Nov. 25, 2006 – Santa Barbara, CA (November 26, 2006) – Madison Lewandowski was happily surprised this November to get a letter in the mail addressed to Maddie’s Monkey with the return address “Cleveland School.”
“I thought it was cool,” says seven-year old Madison. “I got my first business letter.”
She opened it to find nine-year old Victoria Beltran praising her peer’s products and perseverance.
Students in the fourth grade class chose to write to companies like Foot Locker, K-Mart, Nintendo and McDonald’s. But Beltran was drawn to a different business.
“My teacher told us to write to a company whose products we appreciated,” said Beltran. “I’d seen the Maddie’s Monkey Business frames and jewelry and thought they were pretty.”
After reading a book on girls starting businesses, the young entrepreneur listed business ideas, borrowed some money from her parents and stepped into the world of business. Since starting Maddie’s Monkey Business in the summer of 2006, the young businesswoman has created a line of jewelry as well as one-of-a-kind picture frames.
Although she’s sold her creations at fairs and holiday boutiques, her biggest clientele are those wanting personal pieces. With her business cards and catalog making the rounds and word of mouth picking up, children and adults alike are placing orders, and the second grader fulfills them in a timely manner, delivering her items to very pleased customers.
“What I like most,” Madison says, “is giving someone a frame or bracelet they ordered and watching their eyes when they first look at it.”
Madison’s been interested in art from a very early age. “When she was one and a half,” her father recalls, “she drew a pretty good likeness of Michael Jackson… pre-surgery years.”
Santa Barbara Parent Source named her Santa Barbara’s Valentine Day Kid of the Year for her contribution to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She and a friend sold pieces of their art for donations and sent the money to the Red Cross.
Later that year, the young artist’s work was chosen out of sixty pieces as the design for the McConnell’s Ice Cream cow, an eighty-year old Santa Barbara landmark that sits atop Cities BBQ restaurant on Milpas Street. She named her creative design “The Cowger.” It was a cow with tiger’s stripes.
“Hers was the best design we’ve had in thirty years,” says McConnell’s Ice Cream president, Jimmy Young.
Madison has future plans for her budding business. She wants to create a Maddie’s Monkey Business website in 2007 and plans on donating a part of her profits to charities starting in the New Year.
“I’d like to help a different charity each month, “she says, “and offer them a part of my money. I love the ay it feels to help other people.”
To learn more about Madison and her business, she can be reached at Madsion@CouplesCommittedToLove.com, or you can call her dad, Leon, and 805-570-3213.
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