Judah Whitson at the cash register at Fort Scott Farmers Market.

Young Enterpreneurs: The Whitson Brothers

A Farmers Market customer gets help from from left: Malachi, Asher, Maria and Judah Whitson.

This is part of a series featuring young entrepreneurs in our community.

To recommend a young entrepreneur, send contact information to [email protected]

The Whitson brothers, sons of Maria and Clayton Whitson, are entrepreneurs. The family lives on a farm in rural Garland.

Malachi, age 10, Asher, age 7 and Judah, age 5, all create items to sell, but each has a different product.

The boys, along with their parents, had a booth at the Fort Scott Farmers Market on June 3.

“The boys had… sold at my parents festival  (Shead Family Festival, an annual event) the year before but they really enjoyed the opportunity to sell with other kids and actually learn a little more about how businesses work,” said Maria.

The Whitsons launched a family business called The Journey Home which is an umbrella for their whole family’s creations, including their three young sons, according to their mother, Maria. They have two younger daughters.

Book publishing, art, jewelry, cast iron accessories, homeschooling, foraging, homesteading, disaster prep, herbal remedies, are some of the interests of the family business.

Malachi and Asher went to the Acton Children’s Business Fair in April 2022 and developed a business plan and selected a name for their respective businesses.

Malachi Whitson sells his jewelry at the June 3 Fort Scott Farmers Market with his other brothers.

Malachi, owner of Made by Malachi, creates jewelry.

“I can sell personalized bacelets, keychains, but mostly make earrings,” he said. “I like creating. I think up ideas then try them out. If they don’t work out, it’s fine, I can use my mistakes to create something else. ”

Business has been good, he said. He has been selling his jewelry at markets, fairs, festivals and at Root Coffee Shop in Pittsburg.

“I started selling three years ago at the Shead Farm Festival, and now sell at different events, he said. ” Larry and Vickie Shead, who open their farm annually in May to visitors, are the brothers’ grandparents.

Asher Whitson shows his framed art for sale at the Fort Scott Farmers Market on June 3.

Asher is an artist.

“I started my business when I was five,” he said. “I get ideas on Facebook, and use an Apple Pencil I Pad (to create on).”

“Mom asked me if I wanted to do a business and I just started drawing,” Asher said.

He also has sold his artwork at the Shead Farm Festival, the Acton Business Fair, Fort Scott Farmers Market and Root Coffee Shop.

He likes what he’s doing.

“It’s easy and fun to draw and I get money,” he said.

Judah Whitson gets help with selling his mini-donut product at the Farmers Market from his mother, Maria Whitson.

Judah received a mini-donut maker for Christmas.

His first selling of his product was at his grandparents Shead Farm Festival last month

At the June 3, 2023 Fort Scott Farmers Market, he was manning his family’s booth at the cash register, with help, and was all smiles.


Judah Whitson at the cash register at Fort Scott Farmers Market.
Judah Whitson mans the cash register at his family’s booth at the Fort Scott Farmers Market.

Second Children’s Business Workshop Coming In September

The  boys attended the children’s business workshop in April 2022.

Dacia Clark, with the Small Business Development Center, taught the children about developing a business plan, and other marketing basics, Rachel Carpenter with the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team said. The SBDC is housed in the HBCAT office at 104 N. National Avenue.

“Acton Children’s Business Fair provided the curriculum, and HBCAT helped coordinate the efforts,” Carpenter said.

Acton Children’s Business Fair is a culmination of ideas and hard work from great young minds. Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at a one-day marketplace, according to its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/childrensbusinessfairfortscottks?mibextid=LQQJ4d
The kids will have 3-4 meetings discussing the above ideas, culminating in a business fair. In 2022, the group of children totaled  13, and the hope is that will grown for the fall 2023 workshop, according to the Facebook page.
For registration for the fair which is scheduled for September 30 from 8 a.m. to noon: https://www.childrensbusinessfair.org/fortscott-ks
The logo of Acton Children’s Business Fair from its website.

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