The following article is about Kylie, a six-year-old girl who owns her own business. She’s an energetic, and unforgettable child whose interests are multifaceted. She has a red belt in Martial Arts and is a gardener and animal lover. She’s an outward-facing child, always on the look-out for new adventures. She’s also on the Autism spectrum, which presents both external and internal challenges.
Kylie’s mom explained some of these challenges to me:
Kylie perceives the world very differently than others and is very in tune with her surroundings. Everyday noises, lights, sounds, tastes and textures can throw her body into uncontrollable meltdowns. She is currently in many different therapies to help her physically and mentally move through everyday life.
The name of Kylie’s business is Leafy Co and is completely her design. Kylie’s mom described the story behind Leafy Co.
The name came from her love of leaves. Most individuals who are on the spectrum have certain things that they collect. Hers in particular consist of sticks, rocks, and leaves. We find them everywhere. She finds them beautiful.
Soon after Kylie was identified as being on the spectrum, her family explored different creative outlets that would show off her strengths. When she was asked what she wanted to do, Kylie decided that she’d like to put her favorite pictures on t-shirts. If that isn’t amazing enough, Kylie and her best friend are planning a sister company called Bestie Beads. As the name suggests, they will be selling beads they’ve made together. An influential marketing company has picked up Kylie’s inspiring story as well.
Leafy Co. sells graphic t-shirts in all sizes. T-shirts are made upon order. Kylie does the designing, and pressing. Therefore, each shirt is unique. However, the differences between shirts won’t be too noticeable. The designs Kylie makes are inspired by her environment, which makes the t-shirts even more interesting. The designs are abstract and creative. Currently, their business page is on Instagram.
I asked Kylie’s mom what Kylie’s favorite part of being a business person is. She apparently said, “Being the boss!”
Kylie’s mom further explained: She takes great pride in being able to say she runs her own business. Overtime her shirts have flooded the area around us. The smile that comes from seeing her t-shirts on others is irreplaceable. Being a little different from her peers took away a lot of her self-confidence in the last few years. This business has shown her that she is important and her self confidence has gone through the roof.
The most important aspect of Kylie’s business is the message she wants to send to everyone: Autism children feel and see differently, but they just want acceptance, and love.
Leafy Co. is a great opportunity for everyone to see that children like Kylie are not broken, they’re unique. Just like everyone else, they have their strengths and weaknesses. So, Leafy Co. aspires to enlighten people.
Kylie’s main goal is to gain more followers on Instagram, create at least 10 new designs, and start Bestie Beads. Her Instagram has a faithful following already!
I asked if Kylie or her mom had any advice for children seeking to open their own businesses. Kylie’s mom had a lot to say about it:
Any child has the potential to be an entrepreneur. As a parent I see this journey as one that Kylie can look back on and know that her parents always believed in her. She will know that she can do anything she sets her mind to. As an entrepreneur at six, she has an incredible business mind. Knowing how to cater to a customer, and working to make her business as personal as possible. What will she be doing at 18?
I asked if Leafy Co. has a motto.
Before answering, Kylie’s mom reminisced on the time Kylie was identified as being on the Spectrum. She described how all of the members of her family gathered together – some cried, some dwelled on it. In that moment, she realized that the news was not something to be sad about. On the contrary, she realized it should be celebrated. She explained how Kylie had always been a highly intelligent, silly kid. The news just gave them answers, and helped them map out a road for the future.
In light of their story, Leafy Co.’s motto is: “See the beauty, instead of the label.”
Visit their Instagram, @leafy_business_co.