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Women owners organize kids’ business fair


Two Central Iowa women who are small-business owners and moms are organizing a kids’ business fair planned April 29. 

The idea came close to home. Kathleen Riessen’s sons, Caden and Noah, wanted to sell something outside their home. “We started researching things they could sell,” said Riessen, of Kathleen Riessen and Co. “I ran across a kids’ business fair in Texas, and it sounded cool.” 

She shared the idea with Nora Crosthwaite, who operates HomesWithNora.com. “She said, ‘Let’s make it happen,’ so we did.”

There are still some booths available for budding entrepreneurs ages 6-18 for the event at Farrell’s Waukee location. It runs 1-3 p.m. The booth fee is $12.

“The point of the fee is to simulate a real fair that they would pay to be a part of. When the children register, they pick a nonprofit that will receive the proceeds from the registration fee,” Riessen said.

She explained that products from cookies to monogrammed chalkboards, paper swords, clay pots and dog toys will be allowed. One caveat: Parents are allowed to help the children but are not allowed to do the work, so all products will have been thought of, developed and sold by the children.

Who knows? One of the participants could be one of Greater Des Moines’ future business leaders as they get a taste of being a startup, such as this real world example: “Each of our entrepreneurs have received a spreadsheet along with guidance to help them track their expenses and develop their pricing strategy. At the end of the event, we will host a short workshop to recap the event and discuss what the kids learned,” Riessen said.

Registration is at dsmkidsinbiz.com.

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