I’m Suzanne Appel and this is my start-up. I started my career in digital marketing and loved the pace of change as the internet grew from a baby to a teen. I helped a lot of businesses build their first websites, their first social media strategies and then more advanced multi-channel online marketing programs to bring in new customers. After 15 years in corporate marketing I took the road less traveled, in my opinion, and decided to follow my passion for entrepreneurship.
It started with an idea. Actually it started with a hundred ideas. But this one stuck. The idea to make entrepreneurship easier for kids is an idea with a purpose, mission and potential to expand.
Young CEO Squad started in May 2019 influenced by a spark I saw in my kids that reminded me of my own childhood selling cookies, jewelry, stickers and buttons. When I had a lull in my career, and my mother was sick, my family inspired me to take this idea and turn it into a business.
My kids, who are 14 and 11 now, have both loved being business people. It started with hosting lemonade stands (and I wondered if it was just about the endless baking). But it continued into selling girl scout cookies, bracelets, slime, collectible figures and collectible plush. When my kids and I started collecting Disney Pins the hobby became a great learning experience and passion. Buying, trading and selling collectibles led to learning about tracking inventory, sales, customer service, profits, and expenses. When we have big “wins” it amps up their passion for it. But I love the time we spend together participating in events where we network and trade with the Disney pin collectible community.
Young CEO Squad is passionate about young kids starting their own businesses and the imagination that fosters. We believe in developing an entrepreneurial mindset- expecting obstacles and challenges to happen and finding ways to solve their own problems.
Young CEO Squad’s mission to give opportunity to kid entrepreneurs in less fortunate situations is what keeps me going. We’re big on encouraging goal setting. One of my biggest goals is to be able to create scholarships for kids who may not get the entrepreneur training and support from school or at home. Right now we’re donating products through an online application on our website. But when we can formalize the philanthropy aspect, it will really signal the difference we can make. I also dream about a day when I’m out somewhere and a kid approaches me to buy one of my products. That would be insane!
My husband, Scott, has heard many of my zany ideas (patient man) and he actually really liked this one. We are raising our two kids in Agoura Hills, CA, a down-to-earth community North of Los Angeles with great schools and lots of wild rabbits.