By Robert Stitt
Black Enterprise has supported youth entrepreneurship for almost 20 years in hopes of inspiring young Black leaders. According to Black Enterprise, each year at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Summit, a Teenpreneur of the Year is selected. The contest is a way to get visionaries under the age of 19 “committed to the tradition of black business achievement” and “of inspiring youth to view business as an exciting option, to develop a basic understanding of business principles, and to be ambitious in their career goals.”
This year, the 2016 title of Teenpreneur of the Year goes to Essynce Moore. Moore is a 13-year-old clothing designer from New Jersey. She said she started by doodling, but soon turned her doodles into clothes. A clothing line was launched in 2013, Essynce Couture, LLC with the motto “A Child’s Passion for Fashion”.
In addition to her doodling, Moore admits, “I always loved going shopping but I was never satisfied with the clothes. I always wanted to change them a little. Her mother encouraged her to move her ideas off the paper and into reality. After finding a seamstress, she started to sell the clothing 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,” Moore recalls.
Moore wasn’t done. In 2015, she opened the Essynce Couture Spa and Boutique in Passaic, New Jersey. According to Black Enterprise, the spa is a place where children, tweens, and teens can go for “manicures, pedicures, hair-cuts, athletic foot treatments, athletic hand treatments, and more.”
What is her dream? “I want to see Essynce Couture to go global,” Moore said.
Runners up in the Teenpreneur contest were 19-year-old Ryan Hyde and 17-year-old Khareem Oliver. Hyde created “Ignited Innovation” deemed “an environmentally safe alternative to a fire pit.” Oliver is the person behind Find or Found, a technology-enabled tag linked to an app and a website to help owners track their pets.