Youth-owned businesses make a profit at the fourth annual Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair

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The fourth yearly The Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair livened up Live Oak Park on October 22 as 60 youth-owned businesses were created to sell products and services. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and City Council Member Kathy Watanabe attended the awards ceremony. Gillmor surprised Mikhil Kiran, 14, and his father, Kiran Ganesh, who oversees the Santa Clara Children’s Business Fair and Kidz Rule California, with a certificate of appreciation for their efforts in organizing this annual fair.

“This year we had four to five times the number of applications,” Kiran said. “We published a call for applications at the end of June and by the end of July/beginning of August we had 60 completed applications. This is our fourth business fair. We did not hold the 2020 fair due to COVID. I really enjoy hosting these shows and I hope to continue hosting these shows during my time in Santa Clara.”

Jared Wong, 13, from San Mateo, owns Jared’s art shop. Wong was available for custom paintings and sold his artwork, many of which depicted astronomical subjects and cityscapes with dazzling color palettes.

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“I spray paint skateboards, billboards, and canvas,” Wong said. “I offer planetary pictures. I can do sunsets. I also do stencil art with letters. Art helps me express my feelings.”

Naiara Vidal, 11, from San Jose, owner of Naiara’s Dog Hotel, promoted a dog hospitality service and sold stickers, dog bandanas she sewed, and homemade organic dog biscuits. A large banner hung behind Vidal’s booth and showed pictures of her cuddling with various dogs. After hearing that some dogs are mainly locked in cages at other animal care facilities when families are away, Vidal explained that Naiara’s Dog Hotel does things differently.

“When we get a dog, we help socialize it with puppy friends,” Vidal said. “We let the dogs train in our swimming pool. We will take the dogs on excursions to places like the beach. We ask owners where they want their dog to sleep – in a cage or outside. We know that some dogs also sleep outside.

“Our dog, a corgi/pit bull mix, keeps the other dogs company,” Vidal continued. “We opened our dog hotel a year ago. We offer holiday discounts for stays with dogs. Twenty percent of our profits are donated to a dog hospice.”

The Yarn Girl is the name of a company obsessed by Anuhya Gottam, 15, from San Jose. Adorable handmade crochet plush toys graced Gottam’s booth.

“I own a handmade crochet arts shop,” Gottam said. “The work I do ranges from keychains to tote bags to stuffed animals. It would take me about five to six hours to crochet a Hello Kitty. To prepare for today I took stock of my stash and created a checklist to make sure I have my decorations and setup ready. As part of this fair, I learn how to run a business and gain leadership skills.”

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