Pristine Parr was looking for an illustrator to offer some original graphics for children’s book covers. She had no idea that her son, who was only nine at the time, was the artist she was looking for. Leon Moss is now a 12-year-old artist who enjoys drawing and painting. Once his mother realized what a gifted artist her son was, she started a website to showcase his work.
Moss already had an unmistakable raw talent for such a young man, but his mother saw fit to enter him into art classes in order to help him sharpen his already advanced skills. He had the pleasure of learning under the tutelage of R. Gregory Christie, an award-winning artist, illustrator, and art teacher based in Atlanta, Ga. In addition to Christie’s instruction, Moss received support from an entire community of black entrepreneurs and organizations who learned about him and wanted to help him go further.
His mother also took him to local museums where he could see art on display and maybe even envision his own art hanging on walls for others to admire someday. She was showing him what was possible, and that if he believed in himself, and was willing to work hard, the sky was the limit to what he could accomplish. That is much like the message Moss himself wishes to share with other young people.
Moss has also been learning basic skills that a new entrepreneur should know such as public speaking, and basic accounting through a program called The Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization. Their organization is designed to teach disadvantaged youth the business skills they need to become successful and approach their hobby as a business.
Both Moss’s parents have been in business for themselves as well. His mother founded and operates a project that encourages youth to find out what they are gifted in. His father owns a home improvement business. It is not everyday that you witness a young black man who appears to be on a clear path to success. Moss has found his path, and has owned it. All he needs to do now is continue to follow it.
How old is old enough to start a business? Do you encourage the children in your life to pursue their hobbies as businesses? Let’s chat here, or find me on Twitter @lcarterwriter