May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We have a very “convincing” 10-year old daughter. Some would call her “pushy” “nudgie” etc., but there is a good reason why Rivka is called the CEO of our family. To be truthful, we have ignored most of her “brilliant” ideas. Like the one about dropping out of second grade to start Creative Slime Industries or buying stock in Lysol last February (which in hindsight was quite brilliant). But when she came to us with the idea of making mask chains out of rainbow loom and selling them to raise tzedaka in the zechut for a refuah of a little girl who was hospitalized, we gave it more serious thought. Rivka made a good case: So many other people were selling mask chains that were “fancy” but no one we knew was selling kid-friendly ones that looked fun. Though we were not 100% convinced, she instantly began work making prototypes and quickly realized that none of the mask chains she had seen had any personalization.

Rivka decided to incorporate names and initials on the back of her chains as a way to distinguish herself from all the other PPE opportunists. Before long she had a portfolio of designs that looked promising and impressive. All we needed now was a photographer, a head of marketing and a sales force and since both of her brothers made it clear that watching the Stanley Cup playoffs sounded better than working for their little sister. So as her parents, we were tasked to fill the roles.

During the first Bored meeting (spelled this way because we surmised from all of the eye-rolling from Rivka’s brothers—and the repeated “this is so boring”—that this was not exactly thrilling stuff), Rivka made it clear that the central force of her idea was to raise money for tzedaka so that Rus Chaya Moriah bas Shoshana Miriam would have a refuah sheleima. With this mission statement as the guiding force, we knew that this “brilliant” idea needed to come to fruition.

After a brief photo session with Englewood’s finest photographer (www.premiumvideoimage.com), the first flyer was released to a small group of my co-workers and the orders started to fly in. Before we knew it, Rivka was running out of supplies and had fulfilled a plethora of orders in just a few days. Amazon to the rescue. Materials, charms, wrapping papers, etc. ur house was beginning to look like the early scenes at the beginning of one of those promising “Shark Tank” submission videos. But Rivka is not looking for an investor (Mark Cuban, if you’re reading this, she will probably still take your call), but rather partners in this mitzvah. So if you’re interested in a personalized mask chain, contact Rivka at [email protected] and she will make you whatever you want. Mask chains are $10 each and 20% of all proceeds goes to tzedakah.

The moral of the story is to let your kids take a chance. Rivka knows that this will only last a short while, however one day she will look back on these unprecedented times and be proud that she did something meaningful. It is important to recognize that there are many behaviors that we discourage in children but encourage in adults. That “assertive” businessperson we call a “go-getter” was once called a “pushy” kid. The “think-out-of-the-box” business innovator was once labeled an unfocused and “hyper” kid. There are so many traits that we end up discouraging in our younger children that we later encourage when they transition into the real world. In the end, more important than our giving her a chance Rivka taught us an incredible lesson about sensitivity and putting your thoughts and passion to action.

By Miriam Csillag-Cohen

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