Budding businesses blossom as children compete, sell wares


Ella Helton makes bracelets for Ella Bella’s Beads. Her business will compete in the second annual Brevard Children's Business Fair on March 30 at The Avenue Viera.

Courtesy of Lee Nessel


Nora McFarland's mission was to create a safe, hospitable place for children to become entrepreneurs.

“Inspiration,” answered the executive director of the Brevard Children’s Business Fair when asked why she started the Brevard Children’s Business Fair.

McFarland laments that children could once set up a lemonade stand, but times have since changed.

The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30 at The Avenue Viera.

In its second year, the fair has doubled in size.

“We have 50 businesses with 67 participants,” McFarland said.

The types of businesses vary: a paddle board instructor, an author who recently published her first book on Amazon, food vendors and crafters and artisans.

Ella Bella’s Beads will be one of the featured businesses. Run by Ella Helton, 6, of Viera, she simply stated, “we make bracelets.”

“Ella started making plastic bead bracelets for her dolls and stuffed animals. It transformed into a business when my boss asked Ella if she could make her a bracelet that says “Type 1” on it because she’s diabetic,” said Lee Nessel, Ella’s mother.

The bracelets have evolved from plastic bead bracelets since then. Now, they are made of stones, wood and crystals.

“I’m making bracelets so I can have enough money. I want to get a dog, a cat and a chinchilla,” Ella Helton said.

The McMullin sisters of Suntree also will show off their wares at the fair.

A fourth grader at Suntree Elementary, Ivy McMullin will host a booth called Magical Mixed Media, according to her mother Kim Kroflich. “She does string art and quilling.”

“You use really thin pieces of paper and use a tool to twist them,” Ivy McMullin said. “They become spirals. You can glue them or frame them and pinch the edges into different shapes. I drew a skull and used different shapes to make it look like a sugar skull, kind of like a Day of the Dead decoration.

Ivy’s older sister, Ella McMullin, a 10th grader at West Shore, will show off her wares at her booth entitled Ella’s Emporium.

Ella makes knotted friendship bracelets and key chains.

“In chorus last year when we weren’t doing much, we would get string and make bracelets using simple square knots,” Ella McMullin said. “We used lots of different colors, especially school colors. Some of the bracelets have beads with the school colors, too.”

“There is also another bracelet that is a little more difficult to make. Using square knots, you make four on a string. You use a skinnier string so it takes more time. The pattern is diagonal and you can use more colors.”

For information, go to brevardcbf.org.