Over the past 2 years, Abi has been our guinea pig with a goal of discovering what it would take to change the world, one child at a time.  Our life's purpose has changed over the past year and now it is crystal clear:

Our Life's Purpose: "To inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs to think and act socially, environmentally and economically responsibly"

The Unlimited Awesome Academy (UAA) is a not-just-for-profit, app-based social mentoring program that teaches kids 11-18 the fundamentals of living a successful life filled with joy and prosperity in a time when the current education system struggles to maintain relevance.  

UAA Mission Statement:  "To Make Better Humans"

UAA Goal:  Educate 1 million young entrepreneurs while generating $1B in revenue by 2021.

Fundamentals For Success:

  1. Only 10's
  2. 100% Responsibility
  3. Make the news, don't watch the news
  4. Positivity
  5. Attitude of Gratitude
  6. What do you want
  7. Travel vs. Tourism
  8. Dress for Success
  9. No Safety Net
  10. Don't Be a Waiter
The method by which we intend to accomplish these goals is using a system known as direct selling where members of the academy design, market and sell products to each other while mentoring each other with a common goal of success.  By giving kids the tools, lessons and mentors they need to expand their vision for what entrepreneurship looks like and rewarding them for learning, we do two things; 1. We create a culture of abundance, sharing and mentorship and 2. We give kids the opportunity to become financially independent at a very young age.

Potential products the program will sell include: 

  • Apparel
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry/watches
  • Fragrances
  • Bags/Backpacks
  • Apps

The income that each youth creates for themselves will be divided as follows to teach them the power and value of money:

  • 10% donated to a cause of their choice
  • 20% put into a self-directed investment fund
  • 70% available at their discretion 

Students will learn the following life lessons:

Independent Learning, Business Planning, Communication, Accountability, Visualization, Life Planning, Networking, Leadership, Goal setting, Persistence, Marketing, Mentorship, Abundance, Meditation, Gratitude, Tax Structure, Positivity, Integrity, Purpose, Sales, Values, Travel

Ultimately, we will use virtual reality (VR) to allow kids to design their own virtual retail shop where they can learn build their own business, test, learn, iterate and grow.

Keep checking back as we move forward with this incredible program.

Alan & Julie Smithson

 

Education Planning for my Kids

How many conversations have you had with other parents about the current school curriculum?  How it isn't up to date or its lacking education that you wish you had learned before you made the mistakes after your graduation day. 

There is a lot to learn.  There is so much to teach our kids, about everything. About life and how to live your life, how to be happy doing what you are doing and how to make money to live from and survive.  

Right now, we leave it to our educational leaders to teach our children over the course of 17 years thinking it will be the best thing for them.. meanwhile, maybe it isn't.  Maybe it is more damaging than doing good. 

As a parent, I feel that I have a responsibility to my girls to provide them with the best possible life I can give them until they are ready to support their own.  This is why Alan and I have decided to plan our girls education a little differently than how we grew up.

The new business is the Entrepreneur, supported with new technology and a social responsibility. Passionate and creative people are finding solutions to do business on their own. To know how to support yourself is the key to life beyond health and well being.  We saw an opportunity with Abi's business to teach her how to build her own business out of an idea.  Through this experience we are building her knowledge of business which is currently not taught in her school.  

Education planning for my girls involves attending school, as well as taking technology courses they do not teach in schools yet.  Coding, programming and graphic artist skills are becoming important talents and learning how to do these skills at an earlier stage would put them into a pace the rest of the world is running at.  I have always told my girls that they don't have to love Coding, but they have to learn it.  The platform that will support them and everyone around them for the rest of their life needs to be known by each person to better understand who we are and who we will become.

Dedicating the time to plan your child's education is a commitment not everyone is able to make happen. 

Education Planning is all about making sure you set your children up for success. Making sure they learn the most up to date and current means of integrating with society with the talents they have to make money for themselves, understanding their surroundings and being a respectful person with others in all forms of communication. Education is not always about being in school. It is about learning skills, business practices and procedures, becoming socialized, through technology as well as the ability to understand and have compassion for others.

 

Julie Smithson, COO

Made By Abi Inc.

 

 

Where it All Started...  

Teaching our 9 Year Old Daughter to 

DREAM BIG!!

In the Summer of 2013,  9 year old Abi Smithson came up with an idea at Inventors Camp hosted by Ladies Learning Code in Toronto, Canada.  The idea was to design a sandal that would  leave a heart shaped tan-line on the top of your foot after seeing her Mom’s ugly traditional tan lines.  We told Abi she can make anything happen, and when you Dream...     YOU CAN DREAM BIG.   Since that summer we have led Abi on a journey of Entrepreneurship to build her idea into a reality through the Love Sandal with her company, Made by Abi Inc.

As CEO of Made by Abi Inc.,  Abi has been involved with every part of the creation of the company including the shoe design, the build of the shoe, the manufacturing, distribution, raising equity funds, marketing, branding her product, and administration setup.   

When Abi started her journey, she was accepted into the #1 business incubator in Canada (#5 in the world), Ryerson University Digital Media Zone & Fashion Zone in Toronto.  The DMZ & FZ are providing her with the mentorship and assistance of resources to help her company grow.  

Abi has been a strong voice in the company making every decision about the product design, the packaging, the people on her team and learning about how her product will be brought to market.

From designing her shoes and launching a very strategic crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo Canada to manufacturing, below is an outline of what Abi has learned about building her company from the Summer of 2013 working through until the Fall of 2014.  

Building on an Idea, Where it all Began

  1. Abi attended Inventors Camp at Ladies (Girls) Learning Code  - August 2013,  Abi worked in groups of other girls ages 9-13 to develop Experimental Projects and Entrepreneurial Ideas over the course of a week long camp.   Using simulated currency, the groups had to budget their research & development spending over 5 days with four different projects then reporting their expenses and discoveries and pitch their final idea.   
  2. In the same camp, Abi learned about Leap Motion, Programming Robots, 3D Printing, Python, MakeyMakey and Google Glass
  3. In July 2014, Abi attended Entrepreneur Camp and learned how to Pitch an idea to a simulated Dragon’s Den and develop a Business Plan with her team.
  4. Abi has taken Courses in Coding for HTML, CSS, Python, Visual Arts Programming, Scratch and Pixlr to support her comprehension of Technology applications

All About the Business

  1. Abi has Incorporated her Company with her Lawyer
  2. Abi understands the difference between a company name and her Brand
  3. Abi has Registered her Business and now has a Business Number (BN) with the province of Ontario, Canada
  4. With her BN Number, Abi understands that she must have a GST/HST Number as well as an Import and Export Number with her corporation in order to ship her shoes around the world
  5. Abi is in the process of getting Insurance for her company while building a relationship with the agent so they understand her business
  6. Abi worked with her Dad to develop the Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Pitch Deck
  7. Abi has the understanding and ability to present her Pitch Deck to interested parties, potential partners and investors  

Designing The Love Sandal and Producing a Prototype

  1. Abi has a drawing of her own version of what the shoe would look like
  2. Worked with Mentors in the Shoe Market to understand how to build a shoe
  3. Visited ALDO Head Office for a Tour and one on one mentorship with the President of the company to understand how a shoe is designed, built, shipped and taxed
  4. Abi has worked with ALDO Design Artists to design 2 models of her shoe
  5. Abi has worked with ALDO to understand what the future colour and styles are for the Fashion of 2015
  6. Abi designed the shoe: the layers of fabrics, materials, sole design etc.
  7. Abi has received prototypes of the shoes delivered to her from 2 separate factories and she knows the difference between good and bad quality prototypes.
  8. Designed her own Logo
  9. Input into the specifications of the Heart shape


Media Relations

  1. Abi learned how to speak with the Media via Radio, TV, and live Phone and on-Stage Interviews for up to 1000 people
  2. Abi has experienced Live TV Interviews with the Canada AM Morning Show to present her idea to Beverly Thompson
  3. Abi has also interviewed with Tech Vibes, Toronto Star and Ryerson about her company, Tech Classes and becoming Ryerson’s Youngest Entrepreneur of the Digital Media Zone and Fashion Zone   

 

Financial Reporting & Bank Accounts
  1. Opening her Personal Account, knowing how to write a Cheque, setting up Online Banking and using a debit card
  2. Opening her Business Account and understanding the Canadian & US Currency Accounts
  3. Registered her PayPal Account
  4. Understanding how Square Processing works

Incubator Relations

  1. Representing Ryerson University Digital Media Zone (DMZ) & Fashion Zone as a Member
  2. Connecting with other business owners and understanding the successes and struggles of a startup company
  3. Abi has attended many after-work networking events to spread the word on her company and introduce herself and her product, shaking hands, introducing herself and providing her business card to broaden her network of people. This in turn has provided Abi with the self confidence she needs to engage in social situations
  4. Learning how to meet other business owners and discuss business activity
  5. Conversing with the Dean of the University and visiting Dignitaries
  6. Meeting with other DMZ Members to see where her company can connect business relations
  7. Abi is responsible to give an update every 2 weeks on the status of her company and has monthly check-ins with the Zones

Start-Up CrowdFunding Campaign

  1. Knowledge of how Crowdfunding works and the concept of raising funds through a 60 day campaign
  2. Setting up her Indiegogo Canada Account
  3. Understanding the concept of the compelling story selling feature
  4. Filming the Campaign to show off her designs throughout different locations in Toronto
  5. Understanding the setup of a CrowdFunding campaign
  6. Understanding how social media will play a role in her sales and profile - through Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

Communications Etiquette

  1. Abi understands and uses Email through Google; how to compose messages, (CC & BCC) as well as create and send signatures; how to use Google Drive for documents and spreadsheets
  2. Teaching Abi how to use SKYPE, Google Phone and Google Hangouts for her Meetings
  3. Receiving her first cell phone with full capabilities to be able to receive company direction and ability to communicate with parents, partners, and manufacturers etc.
  4. Understanding social etiquette of having a cell phone and its appropriate use

Public Speaking & Social Interaction

  1. Abi has been exposed to the experience of speaking to over 1000 people at the Retail Conference of Canada during a stage interview
  2. Abi has been filmed on live television with Canada AM
  3. Abi has had the opportunity to present her company as an Entrepreneur on a Live Radio Talk Show
  4. Abi has spoken about her Idea coming to Life at a SheEo Conference and presented a speech in front of 250 other Female CEO’s
  5. Abi has also presented her company to the RICC Centre where they facilitate connections and Resources for Entrepreneurs within the Peel Region

Working with the Retail Industries & Executives

  1. Abi has been fortunate to have the assistance of the Retail Council of Canada to provide her with mentorship and connections for Retail Marketing
  2. Abi has received support from Hudson's Bay, The Shoe Company, Towne Shoes and DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) who are all expressed interested in Abi’s Love Sandal line and are waiting to see the final design
  3. Abi has also had the opportunity to meet high level executives who support her vision from Costco and Toys R’Us, as well as David Chilton & Kevin O’Leary from Dragon’s Den and Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank

Building her Profile

  1. Abi has built a company profile on Facebook, linked from her company site
  2. Abi also owns a LinkedIn account where she keeps her education and media exposure up to date.

Human Resources

  1. Abi has had the experience of hiring and firing partners as well as losing them
  2. Abi understands the need to have the right people on her team to help her succeed

Miscellaneous Courses & Meetings

  1. Abi has attended several Courses focused on Business which have been listed below
    1. How to Patent your Product at Fashion Week
    2. How to Start a CrowdFunding Campaign
    3. How to Handle Media

Barbie Bursary

  1. Abi has entered her company and product idea in Barbie’s Bursary competition where Mattel is celebrating Barbie’s job of the Year as an Entrepreneur and they are  looking for Under 18 Entrepreneurs to provide them with a $2500 Grant towards their Business.  Abi is currently 1 of 10 finalists in the standing and we look forward to receiving the results this month

Where we are now….

(as of Fall 2014)

The most amazing moment so far was the day Abi came home and there was a package in the mail and she held in her hands The Love Sandals.  Something she thought of, a design she brought into existence, and it was real.  That was a very powerful moment.

As we ramp up and get ready for the Campaign Launch for 2 of the 4 designs of The Love Sandal, we continue to work with Abi to help her understand where her company is currently at and what there is left to do before the launch.  Abi knows how important the PR is for the company right now.

Everything about Abi’s company, her product, the process of how it will work and the success we hope it to be, is something Abi is learning about.  

The above outline surrounding the build of her company are currently not components of the Peel Board curriculum, where Abi goes to school.  We have chosen to educate Abi about building her own business as well as learn about technology surrounding everyday life.

In this ever changing world of technology and opportunities, we are excited to be providing our daughter with an education of entrepreneurship alongside her Grade 5 studies while she builds her own company.   I am not a teacher by trade, but I want to provide my girls with the opportunities they will learn from that will prepare them for the business world once they are out of school, and that means I need to start educating them now.  What I am simply doing is providing them with the opportunity to learn with their ideas and provide the platforms of technology to keep them exposed to the developments that connect all of us. I look forward to sharing Abi's story and education so you may teach your children how to be prepared for the world of Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Thank you again for your support towards Abi, Made by Abi Inc. & The Love Sandal.


Julie Smithson

Entrepreneurship Education, Teaching what Kids need to Learn for Today

Welcome to Abi Smithson's weekly Education Blog outlining the curriculum and experience the young 10 year old entrepreneur has, as she builds her company, Made by Abi Inc. producing the Love Sandals. The Love Sandals are a women's shoe line designed by Abi to leave a heart shaped tan line on the top of your foot.  

The first Blog is about Abi's trip to Ottawa, Canada.   Over 3 days, Abi travelled from Toronto to Canada’s capital city, to visit Shopify, a company providing an E-Commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods, like the Love Sandals.  With the guidance of a Shopify Guru, Abi learned how to build her own website from scratch  www.LoveSandal.com  

During this trip Abi was guided by her Dad, Alan Smithson on how to manage their travel, learn about the city they were visiting, ensure the meeting with Shopify was incredible and most of all provide an educational experience around every aspect of the trip.

Abi has recorded a video for you to tell you about her experience, and you may continue through the blog and review the education in detail.

 

EDUCATION CURRICULUM BLOG #1

TRAVELLING     HOW TO PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP

SHOPIFY            BUILDING A WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH

VISITING OTTAWA, CANADA

                           TOUR OF THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS & OUR GOVERNMENT

                           THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

                           QUEENS & SENATORS

                           VISIT TO SUPREME COURT

BUDGETING & SUBMITTING EXPENSES

RECENT LESSONS & ACCOLADES

 

TRAVELLING

HOW TO PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP

  1. Once you determine the meeting location, Book your train, flight or vehicle transportation to to your destination leaving enough time to get to your meetings and then get back home!
  2. Research a hotel online that meets your budget in the area and reserve in advance a place to stay with options for eating and entertainment nearby.
  3. Always pay attention to your travel times and be on time for public transportation to make sure you are not late and miss your ride.
  4. Learning the Train system with VIA Rail and how to navigate the schedule, buying tickets online and having the boarding pass ready.  Confirm Wifi is available.   Make sure to keep things together and take everything with you.
  5. Traveling to another City; know where you going in advance, plan the transportation and travel distances to the hotel.  Make sure you have enough money to travel, including cash in the right currency.
  6. Download apps on your phone to help you travel and navigate a city, like Urban Spoon or with points of interest. Use Google Maps to pin your destinations.
  7. Plan in advance on how to get to your meetings so you know where you are going from your hotel
  8. Confirm the locations of Wifi during your stay to plan for any communication followup
  9. Research the key people at the company you are visiting.  KNOW who you are visiting and what they do and some their clients.  
  10. Ensure that people who expect to see you every day, know you will be away.

SHOPIFY  

BUILDING A WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH

Shopify is a great system to help you build your OWN website and E-Commerce store.  If you have something you want to sell, Shopify is awesome to help you go through step by step to build the platform to sell your products online.    They even have an E-Commerce University http://www.shopify.ca/blog#axzz2UichtAhh to follow along and help you.  They really make it easy to setup and launch your own website that will look professional and is designed by you!.  

  1. Knowing the login information to Shopify and the Hosting Information for your website.
  2. Understanding the Shopify Navigation Bar and what each tab represents to setup the website
  3. Planning the Creative Design of your website is important.   Use one style of font, one style of design and make sure it matches the background colours and fonts.  When building your Company Brand. The Brand is important to maximize your profit margins
  4. Stay consistent with the same presentation. The reason is so people get used to your look and they will remember you.  Know your Target audience for your products so build your site so the customers will respond to the look and hopefully buy from you!!
  5. Know what you want your website to look like and the type of Layout.  For example  the Parallax theme, the information pages scroll over top of images changing the pages as you scroll down.
  6. Plan the Navigation Bar of the website, this will guide visitors around the website.
  7. Prepared high resolution images on the Google Drive and where they would be placed on the site.
  8. Wrote out the text for the products and descriptive locations
  9. Planned the emails setup for the navigation of notifications, sales inquiries and support.
  10. Life skill learning experience around how to prepare and meet with a top company in Canada regarding your Business.  Knowing how to dress and be prepared and know your business.  If you have the opportunity, take them for a hot chocolate or dinner to thank them for helping you.  Always follow up with a thank you card or video.

Take a Look at the Website Abi Built HERE:  http://lovesandal.com/


VISITING OTTAWA, CANADA

TOUR OF THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS & OUR GOVERNMENT

    1. Learned that our Parliament will close in 2017 to close for 10 years to renovate
    2. The Parliament is Divided into 2 - The House of Commons and The House of Senate
    3. In the House of Commons there are 100,000 (One hundred thousand) people in Canada per representative.  
    4. The House of Commons is Voted by the People in elections.  
    5. Everything is Green on the Commons side, including the chairs and carpet!!
    6. The Senate is Voted by Royal Assent for the Queen
    7. Everything is red for Royal, the chairs and carpet!!!

THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

    1. There was a Fire in 1919 during WW1 and burned down the front of the main building and people thought it was Act of War which was never proven, it may also have been a cigar in the garbage!
    2. Everything Used to be made of Wood and that is why it burned quickly so now
    3. The front of the Building is made of limestone and different stones
    4. The Back half of the building where the Library is didn’t burn down so it is all original and really cool!

QUEENS & SENATORS

    1. The Queen is Monarch of Canada.  Did you know The Queen is Queen of 16 Different Countries!!?
    2. To become a Senator you can be Voted in or Recommended by the Queen
    3. To be a Senator in our Canadian Government, You have to be 30 - 75 years old, You have to be a person of Canada and women could not be a Senator until the year 1930
    4. You must have $4000 assets and $4000 in real estate - the amount was never adjusted for inflation

VISIT TO SUPREME COURT

    1. Different Laws for different offences
    2. How the Court System Works
    3. Who goes to Court
    4. What issues are taken to Court
    5. What happens if you are arrested
    6. Explained how Bail works
    7. Request a lawyer before you say anything when you are arrested by a police officer

BUDGETING & SUBMITTING EXPENSES

  1. Plan a budget for the trip and allocation of expected expenses
  2. Keep all receipts together in a secure envelope.
  3. Carry a minimal amount of cash for emergencies in the right currency
  4. Create a budgeting expense form in the Google Drive
  5. Include all details of the report and list each expense with the description and total $
  6. Beside each expense list a category of expense eg. Meals & Entertainment, Taxi, Travel
  7. Calculate a total at the bottom  
  8. Staple all receipts to the printout of the expense report for your accountant

RECENT LESSONS & ACCOLADES

    1. In December Abi completed her Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign, raising $15804 USD, $804 over the goal!   Abi went through her contributors list and noted the funders for her campaign and the Perks they ordered.  http://snapify.shopify.com/21-03-exohe-punft.jpg
    2. $8700 USD of the Crowdfunding total was contributed by UPS Canada in support of Entrepreneurship & Creative Ideas.  This was presented as a surprise on a Live Breakfast TV show. Abi was coached beforehand on the element of surprise and how to handle unexpected circumstances.
    3. Abi made Toronto’s Top 20 under 20 in Post City Magazine.Abi won an Entrepreneurship Bursary in the value of $2500 CAD.
    4. Abi was on Live TV with Breakfast Television and discussed the Love Sandals, her business & raising funds for her company.  
    5. Abi is currently working with her Chinese manufacturer to produce the sandals.  This includes the design and the materials and going through the prototypes to make her recommendations. Skype calls during Chinese business hours are made to communicate the changes.
    6. Researching how to start the fulfillment process to build alongside Shopify to ship out the orders
    7. Preparing the Order form for the manufacturer with a breakdown of the Beach Bum & Hippy Chick Sandal orders !

Thank you for your support, We look forward to providing another Education Update as well as the progress of the Love Sandals!  


Purchase your Love Sandals on the Website Abi Built HERE:  http://lovesandal.com/


www.LoveSandal.com

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