- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2017

MILFORD, Del. (AP) - When it comes to promoting the family business, Mike Fox has taken a back seat to his enterprising 10-year-old daughter, Arianna.

On the Splash Designworks website, Arianna is described as a socialite-networking junior marketer for the family business. She’s all of that and more, according to her father.

“We’re kind of in her shadow now,” said Mike, who is the chief executive officer and co-owner of Splash, a company that specializes in graphic design and online promotion, to name a few of the services offered. “In Delaware, she is known as the girl who is out there networking and promoting our business. Any new person who meets her is very surprised.”

Mark Reeve, who works in contract services for Kent-Sussex Industries Inc. in Milford - a not-for-profit vocational rehabilitation organization that serves the residents of Kent and Sussex counties - was impressed with Arianna when he first encountered her at a chamber mixer.

Arianna Fox is such an impressive young lady, with a massive self-confidence you rarely see in a 10-year-old,” Reeve said. “But her innate talents go well beyond that. I’ve spent more than two decades in marketing and have learned that nine-tenths of communicating your concepts, product or service is engaging people. In my contacts with Arianna at various business and networking events with her parents, that’s something Arianna has shown as a natural ability Her directness, her enthusiasm and her positive attitude draw you in from the start.”

Mike and his wife, Trisha, recognized Arianna’s special talents early on when they would take her on sales calls or bring her to mixers at the four chamber organizations in which Splash Designworks belongs. Mike said it was a matter of just letting the horse out of the gate after that.

But that’s not all Arianna does for the company. She proudly does it all, from designing brochures and little websites to making videos and doing voice work in promotional pieces.

“It’s nice to be taken seriously,” Arianna said. “We’re all in the business together.”

Many of Splash’s clients say that while the company’s work speaks for itself, it is the impression made by Arianna that they remember. She was the youngest person nominated as one of the “Most Memorable Members” of the Delaware Small Business Chamber, which is awarded to members who are most memorable for the way they present themselves at chamber events.

Ken LaRosa stumbled upon Arianna and the Fox family at one of those networking events and was very impressed with Arianna. It became quickly obvious to the regional director of Master Networks, a company that helps train professionals with the intent of growing their businesses, that the young girl would go places.

“She has the ability to be a great speaker, teacher and motivator,” LaRosa said. “Even at her age, she is way ahead of many of those professionals out there networking. She really has a special gift.”

While her father calls Arianna his networking princess, the enthusiastic 10-year-old likes to think of herself as a young entrepreneur in the making. She has learned the business and wants to take those skills even further in life.

Arianna says her favorite projects have been pages she’s built on WordPress and creating her own blog site.

As for her personality, Arianna said she is bubbly and outgoing and is always happy and excited to do new things.

“I love to have fun and be kind to others,” she said. “I’m not a wallflower, that’s for sure.”

She also has a knack for inspiring others. When she was growing up and playing Club Penguin, her father said she would inspire others who were playing to help sad penguins become happy.

The Fox family recognized that in their daughter and recently launched Big Ideas Kid Coaching: Inspiring Kids to Succeed to help inspire other kids.

Arianna says the endeavor builds on what she is already doing. She would like to parlay that into mentoring other kids and becoming a role model.

“Inspiring kids and youth is very important,” Arianna said. “A lot of kids don’t really have any child role models to look at and learn from them how they, too, can be successful.”

Mike Fox says Arianna will go out and speak to youth groups as part of Big Ideas Kid Coaching.

“It’s such a big need,” he said.

As for Arianna’s future, the enthusiastic 10-year-old sees herself as a novelist when she grows up. She already has a leg up on that career as she has written a number of novellas that she keeps to herself.

But for now, she’ll continue to be the face of Splash Designworks and continue to promote the family business.

“She’s already had three job offers, and she’s only 10 years old,” Mike said. “They want her to come to work for them when she grows up. The way she’s going now, that won’t be long from now.”

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com

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