Starting a business is a big deal, and the stakes are often high, even when the business owner is still in grade school. Yet, eight year-old Jalen Bailey opened a home bakery and started selling banana bread, cupcakes, and an assortment of cookies in July from the apartment he shares with his mom in Fresno, California. Making extra pocket money and learning the value of hard work are reason enough to applaud Jalen’s new venture, but our Mama hearts are swooning over his aspirational goal: Jalen wants to sell enough baked goods to buy a new house for his mom, Sharlonda Mahan. Jalen says he wants “a house where me and my mom can be happy in,” and he has his mom to thank for the entrepreneurial skills and advice needed to run the business.
As part of an early homeschool education, Mahan taught Jalen about entrepreneurship, and it’s a topic she is well acquainted with. Mahan studied business in college and has had side businesses herself since she was 18, so she was aware of the commitment, enthusiasm, and planning it takes. Although the business was Jalen’s idea, his mom was his inspiration and also serves as his baking assistant. With burgeoning interest in his treats (which have been approved by the health department), Jalen has revised his list of goals to also include earning money for college, savings, and even a dog. Jalen says that a key ingredient of his treats are that they are “made with love.” With a heart as sweet as Jalen’s, we can’t imagine his confections could be anything short of wonderful.
You can order goodies or a t-shirt online and help support this thoughtful boy and help him get closer to his inspiring goal of a new home. FYI: the peanut butter cookies are apparently his specialty!
Images via Jalen’s Bakery