Forty-two Jr. CEOs showed off their businesses 

ATASCADERO—On Sunday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s Jr. CEOs took The Plaza across from Sunken Gardens for the second annual Jr. CEO Business Day. There, the youngsters showed off the businesses they worked six weeks to build while attending the Chamber’s digital program. The community came out even in the rain, and sales at the Jr. CEO’s booths were high, with some of the participants selling out of items before the day was over.

This year, almost double the child-built businesses were out selling their goods. The Chamber’s president and CEO, Josh Cross, said that last year they had 25 booths at the Business Day, but this year brought 42 to the space.

“The Jr. CEOs are happy. Their families are happy, and all the people shopping are happy,” added Cross.


The Jr. CEO program teaches kids from elementary school through junior high skills to start their own businesses. Cross led all five virtual workshops that made up the course.

Rhyan Kendrick, whose business was called Rhyan Knits, had knit beanies and made pompom keychains. And with her tenacious spirit, she was diving into the crowd and drawing people’s attention to her booth.

“I’m actually empty-ish because I got so much people. I kept gathering them and some people just kept walking up,” said Kendrick.

Natural Properties’ young owner, Danika Cox, sold items using plants she found on her parents’ property, including lemons, sage sticks, and a specialty salt mixture.

“I made, I know, over $100,” Cox said. “I counted over $100. I’ve sold a lot of stuff. Plus, I started out with like, about 18 of these (salts), I have three now.”

Ayden Kneeskern created a free recycling pick-up business called Recycling is Fun. He created business cards and a signup sheet, and once residents are signed up, he will pick up their recycling on the first Sunday of every month. He also said that he could not have gotten to where he is with Recycling is Fun without the Jr. CEO program.

“There’s classes, like Zoom calls, and they really help you expand your business. I made like 20 clients with them and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” added Kneeskern.

Faithful Cowboy Farm Goods was Jr. CEO Abraham Frankel’s dive into starting his own business. Selling everything from goat milk’s soap from goats he milked himself to herbs and plants from his family’s garden.

“It was really fun. I learned how to have your first business and how to deal with it,” Frankel said of the program.

Giada Pipan of Giada Jewell Designs, her jewelry company, said she started making earrings and the like at her grandma’s house, but with the help of the Jr. CEO program she was able to turn her hobby into a business.

“It’s really fun and you get to learn a lot of things about business,” added Pipan.

She also said that she loved learning how to deal with her money and how to open a bank account.

Jr. CEO Business Day will be back again next year. Cross did mention that they will be on the lookout for a new place to hold it as they’ve grown out of The Plaza and have plans to have even more kids participating in 2025.

Featured image: Jr. CEO Danika Cox is shown at the table for her business, Natural Properties. Photo by Christianna Marks