One nine-year-old student created a summer job for himself that’s out of this world.
Ryder Skolka, a Grade 4 Waldorf student, sells Alien Gooo, a business and product of his own making.
“It’s slimy and you can pull it and stretch it,” he described. “It’s a secret recipe using stuff from around the house.”
Ryder makes the gooo in five colours and sells it in little film-sized canisters for $2. He sets up a portable shop outside his mom’s store, Jilly bo Billy. Janet Skolka, who won third in the national MOMpreneur awards handed out by ParentCanada magazine this spring, serves as a role model for her son, a budding entrepreneur.
“My mom had a business, so I wanted to have one too,” said Ryder.
The savvy businessman started Alien Gooo last summer and surprised his parents when he earned enough money to buy himself an iPad. With that goal in mind, Ryder saved his earnings and continues to do so this year despite the urging of friends to join them at the candy store, said Janet.
“It’s good for him to have a goal,” she said. “I didn’t think he would stick with it at first but he did.”
Janet gave him a loan to get his business started and he easily paid her back. Ever since, he reinvests part of his earnings into his next batch of gooo.
With a stand made out of a cardboard box, infrastructure is kept simple and portable. This summer, he’s taking his stand to Marketfest — which goes this Friday night — where he joins his mom in her booth.
Ryder purposefully made his business’s sign childlike to capitalize on cuteness and he often has his little sister sitting by his side. His product generates a lot of curiosity and he loves it when adults hand him a tip and leave the goo behind.
Despite an entrepreneurial spirit and keen interest in the business world that is beyond his tender age, Ryder is still a kid at heart who loves his product for the “fart noises” you can make with it (air trapped in a gooo rumbles when coming out).