Saving $100,000 would seem like a nearly impossible task for an adult, but when Carter Dewey’s mom told him that’s what it would take to move into a ranch-style house, Carter went to work.
The 9-year-old started a business with a plan to help his parents purchase his dream home.
The Dewey family, which includes Mom, Terri; Dad, Morgan; and siblings Carter and 6-year-old Caleb, lived in a ranch-style house in Topeka. They moved into a California-split style home in Gardner five years ago.
The Madison Elementary School fourth grader remembers having a large basement to play in at the Topeka house. Since they moved, Carter has been asking his parents to buy a ranch-style home again.
“We finally told him if he saved $100,000, then we would move,” Terri said. “I thought that would be the end of it.”
Last summer, Morgan purchased a friendship bracelet-making kit for Carter.
Carter began selling the bracelets for $1 apiece. He made $77 in friendship bracelet sales last year.
Terri doesn’t know where Carter gets his entrepreneurial spirit. She came up with the $100,000 figure hoping Carter would forget about moving.
“I thought if we tell him how much it’s going to cost, he’ll give up on trying to get us to move,” Terri said.
This year, he’s expanded the business to include paratrooper cord bracelets. When those bracelets become trendy, Carter asked his mom to search online for how to make them. Then he asked to go to the craft store to purchase supplies.
“It’s hard work,” Carter said.
Carter is the CEO in his bracelet business, but it’s really a family project. Part of the manufacturing process requires melting, and Carter isn’t old enough yet to do that part.
“That’s exactly what it is, a family project,” Terri explained. “At night, we all sit in the living room. I usually do all the melting and the boys do all of the braiding.”
Carter sells the paratrooper cord bracelets for $4 apiece. He priced the bracelets by asking people how much they’d pay for one.
Terri said he knows exactly how much it costs him to make each bracelet, and how long it will take. He adds an up-charge when people order personalized bracelets with charms on them. The charms, he said, cost him an extra $1 apiece.
Terri also assists with marketing Carter’s bracelets. She posts pictures of the bracelets on her Facebook page, and Carter asked her to set up an email account where people can submit orders.
This year, Carter has put $550 in profit in the bank. He anticipates saving enough money to help purchase a new house within five or six years.
He has his own bank account, and Terri said he’s very good at putting his money back into the business or in the bank to save for a new house.
In addition to taking orders online, he’s received orders through word-of-mouth, and he has set up a table in the driveway selling his wares. He’s also taken his talents on the road – with the help of his extended family.
Last weekend, the entire family including his aunts and uncles helped him make 70 bracelets that he sold at a Relay for Life event in Topeka.
“We’re pretty proud of him,” Terri said.
To order a paratrooper cord bracelet, email Carter at [email protected]