Smarty mamas Christine Gregory and Shelby Jacobs have been on standby for market runs and deliveries these past few weeks.
Well, their sweet second graders Rylee and Lachlyn can’t keep up with orders for their organic, homemade pup treats, Magic Treats CLT. Wait. It gets sweeter… The girls decided their profits will benefit the virtual angel tree of Families Forward Charlotte.
As a parent who strives to encourage generosity and gratitude in my own children, I had to know more. Rylee recently told her mom she wanted to start her own business too–after watching Christine launch Dogwood Designs from scratch, post pandemic layoff. One day, as a quarantine activity, Rylee baked some treats for the pooch-palates around her neighborhood and brought one over to pal Lachlyn’s dog. The lightbulb went off. The two girls discussed selling the treats and teamed up. They started baking the first batch the next day.
Now regularly donning striped aprons, these pint-sized entrepreneurs have thought long and hard about price points, marketing, and profits. It’s paying off. They sold out and raised almost $150 in their first week. Christine and Shelby were even approached last week by a company who may match their earnings dollar per dollar. They hope to have a community Pop-Up in the neighborhood on small business Saturday, so stay tuned on their Instagram (@magictreatsclt) for more details. This is also where all orders are taken.
Christine has long taught Rylee how important it is to give back and the difference between wants and needs. Like many of us, she offers an allowance and is teaching the value of a dollar; however, this experience has been something quite different.
Both girls quickly saw they could really earn some cash–and not just that–but cash that could help others. When they started thinking about donation options, their mothers told them about a neighbor, Telitha Hight, VP of Families Forward Charlotte. FFC uses many strategies to reduce the challenges poverty presents to Mecklenburg County families. One of those ways is holiday help. The majority of the angel tree toys have been accounted for, but there is still a need for basics (clothing, socks, shoes) and adult gifts.
Lachlyn’s mom Shelby recalls, “When they first started Magic Treats, she thought it was cool to go shopping for another kid. The idea of spending money on toys excited her. But as the project has unfolded and grown, it has opened up so many opportunities for conversations about children who survive on very little. Once she realized the toys Rylee and she purchased with the money from Magic Treats might be the only toys the children received, it ignited a fire. She wanted to do more.”
On December 1st, Rylee and Lachlyn will take their shopping trip for the toys their angels most want, plus some of the other aforementioned needs. Any purchases or donations made to @magictreatsclt will allow them to spread that joy further. As I told their moms when I learned what they were up to, let’s make this go viral and help them reach their goal of 1k!
These two little ones are among the many other children having to learn a lot beyond school walls right now, so I wanted to know what else they’ve been learning.
Christine explained how the business has turned into a learning experience in many unexpected ways: “The basics as far as reading a recipe, math skills to learn how much product they need, counting money, and even cleaning (After a flour “fight” took place one day, they were each handed a broom and Clorox wipes.). They have also learned teamwork, compromise, patience, and sharing. They are both only children, so this has been great for that. Also they have been seeing that while not always fun, hard work can be rewarding in the end.”
Shelby added, “We have tried to make this year more about others and less about ourselves and how we can help shape the world for the better. Knowing that you can make a difference in someone’s life with one small idea has been fun to watch unfold.”
Hear more from the bakers themselves during this interview below. As a remote learning exercise, I had my children and nieces, who were visiting us for another “cousin camp”, put their journalism skills to the test.