Over the past few years, the Powell Tribune has covered a few teen entrepreneurs. Every community has kids who excel at sports, science, or academics, but Powell has an unusual amount of kids running …
Over the past few years, the Powell Tribune has covered a few teen entrepreneurs. Every community has kids who excel at sports, science, or academics, but Powell has an unusual amount of kids running businesses.
According to most estimates, less than 10% of all Americans own their own business. Of those who own a business, only 6% are under age 34, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
It’s hard to get good data on how many of those under-34 business owners are in their teens, but it’s a safe bet it’s a very small portion.
Back in 2019, we reported on Andy Beavers, who founded Andy’s Donuts. Beavers, who has since graduated from Powell High School and now goes to Northwest College, started selling donuts to teachers and friends. It was so successful, he bought a handicap van and converted it into a food truck.
Then there’s Tag Thompson. Before Thompson turned 13, he owned a tractor, signed a contract with Briess Malt & Ingredients for 10 acres of barley, and paid off a loan that provided seed money for his company, Tag Thompson Cattle Co. He’s the youngest person to ever buy crop insurance in Wyoming.
We also reported on Quincy Barhaug. The middle schooler developed an interest in blacksmithing, which he taught himself mostly by watching YouTube videos. He built his own propane forge, collected raw materials and other tools, including an antique coking forge, and began making jewelry along with his family. Besides the Barhaugs’ Etsy store, the jewelry is sold at The Humblebee Shop, which works with other young designers.
Most recently we reported on Brynn Hillman, who founded Brynn’s Bakery. Hillman makes all kinds of macarons and cookies, and even supplies Heart Mountain Mudd, the coffee kiosk, with her baked goods. Hillman does all her own social media marketing, including the photography.
Hillman’s baked goods had a reputation in town as being of a very high quality. In the interest of thorough journalism, we here at the Powell Tribune purchased an order of Hillman’s PayDay macarons and strawberry cheesecake cookies to see if they did live up to the hype.
We were beyond impressed, but we’ll likely have to purchase more samples to be sure — for journalism, of course. We’ll let you know how this ongoing investigation turns out.
All joking aside, it is rather peculiar that there are so many business-minded kids in this small community.
Nationwide, young people have a declining appreciation of the free market. A 2018 Gallup Poll revealed that 45% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 had a favorable view of capitalism, with 51% having a favorable view of socialism. The same poll in 2016 had 54% of respondents with a favorable view of capitalism. While the percentage of respondents with a favorable view of socialism remained unchanged — thank goodness — fewer kids today value economic liberty.
Nothing teaches kids more about the value of the free market than running their own businesses. This isn’t just about instilling them with an ideological appreciation of capitalism. It promotes good values.
Running a business, as any business owner will tell you, requires an enormous amount of hard work. The average business owner works 50 to 60 hours per week. Yet they also report, on average, higher levels of happiness than their non-owning counterparts.
A solid work ethic naturally flows from connecting contentment with initiative, hard work, and perseverance. It builds self worth. All kids could benefit from such entrepreneurial pursuits.
Quite a few kids in Powell are, and it speaks highly of their parents and teachers.