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Pre-teens keep it cool

Laura Power
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 10, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Mimi Kennedy can sometimes relate to cool, but she isn't actually cool.

That's what she said, anyway, and it's one of the reasons her daughters, Bridie, 11, and Pippa, 12, have partnered with her in their new business venture, Predictably Random Creations.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Mimi Kennedy with her daughter Bridie, who is about to turn 11. Along with her 12-year-old daughter, Pippa, they make jewelry and accessories for their business, Predictably Random Creations. - Laura Power/NNSL photo

In the jewelry and accessory-making business they have created, Bridie and Pippa are the "cool experts" when it comes to what designs and sayings to use.

It all started when Kennedy made "funky little dice earrings," she said, for Pippa's soccer team last year. She has been making accessories for her daughters and their friends for some time and decided she could use a bigger audience. Her daughters were interested in taking part, and they began working together a couple of months ago.

"We do most things together. We're kind of a team - it just seemed a natural thing to do," said Kennedy.

Making earrings, hair clips and pendants, mainly from shrink plastic, the girls find some of their designs on the Internet and draw some freehand. Their most popular design so far is what Kennedy calls a "cutesy skull," but Kennedy said people enjoy looking through the whole collection.

"People will come by and start reading things and looking at all the little pictures and they just laugh," she said, adding that people often say "so and so would love this."

The audience for these creations has indeed expanded since the three started working together. From their experience at Folk on the Rocks, a craft show for the Centre for Northern Families and from their display in Old Town, Kennedy has found that the audience is mainly fun-loving people, normally between the ages of eight and 23.

"It's pretty broad already, but by no means is it only that age group enjoying and buying our stuff," she said.

Along with the shrink plastic accessories, Kennedy and her daughters plan on working more with recycled materials, an idea they've already used in making wallets out of Kool-Aid packets.

It's not just money the kids are earning by working for Predictably Random Creations, Kennedy said. They are also learning firsthand many aspects of running a business, from the financial aspects to the work involved. Pippa agrees there is a lot of learning happening.

"I would say so... you learn a lot of stuff by experiencing it," she said.

She said her younger sister has benefited from the experience as well, saying "she's usually really shy so it's been really good for her."

But Kennedy said the most important thing the kids are taking away from this is self-esteem.

"It's sort of that pride of ownership and sense of accomplishment that is really bigger than any skills," she said.