Crafting with Jesmonite to raise money!

Colton, 11 years old, messaged us at Jesmonite via Instagram. He makes lovely items using Jesmonite. He started by selling them in the driveway two years ago and is now raising money for the Niagara Humane Society, where he adopted his dog Titan. In the summer, he won a Canada-wide youth entrepreneur grant and with that money, he has brought the materials.

We asked him a few questions, and this is what he had to say:

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Colton. I’m 11 years old and I have a small business called Colt Creations. I also have two rescue dogs named Titan and Luna and two rescue cats named Timba and Blue.

What are you are doing and why?

I pour concrete and Jesmonite home decor and candle vessels. For every sale I make, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Niagara SPCA. That’s where I rescued my dog, Titan.

My dog Titan was abused and when my mom was volunteering at the shelter, she introduced me to Titan, and I knew I needed to adopt him and bring him home. I wanted to do something to give back to the SPCA, so I started making Jesmonite items and selling them on my driveway. I wanted to make money to donate to the shelter. 

What do you make?

I make concrete and Jesmonite homewares. My customers love that Jesmonite is an eco-friendly material. I love to use Jesmonite because of how unique it is and how fast it cures. Plus, it’s so cool that it was used in a lot of the Star Wars movies. Overall, Jesmonite is just a really fun material to work with.

Which are your best sellers?

My best sellers are the Jesmonite hearts and my refillable Jesmonite candles. The hearts are perfect for jewellery, beads, coins, you name it! I love pouring the candle vessels because I can do fun marbling, or I like to do two colour layers or three. It’s amazing that Jesmonite is so durable and heat-safe because people have been refilling the vessels with candle moulds, and it’s amazing that I’m helping cut down on single-use candle jars. 

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been doing this business for 2 years. My mom and I got the idea for woodworking 4 years ago, but I didn’t enjoy it that much because instead of mom being the assistant, I was the assistant!  Epoxy is also very toxic, and we were using it in our house. I searched for something else we could do and found Jesmonite. I love that it is safe to use and isn’t scary for our health. I also wanted something that I could learn to do all by myself. I love adding gold foil, seashells, sparkles, and marble patterns to Jesmonite.

Why choose Jesmonite?

After we stopped woodworking, I was looking for something that wasn’t toxic at all. Also, because I do business out of my basement, I wanted something that would be safe for our pets too. Jesmonite is so fun to work with. Every piece is completely one of a kind and I love mixing pigments to create custom colours. My customers love a mint colour that I do and a blush pink.

Have you won any awards?

The grant that I won in September was for a Canada-wide Youth Entrepreneur Grant. I guess they liked me and my business ideas. To be honest, it was a shock to me that I won. I am so thankful for that grant because I used the money to buy all my market materials and started doing markets right away. I love markets because I get to talk to so many wonderful people and share with them my business and my donation. I am so thankful for that grant to this day.

How did that make you feel?

If I’m being completely honest, that was the moment that I realised how big my business had gotten. It felt good. My family and friends were so happy for me and supportive of my business.

What are you proudest of?

Probably the fact that instead of being on the computer all day playing video games, I am downstairs creating. If I’m not creating or getting my products ready for a market, then I am out walking with the dogs or doing my schoolwork.

How have your friends and family reacted?

My mom has been so supportive all of this time. I say she’s my assistant but really, I couldn’t do it without her. My dog’s, Titan and Luna, get lots of treats and toys that I buy for them with the money I make. Titan is such a good manager and keeps us on track for deadlines, and Luna is our very silly customer service agent. 

What’s next?

Well, I was hoping to get my website going and continue doing markets. I would love to start creating silicone moulds myself and when I’m older, I would love to convert a van into a shop on wheels and do markets all over Canada. 

You can follow Colton’s story on Instagram