Caitlin Cross is already a budding entrepreneur with a future and she is only 11 years old.
The Tinonee Public School student is selling bath salts through Not a Café in Wingham. The product is made by herself, and the packaging rivals that of any similar product you would find in any chemist, giftware shop or big chainstore.
What has turned into a money making venture for the quietly spoken girl started as a school project. Last year, when she was in year five, her class took part in the Kidpreneur Challenge.
The Challenge is a national competition to unearth Australian’s youngest kidpreneurs, aged 9-12 years, and is run by social enterprise Club Kidpreneur Foundation.
For the Challenge, the children form teams and build microbusinesses. They sell their products and they donate the profits to charity.
Caitlin ended up being a one-person team for the challenge.
“I was going to have a partner, but she decided to do something else,” Caitlin said.
“I was going to do little trees of life, but then I decided that bath salts are less time consuming and you could make a bit more profit.”
Caitlin discussed the idea with her parents, and researched bath salts recipes on Google.
“We have a candle business that we do at home, so we had the means for sourcing the packaging,” Caitlin’s mother, Amanda said.
“We have the little pouch pockets and everything else she came up with her own. She designed the label, and she came up with the name.”
I don't make them. I like testing them better!Amanda Cross
To come up with the name, Caitlin had a brainstorming session with herself. The eventual decision was ‘Salty Bliss’.
The labels for the product were designed entirely by Caitlin, with a little ‘market research’ to help her decide on the ultimate winner.
“I made up some epsom salts in little cups and then I mixed colour into them. I spread them in lines at the start and took one photo, and then mixed it all up as a marble pattern and then took another,” Caitlin said.
“Then I asked Mum, Dad and my brother and sister which one they liked better. My brother and sister said the striped one, and Dad, Mum and I said the marble one.
“Then I asked the class to help decide, and they all said the striped one. Then Mrs Barnes (Caitlin’s teacher) said most of the kids like it but we’re trying to sell to adults, so we should do the marble pattern one.”
The result is colourful, creative and eyecatching.
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Her solo effort for the Kidpreneur Challenge raised $500 in two weeks. The entire class managed to raise more than $3000, which was split and donated to Ronald McDonald House, and Stewart House.
“From there we gave her the option of continuing on with her little business and I said I could sell it through my business, if she wants to keep on doing that, or she could stop. So she chose that she wanted to keep on going,” Amanda said.
“She’s done markets, and she came to Craftathon last year. She was there for two days and was interacting with lots of people. She nearly sold more than me!
“And from then she asked Belinda if she could sell them in the shop for Christmas, and that’s how she got started. Now she’s keeping on going with it. Now she wants to make bath bombs.”
Caitlin has already started testing bath bomb recipes with the help of her ‘adopted’ big sister, 15-year-old neighbour, Mackyla Withers.
And she’s not stopping there. She has plans to further expand her range with soaps, shower jelly, and foaming body wash.
Salty Bliss Handmade Bath Salts come in five scents: lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, orange and lavender. They are sold for $11.90 at Not a Café in Isabella Street, Wingham.
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