River was the first born – she arrived two minutes before her brother – and the first to start her own business. In 2020, she sought a creative outlet to occupy her while her extracurricular activities were on hold. She turned to beads, thread and YouTube tutorials.
“I was in the middle of one of my shows” at the Kennedy Center, “and then covid shut it down,” said the actress, who recently performed in “Freaky Friday” at a theater company in Virginia. “I decided I wanted to experiment, so I started making friendship bracelets.”
The following year she returned to school wearing her handmade necklaces and bracelets. Her friends asked her to make jewelry for them. Their interest in her designs gave her the idea and confidence to start her own company, River Khai Beads. She has since grown her collection to include rings, earrings, paintings, candles and Crocs charms.
“I set myself goals. Make at least two bracelets a day and content at least three times a week,” said River. “I also want to inspire other younger girls to start their own business.”
Ryder worked for his sister before starting out on his own with Ruff Ryder Dog Toys. “I was her banker and finance guy, but she didn’t really pay me,” he said. “So I decided I had to start my own business.”
His parents asked him to open a business without any external costs, such as raw materials. They offered him a box of old white T-shirts that they planned to give away. He spent several weeks researching ideas before coming up with dog toys made from recycled shirts.
“I get my materials from donations, so it’s good for the environment, and I donate to a pit bull foundation,” said Ryder, who tests his tug toys on his two dogs, Rebel and Remington, a pit bull-American Staffordshire mix. .
To make the toys, he cuts T-shirts into four long strips, stretches the fabric and then knits the pieces together. On some models, he adds a tennis ball.
“I figured it out quickly and just started grinding them,” said Ryder, who is a Wiz Kids dancer with the Washington Wizards. “I made about 20 in the first week.”
Ryder has sold about 100 tug toys since he started his business last year, including several bought at the fair. It is planned to expand to other species. Take a look at the market for cat toys and sister’s feather bins.
Towards the end of the fair, Piya Scielzo, the 16-year-old entrepreneur who organized the event, announced the awards.
At the September fair, River won the award for the company with the greatest business potential. Three months later, Ryder won the award for best presentation.
“His table was colorful and bright, and he did a demonstration,” said Piya, who also served as a judge. “His business is also 100 percent sustainable, and he donates the proceeds.”
When asked how he felt about the honor, Ryder looked at his sister and said, “If one of us wins, we both win.”