Washington County sixth-grader Adajah Scott is already thinking about how to pay for college.
The young entrepreneur started a candy business, DejaVu Candy, in March.
“I wanted to start my own business so I would have money for college. … I wanted to create this job so I don’t have to go work for other people,” said Adajah, who turned 12 in September.
Adajah said she picked candy to sell because it’s fun and “everybody likes candy.”
Seven places in Hagerstown and one in West Virginia are hosting DejaVu Candy’s candy, snack or soda vending machines, including Discovery Station and The Krab Joint in downtown Hagerstown, Adajah said.
The Western Heights Middle School student said she’s grateful to the places that have hosted the candy and snack machines.
“To have that kind of ambition and forethought, to even think about that at her age is truly remarkable,” said Brittany Wedd, executive director at Discovery Station.
Talking to Adajah, Wedd said she could tell the youngster has a “good head on her shoulders.”
“I imagine she’ll inspire other kids her age to take on entrepreneurship,” Wedd said.
Adajah said she hopes to launch online candy sales through her website, https://dejavucandy.com, by Christmas. The plan is to sell various candies and different flavors of gourmet popcorn.
About three years ago, Adajah was reselling necklaces and bracelets through Origami Owl. She said she did that for about six months, but stopped because she didn’t know how to handle a business at the time.
Since then she watched videos online about other entrepreneurs starting businesses and watched her cousin sell Elmer’s Slime.
“I gained confidence and I really put myself in the mood to have a business,” Adajah said.
Adajah said she’s inspired by her brother, Eusevius Howard, 27, who is a financial consultant and entrepreneur in Ohio.
Adajah said Howard and her mom, Nicole Howard, help Adajah with the business, but Adajah said she’s the boss.
“I think she’s awesome,” said Nicole Howard, who runs Howard Scott Designs, a web design and digital marketing company.
Nicole Howard said she’s trying to get Adajah to learn about profits, about how to buy candy and make a profit.
Adajah puts her profits in her savings account for college. She said she’d like to go to a historically black college or university, but she doesn’t have a specific one in mind yet.
“She’s learning to do inventory by herself,” her mother said, adding that Adajah has struggled in math so hopefully the business will help in that area.
The hardest part is waking up early on the weekends to go to work, Adajah said. She puts on her work shirt, with the DejaVu Candy logo, and heads out to fix or restock machines.
Adajah said she decided not to try out for the school basketball team because she knew the load would be too much with her schoolwork and the candy business. She continues to play the clarinet.
What does Adajah like most about being a business owner?
“That I get to eat the candy.”
Mom said there’s a rule that Adajah can only eat the candy that pops out when she’s testing a machine.