What’s new at the market is Rubeads. We are proud to have in attendance our youngest vendor on the plaza at age 13, Ruby Romano. Her business Rubeads isn’t her first and I am sure it won’t be her last.
With the support of her many entrepreneurial family members, Ruby officially has kicked off her business making beaded items, such as lanyards for glasses, bracelets and necklaces, plus a line of magnets with various characters made from shells.
Business began for Ruby with a lemonade stand on the Discovery Bike Trail when she was 5 years old. Her clever twist was that the price was “by donation” and that proved prosperous. She says people were generous, and added with a grin “sometimes people would buy a lemonade for their dog to drink.”
That went on for years. She would beg her mom to buy the ingredients and along with a few friends they would set up shop.
It was last year that she discovered beading. Upon entering an “amazing bead shop” she bought an ample amount to start playing with. She says she really likes light jewelry, so prefers the tiny beads.
As Ruby gifted one piece after another to her mom, it became apparent that she had talent for putting together colors and patterns. The entrepreneurial wheels began to spin.
To extend her reach, she became a vendor during Sequim Lavender Weekend at a local lavender farm. To pay for her attendance, she worked at the farm cutting lavender bundles and she tells me “it was really good.” She then attended a popular local holiday sale, and that too “was really good.”
She tells me, “I like to be able to get what I want, when I want it and not having to beg my parents. I can also get better Christmas and birthday presents for them.”
Though later I learned that she is saving her earnings, she is eager to go on a school history trip to Washington D.C. next year during spring break, and she is saving for a camera and a car. It doesn’t come easy either, she self-proclaims she is shy and not outgoing, nonetheless the market is helping her with that too.
I asked her how she got into making the shell animal magnets. She tells me that one day she was looking in the pantry and found a big bag of shells. Turns out they were her great-grandmother’s and inside were some attempts at making various critters. She says she didn’t really like the ones she saw but it gave her the idea, so she started making little mice and then the owls.
While working with one of our now retired vendors, she received encouragement and advice on becoming a market vendor. That helped build her confidence. Now she says, “It is great to have a place to sell each week.”
While some kids are passionate about soccer, piano or dance and their parents are paying for it, she says it’s like she is taking a business class but it pays her! Her passion is business and she is living it. Her mom says she is truly an inspiration to the whole family, including her 6-year-old sister Lydia, who helps her with Saturday morning set-up.
Come to the market and meet this young entrepreneur and pick up a gift for a friend or for yourself at Rubeads. Finally, if you have a stash of shells or beads that you would like to pass on, please bring them to Ruby. She would gladly accept your donation.