Addison Snider

Addison Snider is a girl with a plan

At 10 years old, Addison Snider is a girl with a plan. The Grade 5 student at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Fort Erie wants to be a tycoon and a philanthropist. And with her business, Smiley Heart, she’s well on her way.Addison was just about to start Grade 4 in August 2020 when she spoke to her parents about starting a business that would give back. The Cricut machine (used cuts words and graphics for her projects) remained in its box since Christmas 2019, but Addison, and her dad, Barrett, had an idea.

“Dad and I were learning the Cricut and I said I wanted to do my own business and help the community,” said Addison. Michelle said she and her husband didn’t think twice. But they made it clear they had jobs. Running a business, they told Addison, was all up to her.

First up – coming up with a name. It didn’t take long for Addison to come up with Smiley Heart, and the tagline, Keep Your Heart Smiling.

The next project – products. While it’s tough to start a business in a pandemic, Addison began with something that everyone needed – masks.

She created a custom mask package with a personalized mask, a blank mask, tissues, and hand sanitizer in a personalized pencil case. Since then, she’s expanded to include banners and party items, t-shirts, mugs tote bags, signs, aprons, pillows, cups, and plates.

Finally, the question of what community organization to support. It was an easy choice for Addison, who lives with anxiety. “My first donation to Pathstone Mental Health was $500,” said Addison, who typically donates 10 percent of her sales to charity. Her second donation to the agency’s Emergency Fund was $1,000 – all her profit. And while it was a difficult business decision to give up her profit, a deal with Meridian Credit Union to match her donation dollar-for-dollar was all the incentive she needed to take a personal financial hit for the good of others. All-in, Addison has donated $2,500 to Pathsone, including proceeds from the sales of 250 cupcakes she baked and decorated on the Family Day weekend in February. In September, she donated another $515 to the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre by making and selling Orange Shirt Day shirts.

While Addison dreams of wearing power suits and carrying a briefcase one day, her mum is glad that Addison has had something to focus on during the pandemic.

“As parents, we were concerned about Addison’s anxiety,” Michelle said of those early days in the pandemic. “We knew COVID was going to be very difficult for her.” But, Michelle said, “Addison has learned so much. She’s a business-savvy girl.”

Like keeping business accounts straight – Addison does her own banking. And ordering. She picks up the phone and deals with suppliers and negotiates discounts for her business to keep her costs low. “It’s amazing,” said Michelle. “Addison can call a business and they’ll put things aside for her.”

Addison made her own M&M Halloween costume, did all the party supplies for a friend’s birthday party (a favourite project) and she’s hoping to find a special sublimation printer under the Christmas tree this year. The printer, which prints ink directly onto shirts, rather than using the vinyl she currently uses, to take her business to the next level.

And what do her friends think of it?

“I was really afraid to tell my friends what I’m doing,” said Addison. “But when they found out, they thought it was pretty cool.”

You can reach Addison at smileyheartdesigns@gmail.com
Instagram @SmileyHeartDesigns
Facebook @SmileyHeart

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