May 13, 2021 (Salt Lake City) — “Entrepreneurship and innovation have no age limits,” said Danny Mangum, chief operating officer for Mountain West Small Business Finance. “That’s just one of many reasons we’re proud to help sponsor the Janie C Kids Market. As a company that prides itself on supporting and celebrating economic development, resourcefulness, and creativity, we salute these young entrepreneurs and the Holladay community that has come together to help make this event a reality.”

The event, held Saturday, May 15, 2021 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at 2810 E. Hermosa Way in Holladay, Utah will feature jewelry, crafts, treats and wares from a variety of the neighborhood’s children. 

The Janie C Market is the brainchild of Janie Curtis, an 11-year old from Holladay with a desire to share her creative jewelry designs beyond her family and neighborhood text chain. In a LinkedIn post, Janie’s father Kevin Curtis shared details of how the event came to be:

“She got into jewelry making recently and decided she needed a bigger market for selling her work and it didn’t seem right to her that there wasn’t a kid oriented craft market. So she made one.”

Mr. Curtis credits powerful friends, “a kick-butt mom” and supportive adult mentors for helping to make his daughter’s passion a reality.

“I’m so grateful to my community for seeing her dreams and not squashing them,” he continued. “For saying ‘who you are is incredible’ and ‘if you can dream it, you can do it.’ And for showing up and saying ‘let me help you make it happen.’ This is how we create young leaders.”

While Mangum said the market is much smaller than events the company traditionally sponsors, “These kids had a great elevator pitch,” he said. “It was clear they had a plan and knew what they needed.” Which in the case of Mountain West’s resources meant underwriting the cost of printed materials.

“Janie talked about her vision for providing a place to showcase more than her own creations. She was building a place where other kids could have an audience too. Sure, she may not have used the phrase ‘economies of scale,’ but she definitely understood the principle.” Mountain West has sponsored a myriad of junior high and high school teams – from football and dance to jazz bands, all in the name of supporting the local community, so Mangum said it was easy to support. “But I was enjoying her pitch so much, I probably listened too long before giving her a yes.”

Curtis and her leadership-team had more than cemented the deal, but also won over hearts by talking knowledgeably about the value of associating Mountain West’s brand with young entrepreneurs. “She told me they’d remember who helped them when they become successful.”