An Oklahoma City 10-year-old tackles a new market.
Artisan shops are popping up everywhere, online and in traditional brick and mortar businesses, catering to eager customers looking for products that offer a bit more. Buzzwords like “organic,” “local” and “handcrafted” have moved to the top of consumer wish lists. A budding business called The Little Bubble is right on trend, marketing handmade soaps, scrubs and bath treats using locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.
“Our motto is you don’t have to be big to make a big impact. She is a regular girl that has decided to tackle something big,”
At the helm of The Little Bubble is owner Bella Corrente, an imaginative 10-year-old who began the business more than two years ago.
A self-described typical pre-teen, Bella has always been very creative and playful, says mother Tawnya Corrente. Channeling that creativity and enthusiasm into a pint-size entrepreneur was an easy transition.
“Bella had fallen in love with some lip gloss we found,” recalls Corrente. “It was all natural and organic. I loved that she took notice to the fact that it was good for her and the environment, that it had a good story with it.”
But, then, there was a problem. Bella ran out of her new favorite lip balm.
“We weren’t able to find it anywhere,” explains Corrente. “Being the littlest in a family of makers, Bella researched how to make it.”
Homeschooled at the time, Bella’s mom got the idea to use the project as a way to learn fractions.
“As she began to learn fractions, I came up with the idea to bake, but she didn’t want to,” says Corrente. “She wanted to make lip balm. I took it a bit further and decided to bring science into it and make soap.”
Bella used her first products as Christmas gifts; they were huge hits.
“Then, people asked if we had more,” says Corrente.
As demand continued to grow, a family friend connected Bella to a local kid’s event, Wiggle Out Loud.
“Bella made 80 bars to sell at a table at Wiggle Out Loud,” explains Corrente. “She sold all but a dozen bars.”
They totaled the profits, and Bella was hooked. As any wise investor would do, she bought more supplies.
With a working business model, Bella expanded to Etsy, an online marketplace where people around the world connect to make, sell and buy unique goods.
“We set up an Etsy account so she could use her writing skills and learn about starting a business,” says Corrente. “What started out as a lesson on fractions has become so much more.”
Her staff has grown, as well. The whole family helps Bella, even her three older brothers.
From the beginning, Bella decided that 10 percent of her profits would go to charity. She has donated to Pets and People, an animal rescue; Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless kids; and the Oklahoma Humane Society.
“Our motto is you don’t have to be big to make a big impact. She is a regular girl that has decided to tackle something big,” says Corrente.
The Little Bubble offers an ever-growing lineup of products: soap by the bar, body polishes and scrubs, lip polish and gloss, bubble bath and a men’s line.
“Bella is always researching new recipes and ingredients,” shares Corrente. “We shop our local farmers market for local, seasonal ingredients. We use goat milk from a family friend when we can get it. Our oils are all organic, sustainable and phthalate free.”