Thirteen-year-old Taylor Moxey is quite extrodinary.
The Miami teen launched her own cupcake company at the age of seven. She also founded the "Taylor Moxey Foundation," which educates youth through the power of reading, and published her own book, "The Adventures of Taylor the Chef." About two years ago she created a mini-library from a former shipping container at Omni Park, near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. She is now working on opening more in Broward County, and internationally in Haiti and El Salvador.
Moxey also has a dream of becoming a professional dancer. She will be a keynote speaker at the 6th annual Youth Economic Development Conference being held next week in Miami. The free event is organized by URGENT Inc., a Miami non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young minds to transform their communities. The conference will have a variety of career exploration workshops, a business pitch competition and look ahead to the future of Miami’s workforce. Moxey and the conference creator Saliha Nelson joined Sundial to talk about the upcoming event and how Moxey began her entrepreneurship.
This has been edited lightly for clarity.
WLRN: This youth conference, what is it you're trying to do to help young people?
NELSON: One, we want to elevate the conversation in this community around young people preparing and exploring for careers. Two, we want to showcase all the great things that young people are already doing. Taylor Moxey is a perfect example of it's never too early to start, right? Now, you have so many tools at your disposal that you can start and innovate and create right now.
Taylor, so you told me you started your business at seven years old. You became real famous, actually for baking. Tell me a little bit about your business and how that all started.
MOXEY: Originally it didn't start out as an idea for a business in general, it was actually because I wanted a Barbie doll. And every Sunday my parents and I would go to the store, we'd get a Barbie doll after church and I'd just play with it. One day I asked my dad and he was like 'no,' and I was like 'what do you mean, no?' [He said] 'you have to buy it for yourself,' because after all I was getting older like I needed to do things on my own at this point. So I was like 'what do you mean buy it for myself?' and he was like 'you have to make money and you have to buy the doll yourself.' So I remember I had an Easy Bake Oven and I adored that thing, it was like my favorite thing I ever owned and I remember always baking on it. So I quickly found like a love and passion for baking, and it was something that I always just wanted to do and I'd watch Food Network with my mom, and it was just something always in me.
I remember being like 'I can bake and make a bake sale hopefully and it'll work' and my parents are like 'OK.' My parents were all for it because at this point they were like just make the money yourself and buy the toy, you can do whatever. Maybe not whatever, but something that I enjoy doing. So I got cookie dough and brownie mix with a loan that we signed on a napkin. It was like my first contract. It was like once I made my money I had to pay them back the money that they gave me for the ingredients. I baked them and I took them to church and I made $175 and I sold out like in 15 minutes, and instead of buying the doll that I wanted I got business cards and started my company from there.
At what point did you decide - wait a second I could turn this into a business, something bigger than just selling it at church?
I think when I got the money I didn't expect to get that much. My parents were always like 'you don't have to buy the Barbie doll like there's other things you can do,' and I was like 'what are those other things?' As a seven-year-old all that matters are like Barbie dolls. And they were like 'you could make money on your own without the baking and further this,' and I was like 'OK.' So I mean it was always something I wanted to do, because it was my idea to start the business but they always hinted.
You told me that your parents, especially your dad, has played a big role in helping you to grow as a business owner and as an entrepreneur.
Yeah, he is an entrepreneur himself. So he's always been like my right hand when it comes to advice for this kind of stuff, because I can also go to my mom but he knows a lot more about the entrepreneurial side.