- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Growing up, some children sell lemonade and some mow lawns to earn extra spending money, but one local girl is dreaming bigger than a seasonal side job and has sought to enter a market she sees as price gouged.

Natalie’s Bow Boutique was started by 10-year-old Natalie Southerland, the daughter of Brooke and Branan Southerland, after she realized the price of bows was just too high.

“Me and my mom were buying bows for like $16, so I told my mom I could start making them myself,” she said.

The young entrepreneur learned her craft by watching videos on Youtube.

Natalie started her business recently, and since then she’s made about 35 bows and recruited her first employee, her neighbor and friend Evan Farrell.

“I wanted to start a bow business because we have a lot of little girls in our neighborhood and all of them wear big bows,” she said. “I wanted to start doing it to make money.”

Burlap, Natalie said, is her favorite material to work with.

“I like the wires in them because you can puff them out,” she said. “The other ones just stick straight.”

The market price for one of Natalie’s bows is currently $5. She started selling them a little cheaper but soon realized she had no profit margin, her mother said.

“It’s been a good learning process about profit,” she said. “I make her buy her own materials. She buys her stuff out of her money.”

Brooke said she and her husband have encouraged their daughter and hope she’s learning skills she’ll be able to use in the future.

“She’s learning about advertising,” she said. “She went and put fliers in mailboxes and has her products on Instagram and Facebook.”

Recently, the St. Francis Xavier Elementary fifth-grader was asked to attend an event at the Duff Green Mansion as a vendor, which she accepted, officially launching her business as more than just an online boutique. Natalie said she’s also been staying busy with orders she’s been receiving as the word spreads about her products.

As for profits, most have gone back into the business, but Natalie has also been able to buy Christmas presents for her whole family with her earnings.

Currently, the bows can be found on Instagram at @natalies_bows and at future events she said she plans to attend as a vendor.

Natalie has no plans to slow down and said when she grows up, she plans to be either a teacher or an entrepreneur.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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