I was a young entrepreneur.
When I was 13, in grade 8, before I had internet, I started a publishing campany called Jeans Publishing with my friend Holly and the help of our Mums. We got funding to start our business and began taking on the DIY (do it yourself) circuit around Ontario attending conferences and seimnars on evenings and weekends. We often set up a booth to talk about what we were doing and where we wanted to go. We though it was important for young people to have their work published, we were tired of people not taking us seriously just because we were youth. So, we did it ourselves.
We started a quarterly newsletter called Jeans Material where we published young peoples work and sent it out to out to over 100 subscribers across Canada. Each subscriber paid $5 for a one year subscription and we printed them all ourselves. We were official with our ISSN which allowed the identification of our serial publication.
We wrote an anthology of poetry and prose called JEANS and in 1996 I became a Published Canadian Author. Our book launch was at the Preston Library Branch on November 7, 1996 and we sold 81 books that night. One dollar from the sale of each book went to the local womens crisis shelter. This is me presenting the cheque. Don’t laugh at my bangs, there were horrible back then.
Jeans was an acronym that stood for Junior Education & Achivement Network System (tongue twister?). I’ve hunted around the internet to find stuff about it but it was so long ago, there’s nothing. (I’m sure newspaper archives exist.) Here’s what I have kicking around the house, most our stuff back at Mum’s tucked away.
We were in heaps of papers and it makes me feel really proud to look back at it. It was a really special and inspired time for me. I did some of my best writing ever back then. Highschool is hard and this gave me a creative outlet and kept me busy. We often spoke at promary school about the importance of reading, writing and following your goals
I was nominated for a YTV achievement award in the category of Writing. I got to go the ceremony and actually sat beside NicK & Drew Lachey from 98 Degrees. I had NO idea who they were until they went on stage and waved at my sister and I. Robyn performed, she was great.
At 16, after heaps of involvement in the community and serving a year as PR Director for the City Youth Council, I was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the city of Cambridge. My school was given $1,500 for new computer equipment and Darryl Sitler presented the award at a ceremony. I went on to wint he Miss Teen 1996 pageant and completed my three year term on the City Youth Council.
I really like helping people get following their dreams as mine have always inspired me. This past year, I was a mentor for Humber College’s Personal Brand Camp and a guest speaker at Mashable’s Social Media Day in Toronto. Next week I’m doing a webinar about personal branding for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.