There is no age limit for getting into business or fashion. As for Alex Hart-Upendo, he did both at a very young age, with great success. Now only 12 years old, Alex is the boss of the Build a Bow company. He was recently awarded the Martin Luther King Civil Service Award by his town of residence, Racine.
His first bow tie at 5 years old
Alex's passion for bow ties is particularly early. He created his very first bow tie when he was just 5 years old. “ Bow ties are so cool, they're awesome. They allow me to let my creativity run wild, ,” he said.
He is the head of the company Build a Bow, which offers bow ties for men, but also bow ties for pets. He created the company when he was only 9 years old. But if he willingly gives interviews today, it's not so much to talk about his creations as about a problem that is particularly close to his heart. As you might expect, the IQ tests showed Alex to be a child with beyond-average abilities. He also has a mild form of autism. All the ingredients that led to bullying and harassment from his comrades. He nevertheless specified that the class in which he is found has integrated him perfectly.
School and the bow ties, Alex's 2 lives
Combining school and a bow tie is not easy. A typical day of the school week goes like this:
- Wake up at 5 a.m. to process orders
- Leaving for school
- When he returns from school, processing orders placed while he was in class
- Dinner and sleep
A young man full of energy, just like his products
Alex isn't complaining: he says he's not tired, because he loves what he does and loves sharing the fruits of his labor. His goal ? Bring happiness to people, bow tie after bow tie. He also published an illustrated book telling his story with the aim of inspiring other budding entrepreneurs. In addition to making ready-made bow ties and selling them online, Alex also offers making workshops for those who want to learn how to make their own bow ties.
All of this would obviously not be possible without the support of his parents. “My parents play a crucial role in the business. Without them, it could not function. When I'm at school, they prepare orders, take care of shipments, schedule workshops, perform quality checks and keep my little manufacturing workshop in order. »