6 Lessons From Beatrice Alexander for Girls Who Want To Be Entrepreneurs

Posted by Madame Alexander on Jul 10, 2015

6 Lessons from Beatrice Alexander for Girls Who Want to be Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is a fun, exciting way for a kid to learn about money, and about themselves.

But, it also comes with a lot of questions.

A lot of the answers can be found in the remarkable career of Beatrice Alexander, the child of immigrants who created an iconic doll business from nothing more than her wits, her hard work, and her attention to detail.

Here's what girls can learn about starting a business from the founder of Madame Alexander.

Bonus: Click here to download a free business starter kit for kids! The kit includes a PDF of this post PLUS 30 kid-friendly business ideas & a business plan worksheet.

1. Start with what you love

Beatrice Alexander grew up surrounded by dolls in her father's doll shop and hospital. So she started a business that satisfied her creativity and love of dolls.

Think about what you like to do, and then think about how that could be a business.

Love sewing? Make doll clothes or baby clothes.

Enjoy baking? Sell your creations at bake sales.

Like animals? Walk the neighborhood dogs.

Whatever you love, you can probably find a way to turn that into a business.

2. Work hard

Young Beatrice knew that her dreams could only come true through hard work. She put in long hours creating dolls for her parent's shop, then even longer hours creating her own dolls. "You have no idea how I labored over noses and mouths so that they would look real and individual," she said.

For the rest of her life, she put in long days managing the business and inspecting dolls to make sure they were the best they could be.

3. Always look for new ideas

Madame Alexander was always thinking a step ahead about what kinds of dolls people would want next. She made the first movie tie-in dolls in the 1930s, with Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, and Gone With The Wind dolls.

She quickly recognized the appeal of the famous Dionne quintuplets, producing dolls based on them in 1934. She was one of the very first dollmakers to use unbreakable plastic instead of fragile porcelain.

Always be on the lookout for new products or services your business can offer.

4. Turn problems into opportunities

In 1917, Beatrice's parents' doll shop was in trouble because World War I cut off the supply of handcrafted dolls from Europe...

...Beatrice had the idea to make cloth dolls of their own, modeled on Red Cross nurses in the war. And customers loved them.

Years later, when the Madame Alexander doll warehouse flooded, Beatrice and her mother dried all the dolls and sold them at reduced prices in a "water sale".

Your business will have setbacks of its own. Don't give up!

Follow the example of Beatrice Alexander and turn those disasters into victories.

5. Believe in yourself

In the early 20th century, most people wouldn't expect the daughter of working-class immigrants to become a world-famous business leader. But Beatrice Alexander never let that stop her. She believed that she could do anything she wanted - and then she worked hard to turn that belief into reality.

"Believe in people's dreams, especially women's," she said.

6. Put love in the details

Beatrice Alexander believed that every child deserved a doll that was as perfect as she could make it.

She spent hours researching costume details to make sure every doll was authentically dressed. "If she saw lace on a hem that seemed to be frayed or uneven, she would demand that it be fixed immediately," one long-time employee said.

She knew the only way to succeed was to give her customers the very best.

Remember to put love into everything that you do.

Business Kit For Kids

Resources:

http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/alexander

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Beatrice Alexander, Girl Power

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