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Teen Business Owner Aims To Boost Self-Esteem In Others

By ALESHA CADET

Tribune Features Reporter

acadet@tribunemedia.net

At just 17 years old, Elliyah Miller is proud to call herself a business owner and founder of Deshea's Treasure Box.

For Elliyah, the reality of owning a business has taught her discipline, and has also given her new motivation to always be her best. The young entrepreneur also believes she has inspired others around her and showed them that they, too, can accomplish anything they set their minds to, regardless of age.

Deshea's Treasure Box, a home-based business located in Stapleton Gardens, offers personalised headbands, tutus, flip-flops, lapel pins and t-shirts. According to Elliyah, the products are designed to raise awareness to various causes and to promote self-esteem. While her target market was initially only girls and women, she now also offers products for the male part of the population.

"This idea to start Deshea's Treasure Box simply started when my mother (Deanka Kemp) and I found ourselves needing a little encouragement in our lives shortly after a tragedy. Not only did we want to use our experience to encourage ourselves, but to inspire others. I thought I would use my gifts and talent to impact the lives of other girls who might be experiencing challenges with self-esteem. So far, the best part about being a young entrepreneur is having so many of my peers look up to me as a role model and being able to learn so many life lessons first-hand at such a young age," said Elliyah.

"I hope to use my company as a platform to reach many and inspire young people to believe in themselves by using fashion as a tool that we can all identify with."

She is thankful to have her customers' feedback always so positive and encouraging.

"The most memorable client experience was collaborating with The Dignified Girl Project (a non-profit organisation). We donated headbands that were distributed along with feminine care products to the less fortunate. We went around to various neighbourhoods and gave out care packages. One particular little girl's reaction after placing the headband on her head was just priceless. She was so excited and it warmed each of our hearts to see the impact my little product has on little girls," said Elliyah.

She is now currently working on a back-to-school line of hair bows for both public and private schools. This October, Elliyah's focus will turn to "Think Pink" cancer awareness products such as lapel pins and hair accessories.

"I will end the year with a new line of festive corsages and lapels to celebrate the holiday season. Then we hope to partner again with The Dignified Girl to do another charity distribution," she said.

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