When it comes to getting a head start on their personal brand, Chase Reed, Maya Penn and Warren Cassell, Jr. aren’t wasting any time. While many people may take years of growth and experience to discover their true potential, these three own their own businesses…and they’re not even 17.
Chase Reed, 16, of Harlem, NY began giving his sneakers to his father for money until he could afford to repay him. Out of his love for sneakers and fashion, he developed the notion that if he was willing to give up a pair of sneakers for money, others would, too. Putting his dreams into motion, Reed invested about $30,000 worth of his own prized collection of shoes to begin his sneaker pawn shop, Sneaker Pawn USA. He’s resold sneakers of his own and even refurbished and redesigned shoes for a new look.
Maya Penn, 14, of Atlanta, GA has been creating her own clothing and accessories since age 6. At 8, she created Maya’s Ideas and began selling her handmade and eco-friendly products. Since her appearance on Tedx Youth, Penn has received the 2013 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of Year award and an SCLC Women’s 33rd Annual Drum Major for Justice award. In addition, Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet is her nonprofit, which serves to spread environmental awareness and encourage girls to follow their dreams. Ten-percent of her company’s proceeds go to global charities.
Warren Cassell, Jr, 15, of Monteserrat began creating graphic designs for his own greeting card company. Today, Cassell invests in hedge funds, private equity and real estate while designing and maintaining websites for over 50 clients worldwide. He is currently shooting the first season of his online series, Teen Tycoon, so he can share his experiences as a young businessman. To add, Cassell has written two books, The Farm of Wisdom: 25 Unforgettable Tales That Will Ignite a Wiser You! and Swim or Drown: Business and Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Ocean.
What an inspiration! Check out more of their stories on The Root.