EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 21, 2013

Who-o-o knew?

Youngster's ornament business really takes off

By Alex Lippa

---- — SALEM —What started as a small hobby has turned into quite a hoot for Aidan Leavitt, 7.

The second-grader has been making homemade owl ornaments and is selling them online. He has completed orders from all over the country and has made $300.

“He’s become a successful little businessman,” mom Elisa Leavitt said. “I just keep sitting here with my mouth open with what he has. Sewing handmade things is not an easy thing to do.”

It started just more than a week ago, when Aidan was bored one day.

“I was just sitting on my couch and didn’t have anything to do,” he said. “So, I asked my mom if she could teach me how to sew.”

Elisa Leavitt, an accomplished seamstress, was more than happy to teach him.

“I was just glad to see him doing something other than playing video games,” she said.

The two started sewing together and Aidan really enjoyed making owl ornaments. His mother posted some of the photos online and she was shocked at the response she received.

“People actually wanted to buy the ornaments,” she said.

Aidan started selling the ornaments at Barron Elementary School, where he is a student, to friends and teacher. His father made a Facebook page with the ornaments and that’s when the owl ornaments started flying out of the Leavitts’ home.

“People started buying them from all over the country,” Aidan said.

He received orders from North Carolina, California, even Hawaii.

“It was crazy,” Elisa Leavitt said. “None of us expected this to turn into what it’s become.”

Aidan originally wanted to earn enough money for a new XBox. Then he decided he wanted to share the wealth.

“I am going to use some of the money to buy a boy bike and a girl bike,” he said. “I’m going to donate them to Toys for Tots.”

Aidan usually spends a couple of hours after school making the ornaments. It takes him 10 to 15 minutes to make each one.

“He’s just gotten the hang of it so fast,” Elisa Leavitt said.

Aidan has completed about 100 since he began, but he still has 120 more orders to fill. The number doesn’t daunt him.

“I enjoy making them,” he said.

His mother is surprised that he continues to keep going.

“As long as he wants to do this, we’re going to encourage him and let him go,” she said. “He can quit anytime he wants, but he doesn’t want to.”

In addition to giving him something to do, Aiden is learning some valuable skills, according to his mother.

“He’s handling all the business aspects,” she said. “So, he’s learning about taxes and profits. He even went to the bank and opened up an account. Of course, everyone there wanted to buy some.”

Each ornament costs $5. They can be purchased by emailing aidansowls@gmail.com.