By FELICITY DARVILLE
MORE and more kids are becoming entrepreneurs these days. Parents are pushing their children to think outside of the box of just having a job or even having one source of income. This shows we are in a new age of parenting. Yes, in days gone by, many people learned about business as they worked with their parents in grocery stores, at the straw market, and all sorts of other industries. But in this day and time, parents are giving children the power to produce something of their own and make their own money. These skills will pay off big time – not only for the children who have increased their chances of success in life, but also for the nation, which will benefit when these kid entrepreneurs become adults.
Ten-year-old Jayda Mackey is one of them. She is the proud owner of a protein cookie business. She already has a great formula. More and more people are becoming health conscious, so her business is taking advantage of a trend. She absolutely loves baking, so she is doing something that is fun, which is the key to the longevity of the business.
She sells her product on Saturdays at a gym, which takes advantage of this important aspect: location, location, location. Her cookies are a hit. Jayda already has tips she can share with other kids on how to become a successful entrepreneur.
Jayda’s father, Jimmy Mackey of MACFit360 Fitness & Performance Centre, noticed his little girl had a knack for baking. He encouraged her to bake some cookies for his members at the gym.
Jayda rose to the challenge: “I love baking regular cookies and got lots of compliments. So, I combine a healthy twist to it using no sugar. I use Whey Protein and a healthy secret ingredient. The advantages of my protein cookies are that they are healthier snacks, and when you are at the gym working out, you may become hungry for snacks but still want to become fit. So, you can purchase one of my protein cookies instead of missing your workout and driving all the way home for snacks.”
Jayda has great entrepreneur role models in her parents, Jimmy and Michaela. She loves helping other kids as a part of the Jimmy Mackey Foundation, a non-profit charity.
“It was started by my father who believes in giving back to his community,” said Jayda.
“This is where he teaches me to serve others that are not as fortunate like me. I currently lead the Back to School Drive every year. I shop for school supplies, package the bags and give them out to kids.”
This is just one of the ways that this little superstar has been giving back. As the head girl of St Anne’s Primary School, Jayda is learning the importance of service above self.
I asked her what being head girl entails: “Being head girl requires me to represent my school with pride always. You must also uphold and maintain a high GPA. You will make public and professional appearances and give speeches on behalf of the school. You have to be a role model for all the students primary and high school.”
That may seem like a heavy task for some, but not for Jayda. She has been rising to every calling that has come her way.
I met her through her uncle, Dr Kenneth Kemp, who raved about her: “Jayda is absolutely the most talented, funny and kind young woman in the world. At only 10-years-old, she astonishes me every single day. She is incredibly hard-working and consistently goes above and beyond what is required. She’s creative, polite and incredibly caring. She’s quiet but adventurous, and she loves to travel, garden and read.”
Jayda is a grade A student, consistently on the student honour roll. She was a 3rd place winner for the 2021 Central Bank National Essay Competition and she is a candidate for the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year. She has already been selected as the Student of the Year for St Anne’s, where she serves as primary school head girl. St Anne’s has bestowed her with five outstanding character, trustworthiness and leadership certificates. She has won multiple awards for swimming, and has competed locally and internationally, representing The Bahamas. She was honoured to be one of the stars featured in an ALIV commercial and is on advertising billboards throughout the nation.
I found out that Jayda is a real bookworm. Her love for reading plays a big part in her ability to excel in academics. In fact, her favourite subject in school is creative writing.
“Writing helps me to learn new words and be creative and expressive, it also reminds me to read more books so I can get ideas from that particular book,” she said.
“Right now, I’m currently reading the series of ‘Anne of Green Gables’, the series of ‘Emily Wind Snap’, the series of ‘The Black Stallion’ and I am a reading a series by author Raina Telgemeir.”
A well-rounded child, Jayda loves sports just as much as she loves to read. She enjoys swimming, horseback riding and basketball.
“I got involved in swimming at a really young age and ever since, I started to notice how good I am at swimming I started to train and train harder and harder,” she said.
But Jayda may not realise how early in life that she started showing prowess as a swimmer.
“Jayda loved the waters from the moment she opened her eyes as an infant,” Michaela shared.
“When Jayda was six weeks old, we took her to the beach and she enjoyed the water. She did not cry. By the age of 2, it was all she wanted to do.”
She also started horseback riding at an early age. But the more she leaned towards swimming, the less time she had for the horses. However, the national restrictions that came about because of COVID-19, she, like children all around the country, could not engage in the activities that brought them together as much. In this way, she has been able to get back into horseback riding, which she loves. All along, she’s been spending her weekends playing basketball and having fun with her dad, who was once a professional basketball player.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the way that extra-curricular activities are conducted for kids. For Jayda, she spent her formative years in Girl Guides Sunflowers and Brownies, where she earned a number of badges. She looks forward to engaging with her fellow Girl Guides again. She is also a part of the etiquette program GEMS - Graceful Empowered Masterpieces.
With so much going on and going for her, Jayda has to find a way to balance it all. If it ever becomes frustrating, she plays with her little brother, Max and her puppy, Cash to help lift her mood.
Although little brothers can be annoying, Jayda looks on the bright side: “Max is six-years-old. I will always be able to make time for him. He is the best little brother. Being a big sister helps me to be responsible with other things in life. I find myself being a role model to him because he’s starting to read books like me and we both love to swim. I have to protect, care and discipline him at times. Being a big sister has changed my life and I love my brother.”
Michaela said that she and Jimmy knew Jayda was gifted very early on: “Jayda started walking at eight months. Her progression was advanced every step of the way as a toddler. She was completely potty trained at 18 months. Her literacy level surpassed our expectations when she attended Day Spring Academy. She loves to set goals and challenges herself often to became better. She wrote on her vision board that she wanted to be head girl and took the steps needed. Now she is 10-years-old and Head Girl at one of the best Schools in the Bahamas. (St. Anne’s School)”
When asked what kind of expectations they have for Jayda, Jimmy said: “Our expectations in this current moment, is for Jayda to just love what she’s doing and have fun. We always tell Jayda - win, lose or draw, to always show sportsmanship, to learn from her mistakes and never give up.”
But what’s going on in the mind of a brilliant ten-year-old? What are her dreams and aspirations for when she grows up?
“I am undecided… but what I do know right now is that I love baking, sports and I love to explore,” she said, “But I am thinking of being a cosmetic entrepreneur or a writer.”