Business as usual: Portage County event lets kids learn about commerce
By Taylor J. Hale
PORTAGE COUNTY – Portage County kids are checking their price margins and preparing their finest cupcakes, jewelry, and other products for the first Stevens Point Children’s Business Fair.
The event is spearheaded by Acton Academy and the Acton School of Business, to offer children a chance to create, market, and sell their products, while growing their entrepreneurial skills and self-esteem.
“The kids are the ones that have to interact with the customers and talk about their products,” said Aloha Seitz, co-owner of Putt-N-Play and event organizer. “This gives them the opportunity to get the feel of what it means to have a business. It gives kids a chance to gain self-esteem, knowing that someone is interested in what they are doing.”
The Acton group started the program in 2007 in Texas, but the fair is now an international phenomenon. The Stevens Point event is one of over 370 similar fairs sponsored by Acton.
Seitz heard about the event last year from her 13-year-old son, Justice. Not long after learning of the program, the local mother scoured the internet for a near-by fair. The closest one she could find was in Green Bay.
“The kids begged me to go, so we drove to Green Bay, and we participated in it,” Seitz said. “My kids begged me again to go to the Green Bay event this year. I thought, let’s just have it here. We have enough space at Putt-N-Play in the parking lot.”
So Seitz set to work last January and contacted the Acton group about hosting the first Stevens Point Children’s Business Fair. Several months later, her plans came to fruition.
She feels events like this can provide a creative outlet for children, fostering their blossoming skills. “There is so much creativity that rests within a child,” Seitz explained. “A lot of times as adults, we don’t take time to let that flourish. Things like this can allow them to take that little dream that’s in their heart and allow it to grow. It can turn into something great for them.”
Registration will be open until the morning of the fair. Children take home any earnings from the event, but participants must make, sell, and advertise their products on their own. Seitz noted that roughly 13 spots have already been filled. She hopes to see at least 25 youth vendors the day of the fair.
The Children’s Business Fair will be held on Aug. 24, 8:30 a.m. -1 p.m., at Putt-N-Play, 701 Second St. North, Stevens Point.
For more info, or to register for the event, visit https://www.childrensbusinessfair.org/stevenspoint-seitz.