WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — At age 8, Hannah Altman crafted the idea to start her own company selling pencil toppers, known as squishies, like the seahorse one she bought in a vending machine. On Friday the 13th of 2009, luckily enough, www.HannahsCoolWorld.com was launched and Hannah began selling pencil toppers and other cool kid products.
To date, over 300,000 pencil toppers have been sold along with nearly 150,000 Japanese Erasers, and a variety of other must-have cool kid collectible toys including GoGo’s Crazy Bones. This 10 year-old CEO has built a mini toy empire with gross sales reaching $500,000. Her parents, Lauren and Rick Altman, quit their day jobs and now work for Hannah!
This entrepreneurial spirit began four years ago, when Lauren Altman came up with the idea to create a beaded zipper pull for her husband Rick’s fleece jacket. While at the kitchen table, Hannah, then 6 years old, chimed in with the idea to make a business to sell the zipper pulls online and named the company CoolZips which led to the launch of www.CoolZips.com.
The family has since expanded the CoolZips product line to include gifts and toys for kids of all ages. In addition, they will soon be launching a Silly Dog Joe product line of t-shirts and mugs.
While still having fun as a 5th grader, Hannah works hard at building her company. She generally works one or two hours a day after school filling orders and researching new products from around the world to sell on her website.
Rick and Lauren Altman made it a point to teach Hannah the importance of giving back. Financial donations are made from Hannah’s Cool World to charities such as the National Wildlife Foundation, Michigan Humane Society, and summer camps. In addition, toy donations are made to schools, camps, and Toys For Tots. In 2010, the family created Hip To The Skippy silicone bracelets where $1 of each bracelet sale is donated to Rock Can Roll, a hunger relief organization serving the U.S.
In this economic climate, sharing Hannah’s story attracts a multitude of people seeking advice on launching a product or starting an online business. Hannah also receives phone calls and letters from people around the globe thanking her for inspiring them to dust off their lists of ideas and try something new.
This 10 year-old is just getting started!
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