July 30, 2013 at 9:13 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — Bath Junkie owner Katie Cantor has a passion for teaching girls about business. She herself was just 21 when she applied for a Small Business Administration loan and 22 when she opened her shop four years ago—old enough to start a successful business, yet young enough to remember what it was like to be in grade school.
Throughout the year, Cantor hosts birthday parties, Girl Scout events and “Bath Junkie Boot Camp” classes that let kids come in and learn about creating, packaging and even selling bath products. (They get to take home some goodies, too.) This summer, for the second time, she’s offering an entrepreneurial camp experience for girls ages 10 to 15.
Called “Who’s the Boss? Girls!” the camp will begin its second six-day session of the summer on Aug. 5. Girls can sign up for two, four or six days.
“We have room for five more girls,” said Cantor.
During the first session, Cantor led nine girls in inventing, creating, packaging and displaying products like “fizzy soap” and a hairbrush with built-in conditioner. Girls also met with local business owners, created business plans, decorated the store’s window and learned about public speaking.
The curriculum for this session remains similar, though Cantor lets the girls run with their own ideas, meaning anything can happen.
“The girls inspire me I think more than I inspire them,” said Cantor. “They realize the power of the simplest idea. They just do it. They use their instinct, and I think we forget how to do that as adults. We’re scared to run with our ideas, and they are not scared.”
For more information, call Westfield Bath Junkie at (908) 264-8633.
During the coming school year, Cantor will help teach the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s first Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!). Now expanded to include students in seventh through 12th grades, YEA! will connect 24 kids with local business owners and guide them through the process of starting and running their own businesses. For our original story about that program, click here.
“I’m psyched about it,” said Cantor.