These Philadelphia teens run small businesses and want to inspire their peers to do the same

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A group of black teenage business owners gathered for a block party on Saturday — selling everything from custom hijab headwear and vegan skincare products to Buffalo chicken dip — to rise up each other and inspire other young people in the Philadelphia area to pursue their dreams.

“I want this to show people that not all the teenagers on our streets are running around doing things they’re not supposed to do,” said 17-year-old Qawyyah Powers, who organized the event as part of of his senior project at the Science Leadership Academy. at Beeber. “We are trying to make a name for ourselves.”

Her hope through the “Stop the Violence Teen Pop Up Shop,” she said, was to show her peers that there is a community available to support their ambitions.

“The street isn’t the only way people get out,” she said. “I want to support my people and I want my people to support my people.”

The teens set up block party-style tables in the Mantua neighborhood in partnership with Dimplez 4 Dayz, a youth empowerment nonprofit created by now-university student Akayla Brown who started the organization in 2016 to give back to his community through positivity. .

Here is some information about each of the young entrepreneurs and how you can support them:

After losing a close friend to gun violence in early 2020, Sanaya Moore, 18, started painting to cope with the pain. Moore, a senior at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, started selling her paintings before switching to crochet. Today, she sells bespoke clothing, ranging from hats and ski goggles to full outfits.

“Doing this feels like a triumph over my trauma,” she said.

Product: Crochet clothes

Price: $25 and up

How to buy: Instagram @ShopNavinchi

Kalea Dickerson, 17, started selling custom hijabs last August to better connect with her Muslim culture and make new friends, she said. Simon Gratz High School student Dickerson uses rhinestones and iron-on patches to embellish the headwear, designing each item by hand from her North Philly home. She accepts custom orders and has a few prefabs.

“I want to focus on making people feel beautiful,” she said.

Product: Personalized hijab headwear and scarves

Price: $12 and up

How to get in touch: Instagram @_.islamicPeacebyKD or email [email protected]

Garvin Train, 14, just started his restaurant business about a month ago, and he can’t wait to show off his cooking skills in Philadelphia. Garvin, an eighth-grader at Belmont Charter School, says his specialty is steak, but he’ll cook anything you ask. That means everything from quesadillas to chicken Alfredo.

He was inspired to start the business after completing the Dimplez 4 Dayz Youth Workforce Development Course and has mostly supported its events thus far.

Product: Everything your heart desires

Price: Varied

How to order: Instagram @Mainn_Catering_LLC

sierra jones17, turned her nickname, CeCe, into a business.

Jones, a senior George Washington Carver, handcrafts sweatshirts and other apparel in her West Philly home, and adds inspirational messages. She has items in stock and takes custom orders.

“I try to show people that life doesn’t have to be so miserable if you see everything more clearly,” she said. “You don’t have to go into this cycle of mutual destruction.”

Product: Tie dye clothing

Price: Varies, but sweatshirts are $40

How to order: Instagram @ceeverythingclearly

Founder Qawyyah powers, 17, from Olney started selling her homemade banana pudding about two years ago after friends and family complimented it so well. She added Buffalo Chicken Dip to the menu, which she says is the best in town. People can order different sizes for pickup and delivery.

Product: Homemade Banana Pudding with Buffalo Chicken Dip

Price: $7 to $14

How to order: Instagram @_.kastreats

After exploring her own spiritual journey, Kiersten Williams, 18, decided to look into the power of crystals. The First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School senior has been making crystal jewelry for seven months.

Product: Crystal bracelets and necklaces

Price: $8 to $25

How to buy: Instagram @healingwithKW

For Elijah Barker, 17, her natural skincare business started out bored during the pandemic and watching YouTube videos. The Science Leadership Academy senior taught himself how to make vegan soaps and body scrubs – with scents like lavender honey, white tea and ginger – in the kitchen of his North Philly home.

Product: Soaps and body scrubs

Price: $6 to $10

How to buy: Instagram @ShopSkinCafe and on Etsy.

Angelo Walker, 19, and Michael Cleaves, 20, gave away free haircuts at the pop-up event. They plan to go to Dimplez 4 Dayz, at 3509 Haverford Ave., every two weeks to offer free haircuts to anyone in the 19104 zip code, to help local youth feel comfortable and confident. and look professional, they said.

You can find them at Faheem’s Hands of Precision in South Philly during the week.

Product: Haircuts

Price: Free

How to get in touch: Walker’s Instagram is @Lo.Cutzz and Cleaves’ Instagram is @MikeDiced

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