Real Life

Weekly people: Young entrepreneurs

The sky’s the limit for these budding entrepreneurs.

By Aroha Awarau
Amelia: Cake-making expert
She's only 16 years old, but baker Amelia Ferrier is already making her mark as a queen in the kitchen and an astute business woman. She's even had a stint as an intern at celebrity chef Simon Gault's Auckland restaurant Euro.
Her exciting hobby began when the Aucklander received a gift for her eighth birthday – a cupcake recipe book.
"I've been helping my mother bake all my life. But when I received the cookbook on my birthday, I started baking by myself, and I guess I've never left the kitchen," Amelia laughs.
Amelia's impeccable looking cakes, which sell for $70-$75 a pop, have been described as works of art.
Throughout the years, Amelia has perfected her skills, and started a popular blog – Melie's Kitchen – posting her own recipes and pictures of her elaborate cakes and treats.
Amelia has been in hot demand, and her impeccable looking cakes, which sell for $70-$75 a pop, have been described as works of art.
When a fan requested one of her cakes online, more people started ordering, and her booming business began.
"I'm very original. I don't like doing what others are doing. I love all things sweet and pretty," Amelia says. "I think it's boring making a cake and just icing it. For me, it's exciting to decorate a cake with lots of textures and layers – something that has a lot of elements."
Juggling school work and her business is easy, she says, as she only bakes on the weekend.
"I'm still a kid. I don't want to be working all the time and I do have to make sure I fit in everything that teenagers do."
"I'm very original. I don't like doing what others are doing. I love all things sweet and pretty," Amelia says. "I think it's boring making a cake and just icing it. For me, it's exciting to decorate a cake with lots of textures and layers – something that has a lot of elements."
Juggling school work and her business is easy, she says, as she only bakes on the weekend.
"I'm still a kid. I don't want to be working all the time and I do have to make sure I fit in everything that teenagers do."
Amelia's talent was spotted by MasterChef NZ judge Simon Gault when he awarded Amelia first place in a burger challenge he judged at her school.
Amelia's talent was spotted by MasterChef NZ judge Simon Gault when he awarded Amelia first place in a burger challenge he judged at her school, Diocesan School for Girls. He was so impressed with Amelia that he invited her to spend a day at his restaurant as an intern.
"That was an enjoyable experience," she says.
Amelia is currently saving money to travel to Europe so she can "eat her way around France and Italy". She also wants to save a start-up fundin order to buy a cake shop when she leaves school, with the goal of expanding her products to supermarkets.
She enjoys her passion for baking, and says it's a hobby that can also be a social activity for her and her friends.
"Most times I have my friends around who talk to me while I bake, helping me come up with flavour ideas. And they love it when they get to test my creations!"
The youngsters run a cat-minding business together, and say owning a company is child's play.
Zylah & Enzo: Cat-minding managers
Eight-year-old Zylah Vivace and her six-year-old brother Enzo proudly display something that most children don't possess – their business cards.
The youngsters run a cat-minding business together, and say owning a company is child's play.
"My brother and I really love animals, especially cats, and we thought it would be fun to look after and feed people's cats at their homes, rather than have them sent to a cattery," Zylah explains.
Living with their mum Sally Frewin, Zylah and Enzo previously ran a lemonade stand outside their home, near Auckland's Western Springs Stadium. When the topic of money was brought up with their mother last September, they came up with the idea of looking after people's cats while they were away.
"We turn up to their homes after school or during the holidays to feed the cats," Enzo explains. "That's my favourite part."
With help from their mother, who volunteers at the SPCA, the duo have regular board meetings, with Enzo in charge of taking minutes.
"We want to expand," says Zylah. "We're talking about bringing others onboard to help us look after cats outside of our neighbourhood."
Their efforts have been so lucrative that the pair have made enough money to fly the family to Australia for a much-needed holiday.
Kerikeri High School students Grayson Javins, Samantha Still and Pele Wharawhara have invented a removable rubber magnet which can be stuck on certain surfaces.
Grayson, Samantha & Pele: inventors
An accident that could have ended in tragedy has inspired three Northland teenagers to design a product that could save the lives of many Kiwi children.
The Tot Spot, designed by Kerikeri High School students Grayson Javins (16), Samantha Still (16) and Pele Wharawhara (17), is a removable rubber magnet which can be stuck on certain surfaces.
"It creates a designated spot for children to go to, put their hands on and stay while their parents are packing the car or doing other activities before they drive off," explains Grayson, the young marketing manager of the company Stick With Me. "They know where the children are as it keeps them close to the car, and parents know their kids won't be running out behind them."
Grayson came up with the idea for the Young Enterprise Scheme after his brother, Mitchell (7), was hit by a car four years ago and sustained serious injuries.
"The issue we are addressing is truly devastating," he adds. "It is clear that this is a real problem and we believe we have the solution for it."
The company has produced a prototype and hope to present their idea to trade expos next month. They aim to find an investor willing to help them launch the product.
"We're excited to see where this idea will lead us," Grayson says.

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