8-Year-Old Homeschooled Boy Launches Baking Business After Getting Entrepreneurship Tips
By Victor Ochieng
After his mother taught him some entrepreneurship basics, the boy, Jalen Bailey, is now running a bakery business.
Sharhonda Mahan helped her son with the paperwork and gave him the necessary tips to get started.
Within just a week after the bakery was established, the young boy was already making and shipping baked foodstuff to his customers. Before long, Bailey became so famous in the neighborhood that local media outlets started sharing his amazing and inspiring story.
Mahan shared her son’s story with the Atlanta Black Star, talking about how her son founded his company and how the family’s choice for homeschooling has impacted the boy’s life.
Bailey baked his very first peanut butter cookie without his mother’s assistance in 2014 when he was 6 years old.
“I look at cooking as one of those things — like a basic thing for me,” Mahan told ABS. “I taught him to read when he was very young, to clean up and cook … Those were essential things he would need to know … I tried to make sure everything was fun — especially the things I knew he would need when he was older.”
Mahan also pointed out that Bailey went as far as teaching other kids how to bake.
After ABC 30 posted a profile of Bailey back in July, the boy’s bakery became the town’s newest sensation.
“Before the news story, he would get about two to three orders a week,” Mahan said. “Since then, he has gotten quite a few requests. We weren’t able to process [all of them] because we weren’t able to ship [them] all. So that is what we are working on now … [Now,] I would say [we get] from three to 15 orders depending on the week.”
After the first week of the profile, the business got so many orders that their website crashed.
“It was crazy!” Mahan said.
As things stand now, it’s just Bailey and his mother processing the orders. That hasn’t stopped their business from growing though.
Since the launch of the bakery, up to 100 customers have already opted in to their business’ mailing to have baked products shipped to them.
Because of the challenges they’re facing and their overwhelming orders, the team created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to take care of shipping costs and for the purchase of commercial kitchen supplies. They’ve already raised a little over $5,000 out of the $10,000 targeted over a period 28 days.
Bailey’s mother taught him how to create a business plan as well as the ins and outs of starting and running a business. She also taught him how best to choose a target market and the products to create and sell.
His homeschooling also helped him learn several life skills that public schools couldn’t have offered him.
“We started out with the Class-A license, which basically means that only Bailey could sell his cookies … He would literally have buy it and give it to you himself. But, with the Class-B license if a store in New York says ‘Hey … can I sell your goods here’ [we can let them].”