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Young Entrepreneurs Are California Dreaming

By Dennis Seid Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the young women who have big dreams and plan to one day, open a business called "T.A.I.D.'s Hollywood Arts Studio." The initials come from the first letter of each of their names, of course.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

Arianna Shaw has a sketchbook full of ideas for her business -- about 20 pages' worth and counting.

On the first page is a brainstorm of descriptions, sketches, colors, dollar figures and and a big arrow pointing to the words, "live TV."

"I want to teach tumbling," Shaw said. "In California. And in Hollywood, because that's where a lot of people, famous people are."

Admittedly, she's never been to California. But she's dreamed of going her entire life, which spans all of 10 years. And she's sharing that dream with her sister, Tionna Mosby, 12, and their cousins, Isley Mosby, 9, and Diamond King, 9

"I'm going to teach tumbling, Isley will teach dance and cheer, Tionna will be teaching people how to cook and Diamond will teach modeling," a confident Ariana said.

The name of their business will be T.A.I.D.'s Hollywood Arts Studio. The initials come from the first letter of each of their names, of course.

Isley is visiting her cousins for the summer, and when they got together, it was Ariana and Tionna who brought her in the fold.

"My plan is that when I grow up, my cousins and I are going to open our business and we'll each have our own rooms," Ariana said. "Tionna and I already had a business in mind, and when we all got together and talked about getting in together. The ideas started flowing, then I got the sketchbook out and started writing about how we'd like it to be."

Shirley Mosby Hendrix, the girls' aunt and who has her own business in the Renasant Center for IDEAs business incubator, was impressed by the girls' zeal. So, she asked James Carden, the director of the Mississippi Small Business Director, if he would listen to the girls' plans.

Carden, of course, said yes, and offered them excellent advice.

"He told us to never give up on our dreams," Arianna beamed.

And that's excellent advice. Today there are some 9 million female-owned businesses in the U.S., and the rate is growing.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, "Over the past 15 years, these women-owned firms have grown at a rate 1.5 times other small businesses and are estimated to provide more than 5 million jobs by 2018.

Some other stats: --One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is women-owned. --Women-owned businesses account formerly 30 percent of all businesses worldwide. --On average, women account for 38 percent of workers who consider self-employment their main source of income.

So why California? Ariana's dad plans to move there one day.

"And I want to be close to my parents, so I'm going to allow my mother to move in with me," she said matter-of-factly.

The good news is that 11 of the top 17 states for female entrepreneurs are in the west, including California.

As for their expertise, it varies, and should improve with age.

Arianna started tumbling at an early age, around first grade.

"I really liked it, but I had to stop for a minute because my bedtime got earlier and the tumbling practice got started a lot later," she said. "I had to stop and got really sad, but I got over it. I was able to start up again in fifth grade, though."

Isley likes both cheer and dance, but she'll be concentrating on dancing at the business, as she's been doing that since she was three. Tionna has some specialty dishes like spaghetti, hamburger and breakfast foods, but will be expanding her knowledge to teach others.

It would be easy to dismiss the girls' dreams, but why? Everybody in business had an idea at some point. Small businesses entrepreneurs have long been called the backbone of the economy.

Let them dream young and help nurture their hopes. I hope to read (and maybe even write) about their successful business one day.

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