It’s not every day that we have the awe inspiring pleasure of being introduced to a 10-year-old girl who had the well-beyond-her-years vision and gumption to turn her passion into a bona-fide business. But we did. Her name is Ava Zambri, her brand is called Lucky Duct and this VERY young Woman You Should Know is sharing her love of creating duct tape wallets with the world.
Compliments of a snow day, WYSK had the chance to speak with the 5th grader and CEO yesterday morning as she was busy at work in her company’s world headquarters – the ping pong table in her parent’s basement. She took a break from fulfilling Lucky Duct holiday orders to give us the scoop on her blossoming brand, which just made its online debut.
“It didn’t turn out well, but it worked, so I kept trying.” – Ava on making her first duct tape wallet Ava’s love of duct tape started after a birthday party. They were making party costumes and used designer duct tape with fun prints and colors to put the looks together. She became fascinated with the eye catching rolls of the strong, sticky adhesive and wondered what else she could do with it because as she told us, “I really like making things.”
A few You Tube “how to…” searches and video views later, she finished her first creation, a woman’s wallet made ENTIRELY of duct tape. Ava shared, “It didn’t turn out well, but it worked, so I kept trying.”
Eventually she perfected her craft and expanded her duct tape designs. With several wallet styles in her creative arsenal, Ava started making them as gifts for her family. As her duct tape wallets made the rounds and got more and more eyes on them, additional “can you make me one” requests came rolling in. Seeing the reaction her product was getting, the very industrious Ava realized she had a money making idea on her hands.
She sold her first wallet for $12, a moment which the young entrepreneur describes as, “REALLY EXCITING!” From there, friends and family word-of-mouth orders kept her busy and her business was born. But being a child of the digital age with a fearless spirit, Ava wanted to take her Lucky Duct brand online for all the world to see. So with the profits she made from a multi-piece order placed by her grandma, Ava paid her 15-year-old sister Sophia $60 to build her a website. Lucky-Duct.com launched this past Saturday and Sophia designed every page, graphic and link you see. Clearly, this is one talented family.
The Lucky Duct site gallery shows most of Ava’s current wallet style options – bow pouch, bifold, trifold, woman’s wallet, accordion, deluxe woman’s wallet, etc. – and everything she makes is completely customizable. Just select your style and your duct tape pattern/color choice, then place your order and Ava gets to work (depending on the design, each wallet takes her anywhere from 1 to 2+ hours to complete ALL BY HERSELF). You can even ask her to alter one of her existing patterns and she’ll make a wallet to your specifications. Bespoke duct tape wallets… amazing!
Ava comes up with new designs all the time and she likes to share them with her two other sisters Samantha (16) and Ally (12) to get their feedback. She says that they think what she’s doing is, “pretty cool.” Keeping things all in the family for now, Ava tells us her dad is her go-to guy for Quality Control, “He shows me when things can be neater or my lines can be cleaner.” As for her production supplier, Ava adorably giggled, “My Mom shops for all of my supplies.” But we should note, Ava pays for her supplies with the money she earns on her wallets.
One of her favorite Lucky Duct designs is her binder, which is not yet on her site. Ava says, “It takes a lot of time to make, but it turns out really cool.” In fact, she uses one to run her Lucky Duct empire. The binder holds everything related to her business: orders, prices, designs, expenses, profits, etc. She says her Mom Mary gave her the idea and it helps her stay organized. So smart!
Mary, who coordinated our phone interview with Ava, told WYSK, “As a mom of four daughters, I always have my eyes and ears open for examples of women who ‘go for it,’ who are trying to make a difference in this world and/or follow their dreams. I talk to the girls about these women. Sometimes their pictures even show up on our refrigerator.” She added, “I love that Ava has transformed her passion into a business that people are responding to because she is learning, at a very young age, that anything is possible. Hopefully Lucky Duct will reinforce the idea that you should always take chances, and not back away from opportunities because you are afraid that you might fail.”
With that sentiment in mind, we should mention that in addition to her most impressive accomplishments in business, 10 year old Ava just earned herself a seat in the political spotlight… she was recently elected President of her school.
WYSK co-founder Jen Jones, a true champion of female entrepreneurs of all ages, conducted the phone interview for this story and had this to say about her “truly delightful” conversation with Ava, “She is this pint-sized powerhouse of enthusiasm, fearlessness, professionalism, smarts, and creativity, all wrapped in a really sweet and gracious package. Success is not a possibility for Ava; it’s this young lady’s destiny.”
As for the future of Lucky Duct, Ava told Jen, “I want my website to work out and I want to be really successful. I also want to save the money I make so I can go to college.”
To know Ava Zambri is to fall in love with her. You want to cheer her on to the success she dreams of and so deserves! She is a brave girl today, who is most certainly on her way to being a Woman You Should Know of tomorrow.
Ava & Lucky Duct In Action
Check out Ava as she takes you through some of her awesome Lucky Duct creations: