I’ve been talking about the Stay Fit Mom business journey on my instagram stories for about a month now (follow along @stayfitmom_tracy and you can hear me spill my guts on the regular). Truth be told, every single day I am baffled by it’s growth. I am amazed that our humble motives and big dreams have somehow turned into a profitable business that has helped so many women.
Yes, we work hard, we certainly do, but there are so many nights my head hits the pillow and I ask God why. I am underserving. I didn’t go to school to learn business, nutrition, or social media based marketing. I was “just” a stay- at- home mom that once felt overwhelmed and utterly inadequate, and in so many ways I am still very much that same girl.
But THIS girl that I’m about to introduce you to, THIS girl answers my ‘Why God’ question. You see, for some CRAZY reason you know me, a 33 year old fitspo who helps women fit into their jeans, but you haven’t YET been introduced to Adrianna Butler, the 9 Year Old Entrepreneur that’s making the world brighter one bracelet at a time.
There are NO prerequisites to starting your own business in 2019. You can have your very own store front right on the world wide web for pennies on the dollar, but the entrepreneur life isn’t for everybody. It takes some serious blood, sweat, and tears. You may have heard me refer to it as “grit” a time or two on my stories, and while I wouldn’t sacrifice this much time and energy away from my family without being profitable, knowing my purpose is what keeps me motivated to work hard everyday.
Adrianna Butler is the founder of @BrightSideBeads. She’s the oldest of the 4 Butler Children, and her brother Cameron was born with an extra chromosome. Cameron has Down Syndrome and his life has made this world brighter.
Adrianna’s bracelet “hobby” became a business when she realized she could become a special needs advocate for her brother. I was able to interview Adrianna and her mother. Today I get to share this remarkable girl, and her family, with you all.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. What’s a typical day in Adrianna’s (now 9 year old, Happy Birthday!) life look like?
Adrianna: It looks like an average, normal 9 year old day. I wake up and do my morning routine. Then go to school and usually have an after school activity like cheerleading. Once I’m home we do homework and maybe play outside. When my mom is making dinner I try to help with Cameron and Elizabeth!
What made you want to start Bright Side Beads and why are you so passionate about keeping it going?
Adrianna: I started Brightside Beads because of my brother. I have always loved crafting and making bracelets. Then I had an idea to do Down syndrome ones because we were talking about what to do for World Down Syndrome day. We always do something for WDSD. A couple times I have read a book about Down syndrome to my classmates. They’ve always liked that. We also give colored goldfish as a snack and my mom made a tag that says “more alike than different”. I like to do these things to remind my friends that Cameron isn’t that different than his other friends. He does take longer to do things, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand what is going on. I like sharing about Cameron and all of my friends love him!
What do you sell and where can we find you?
Adrianna: Bracelets with a purpose! Sometimes I make trendy bracelets, but I also do individual ones that can be stacked with other bracelets. It’s fun to put words and beads together. Especially words that have meaning! For every bracelet order, I create a special one to donate to another family. These have meanings to them…if I give one to a family that has Down syndrome, I include yellow and blue because those are the colors for it. I’ve also made bracelets for families whose child or family member has a heart problem, autism, or cancer. You can find me on Instagram @brightsidebeads or on Etsy http://brightsidebeadsco.etsy.com.
Who are your biggest supporters?
Adrianna: My mom helps me a lot. I like to come up with new ideas and colors for the bracelets. I also string the bracelets together, but my mom ties the knots to make sure they won’t come apart. She also manages my Etsy shop and Instagram. It’s fun to sit down with her and think of captions to put on pictures on instagram! Even my brothers Bennett and Cameron help! Bennett will help make them and Cameron likes to put stickers on the packages!
What are your goals for Bright Side Beads?
Adrianna: I hope that people remember to be kind when they look down and see their bracelet. I also think it’d be fun to have Cameron be part of the business when he is a little older. Right now he would probably just dump all of my beads though!
We interviewed Adrianna’s mother, Ashley next.
What’s it like supporting the dreams of a 9 year old entrepreneur?
Ashley: When Adrianna came up with the idea I was honestly blown away. As a mom I say “no” a lot. I knew I couldn’t say no to this though. We had a lot going on at the time though…we were preparing to move from Rhode Island back to Las Vegas and I had 3 other kiddos under 5 to make sure I wasn’t forgetting about! Adrianna went to an after school program that encouraged kids to be creative and taught entrepreneur skills. I think this really got her brain going. Watching her come up with ideas was so fun. Everything from what types of beads she wanted to use to what colors her logo should be. I loved being by her side. It’s fun to see your child excited about something! It’s also encouraging, as a parent, to see that your child hears what you’re saying. I’m all about being kind, inclusive and empathetic. You never know what others are going through, so it’s important to always be kind.
How much effort do you personally have to put in?
Ashley: Adrianna typically does her bracelet orders on the weekends, so I will be nearby to tie them off. During the week, if Adrianna has a lot going on with after school activities and homework I will set up her orders and beads so that its quicker for her to sit down and get them done when she gets home. I don’t want her to get overwhelmed with deadlines and we definitely don’t want an unhappy customer! Then, I make sure she does her “donation” bracelets when she has a chance. I do her photography, social media and manage her Etsy page to make sure everything stays updated. I love helping her, but I could definitely do better when it comes to marketing!
How do you protect Adrianna from the dangers of social media while still allowing her access to run her social media based business?
Ashley: Social media has been hard for me. She started this when she was 8 and now that she is 9, I still don’t think she’s mature enough to understand the dangers of social media. If I have images to share, I will show her and then we talk about what we want captions to say. We also do stories, but not often enough. Growing a business on instagram means you have to be present and active on it. I struggle with this because I worry about her getting wrapped up in the number of likes and comments. I don’t want her to forget to real meaning behind her bracelets!
This girl and her family get to change the world every single day by spreading awareness. It gives me goosebumps knowing that we live in a generation that doesn’t put limits on who she’s able to reach or what she’s able to accomplish. Bravo Adrianna Butler. I hope nothing stops you.
If you’re interested in starting your own business and who knows… maybe changing the world, tune into my instagram @stayfitmom_Tracy, where I passionately share the in and outs of social media based business regularly.
A HUGE thank you to Nate Grant of tngphoto.com for capturing these amazing images. It’s family photo season and Nate’s offering a great deal! Nate has always been the biggest Stay Fit Mom supporter and we can’t thank him enough for his amazing photography!