Black Enterprise for nearly two decades has recognized teenpreneurs with the goal of inspiring youth to view entrepreneurship as an exciting option, to develop a basic understanding of business principles, and to be ambitious in their career goals. Each year at the Entrepreneurs Summit, hosted by Nationwide, BE presents its Teenpreneur of the Year. This award recognizes entrepreneurs, age 19 and under, committed to the tradition of black business achievement.
The 2016 winner is 13-year-old fashionista, Essynce Moore, who started designing clothing at the tender age of six by doodling just for fun in her school binder and notepads. Moore turned her passion into a business in 2013 with the launch of her official clothing line, Essynce Couture, L.L.C. Its motto: “A child’s passion for fashion.” Essynce Couture also has a natural body product line labeled Wynk by Essynce Couture. She has showcased her fashion line at New York Fashion Week for both fall and spring and Atlanta Kids Fashion Week.
“I always loved going shopping but I was never satisfied with the clothes,” says Moore about why she started her business. “I always wanted to change them a little, so I started drawing designs in my sketchbook. Then in 2010 my mother said let’s take a few ideas out of the sketch book and have them made. We found a seamstress and then sold the clothes online. I got good reviews and lots of likes for my T-shirt line, and they were selling quickly, so we went on from there.”
Youth Spa & Boutique
In 2015, the enterprising teen expanded her brand by launching the Essynce Couture Spa and Boutique, exclusively for children, tweens, and teens to give youth a place of their own to visit and be pampered, inspired, and educated. The Passaic, New Jersey-based spa offers manicures, pedicures, hair-cuts, athletic foot treatments, athletic hand treatments, and more. On opening day, Essynce Couture offered its services for free to teens, tweens, and young adults.
If that wasn’t enough, she also has found the time to author several tween books. The teenpreneur’s top-selling book is the 6th Grade Middle School Chronicles. Most recently, she has even tried her hand at acting. These days Moore is looking for Essynce Couture Reps and Brand Ambassadors across the country.
Her ultimate goal: “I want to see Essynce Couture go global.”
Ryan Hyde, age 19, from Painesville, Ohio, who created Ignited Innovation, an environmentally safe alternative to a fire pit that uses Bunsen burner fuel gel and a brass casing. Ignited Innovation has since grown to provide environmentally-conscious, cement home dÃ©cor products that can hold plants, candles, and of course, flames. And 17-year-old Khareem Oliver, a student from Coral Gables High School in Miami, Florida, who created Find or Found, an innovative approach to helping pet owners keep tabs on beloved pets, as well as locate lost pets through a special technology-enabled tag. Find or Found tags link to an app and a website that aids owners in tracking their pets.