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9-year-old Bedford girl begins new school year as CEO of BrownBackpack.com

'I'm not like the other kids who play video games and watch TV. I like doing business work instead.'

BEDFORD, Ohio -- 9 years old and already a CEO of her own business.

Fourth grader Addison Captain made sure her education didn’t stop when the last school bell rang in June. She spent her summer launching BrownBackpack.com, a Web site selling nearly 100 products to inspire children of color.

“I'm not like the other kids who play video games and watch TV,” says Addison. “I like doing business work instead.“

Using the site Shopify, Addison designing products by placing inspirational quotes and images from the book Far Beyond the Treetops on items she wants to sell.

“We make backpacks, we have books on the Web site, we have phone cases, we have pillows and many things that inspire children,” says Addison.

Inspiring others runs in the family. Addison is able to use images from Far Beyond the Treetops because her mother, Stephanie, wrote and published the book herself. She owns the images and says Far Beyond the Treetops was originally an impromptu poem she wrote to encourage Addison and her younger sister to seek out adventure and recognize their importance in a big world.

The message was received. It was Addison’s idea to take the book to the next level.

“She asked me, ‘Mom, people really like the book. Can I do something with it?” says Stephanie Captain. “And I’m like, ‘What else can you do? It’s you know a book’ and she’s like, ‘I want to make things.'”

Not only is Addison making things, she is learning skills she won’t pick up in a typical classroom like marketing, product development and pricing. She’s made a little more than $200 in the four weeks that Brown Backpack has been open for business online.

“Not too shabby for somebody who just up and decided that they wanted to start a business,” says Captain laughing as she reflects on her daughter’s drive and ambition.

Addison has dreamed of being an entrepreneur for two to three years now, and is overjoyed that her dream has become reality.

“If you want to start a business, go for it cause it’s really exciting once you do,” says Addison. “You only need a little bit of effort and you can create something big.”

For those ready to start a business like Addison, the first step to take is registering the business with the Ohio Secretary of State. It can be registered in a child’s name, but a parent or guardian will still need to be involved because most minors cannot enter into legally binding contracts in Ohio.

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