SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce hosted its 4th Junior CEO Launch Day at the Santa Maria Town Center this weekend.
Eleven junior high students showcased their small businesses to the community.
They created handmade products and goods to sell after their six-week Junior CEO program concluded.
Adriano Thonack created "Adri's Honey Company" and sold edible honey.
“I did this because I wanted to show everyone how hard bee’s work," said Thonack.
Yuliana Nelson from the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce said she is proud this program is offered to teach young children what it takes to become a business owner.
“The Santa Maria chamber is extremely proud to offer this program to our children out there. We want to make sure that we plant that seed early on and we give them the opportunity to really learn how they can start their own business," said Nelson.
She said she has seen kids become passionate about being an entrepreneur and others realize they wanted to pursue a different career path.
Nelson said children learn when they are hands and through trial and error.
Ainsley Holmes created "Ethereal" a lip balm line with fruit different flavors.
“It's not easy. It's kind of a little bit hard because you have to figure out how to not mess up everything because one little mistake can ruin the batch," said Holmes.
Participants are able to be creative and learn the business journey from start to finish.
Caleb Forney created "Caleb's Custom Candles", he said he had to do his research before beginning his product line.
“I looked online, from making the candle, to what’s the best temperature to put the wax in. And I watched a couple of youtube videos also," said Forney.
Nelson said the community supported the children's products with open arms.
“You can just see the pride and the joy in their faces from what that they create. It's something absolutely amazing. And when people, when guests go out there and purchase their product, you can just you can see how proud they are of everything," said Nelson.
The next Junior CEO program will begin in Fall 2023. Fifteen students are already on the waitlist.
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