TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Many kids spend their summers playing games or sleeping in, but a Lenawee County girl is using the time to focus on her new business. It’s called Emelia Sophia Designs.
Emelia “Emmy” Ortiz is an 11-year-old girl from Tecumseh who combined her love of art and animals to start a business. The focus of the business is giving back.
The Emmys started during the pandemic. “I was watching videos on YouTube of people making resin. I thought it was interesting, so I asked my mom about it and we started,” Ortiz said.
Emmy’s mother, Katie Van Buren, helps out, but claims she’s not much of an artist. “I’d like to say she got it from me, but it’s definitely from her dad. She’s always been good at drawing, she’s always been artistic. Emmy is a great kid,” Van Buren said.
Emmy has spent the past year perfecting her craft and testing products with family and friends. She started selling to the general public this summer “I go to my local farmers market and hope to have my own place one day. I’m working on my Etsy account and I already have a Facebook page,” Ortiz said.
Emmy makes and sells everything from earrings and coasters to cast paintings. She and her family love animals, so 25 percent of the sale price of each item is given to animal rescue shelters or charities.
“When you think about all the items you want to buy with the money you make, you realize they’re not that important when you learn you could be saving lives with it instead,” Ortiz said.
Word of Emmy’s talent and heart quickly spread throughout Tecumseh. The little designer got a big response right out of the gates. In her first week on the job, Katie said her daughter was able to give $100 to charity.
“When we go to the farmers market, people come up and say they can’t believe she’s only 11. They ask me if I do anything and I say sometimes, but she does the prettier things,” Van Buren said.
The biggest lesson Katie hopes Emmy takes from this is how important it is to always help others. “It’s about trying to help alleviate the suffering of people and animals in this world. That’s what it comes down to. And you’re never too young to help change this world,” Van Buren said.
Emmy is certainly proof of that. In fact, she is a real gem.
“It’s not all about money, it’s also about happiness. It’s important to give back.” Emmy added, proving herself to be wise beyond her years.
If you are interested in seeing some of her work, Emelia is at the Tecumseh Farmers Market most Saturdays and you can check out her Facebook page Emelia Sophia Designs.
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