stress takes over. She said, "I love having a business, but few times I just wish I didn't have work to do, and I could just be an ordinary kid." added Ella. She also finds it difficult to keep work and school at balance. She is committed to achieving her goal to continue donating sewing machines,
Above all, Ella wants to be an inspiration to others. She believes that work demands complete devotion. She knows what it takes to work hard, fulfill a passion, and to create a smooth process.
"It's not your age that outlines your passion but your courage to pursue it," says Ella.
"You get in life what you have the courage to seek," says Ella, as she shares another favorite quote.
Ref. Article, The Eleven-Year-Old CEO | Why Creative Kids are so Awesome. https://www.alive.com/family/11-year-old-ceo/
Sanjana Yadav is a Contributing Writer with Teenage Startups. She is from Gurgaon, Haryana, India ,and is pursuing her BA (Hons) in Literature. Yashika Khurana is our Lead Contributing Writer. She is pursuing her BTech in Computer Science from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology.
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