Who is Abi Smithson?
Abi Smithson is an accomplished 11 year old, grade six student who had an idea after seeing her mothers ugly sandal tan. She thought a heart shaped tan line would be prettier instead. After presenting the idea to her entrepreneurial parents Alan and Julie, she wrote a business, marketing and sales plan and began designing the sandals with the mentorship of David Bensadoun, President of Aldo Groupe and Robert Ott, Chair, School of Fashion, Ryerson University.
Made By Abi Inc. . Incorporated in 2014, Made By Abi Inc. (MBAI) is the corporate entity responsible for the Abi and Love Sandal by Abi brands. The company was officially launched in October 2014 with a successful Indiegogo campaign partially sponsored by shipping giant, UPS.
An Inspiration to others . Abi’s inspirational message of “Dream Big and Follow Your Heart” and “Only 10’s” has been the foundation of a new educational concept designed to encourage youth to think positively and do what they love while becoming financially savvy. Abi’s entrepreneurial journey has been well documented by her parents in an effort to inspire and educate 1 million young entrepreneurs by 2021.
Abi's accomplishments rival most adults three times her age:
Post City Toronto Top 20 Under 20
Inaugural Entrepreneur Barbie Business Bursary Winner
Youngest member of Ryerson University Digital Media Zone (DMZ)/Fashion Zone
Global partnership with shipping giant, UPS
1 millionth Girl Guide in Canada
Youngest Successful Indiegogo Campaign
Youngest exhibitor at, FN Platform & Magic in Las Vegas
Youngest exhibitor at Canada’s largest fair, Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
Featured in Inc. & Huffington$Post
Public Speaker at Internet Prophets Live, Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
Sold over 1000 pairs of shoes in first year
"The Love Sandal is not just a pair of shoes, but a way of life. If I can realize my dream of building a company starting at 9 years old, you too can do anything you dream of and follow your heart.
I am an 11 year old grade 6 student who loves fashion, music, dancing and of course, shoes. When I am not working on my company, I love hanging out with friends, choreographing dances and DJ'ing on the world's most advanced DJ system, Emulator ELITE.
I came up with the idea for the Love Sandal when I noticed ugly tan lines on the top of my moms feet in the summer of 2013. I thought it would be much better to have a pretty heart shape instead. After 8 months of building the business plan with my dad, we took the idea to Aldo who helped me design the Beach Bum and the Hippy Chick.
I just won Post City's Top 20 Under 20 and the first ever Entrepreneur Barbie business bursary, I was featured on CTV News and Canada’s version of Shark Tank, Dragons' Den.
In May this year, I was invited to speak at the Internet Prophets Live! seminar in Los Angeles. Here is the video:
Everything I am learning about building a successful business and brand is being curated into an online course to allow other young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. Each of my mentors will be writing a part of the course and providing a one hour video on their expertise. By mid-2015, we will have a full curriculum giving any young entrepreneur the tools necessary to build a successful business. In conjunction with Ryerson University's DMZ and Ladies Learning Code, we will be providing a complete manual for any entrepreneur to have at their fingertips."
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