The Charleston greeting card mogul is just 4 years old
Serena Meng knew her daughter Sky wasn’t your typical guy.
For starters, the 4-year-old was known for talking about “products” and many adults found her to be exceptionally articulate for her age. The entrepreneurs themselves, Meng and her husband, artist Joe Allen, attributed it to their own shop talk in the house.
But according to Meng, it was their daughter who sowed the seed for a new business.
“She wanted to start a business. I asked him: ‘Are you sure?’ And she said, ‘Yes, I want a business and I want a big business,’” said Meng, who was taken aback by the statement.
It turns out that Sky had set her sights on a personal acquisition, namely a Calico Critters Maple Cat family figure. She figured out that the quickest route to owning one was to start her own business.
“I’ll save my money and then buy it,” the 4-year-old explained in a phone interview.
She also felt that the profits from a business would be helpful for a major future purchase. This goal is a real horse, which she longs for when her family realizes their collective dream of buying a farm.
As a mother who homeschools her daughter, Meng viewed the interest as a teachable moment. In addition to learning about business creation, it offered the young student the opportunity to learn mathematics, language arts, geography and anatomy.
Meng, who previously owned a day spa, tapped into her past business acumen to advise her daughter. She aimed to keep her grounded in pragmatics, explaining that companies usually start small and grow from there.
Sky first expressed an interest in quilt making, a skill neither had at the time. Then it lands on another. She dabbled in art since she was 8 months old, starting with fingerprint work and by the age of 1 she was helping her mother make thank you cards, Christmas cards and Valentine’s Day cards.
“I said to him, ‘Well, you already make all these cards for your friends and family. Do you think that would be something you would be interested in? said Meng. “She loved the idea of someone opening their mailbox and having a surprise inside. It would be a card she made…and it could be sent anywhere in the country or anywhere. Where in the world.
Meng, who said his family is hard working, explained to the aspiring business owner that much of it will be spent on setting up a business. Undaunted, Sky spent months creating designs with consistency, eyes glued to his lens.
Finally, his business was born.
Chance of Rainbow is a web-based greeting card company established under her parent’s LLC that sells 40 designs, which are printed by Meng. They are available at chanceofrainbow.com.
Maps include local interest ones, like Pineapples and Rainbow Row, as well as general interest and kid-friendly ones. These days, the artist’s favorite subjects include unicorns, rainbows, sparklers and monster trucks. She also created holiday-themed designs. They sell for between $3 and $3.50, with customers of all age groups.
Cards are shipped nationally and can also be delivered locally. Sky regularly visits the North Mount Pleasant Post Office to attend to her business.
“She knows the people who work there by name and they know her. It’s really part of our home school lesson,” Meng said.
Chance of Rainbow recently made its first foray into bricks and mortar. The company booked a booth at the Carolina Park Holiday Market, sharing the space with her parents, who sold artwork, including her father’s mosaics.
Armed with her own business cards and impressive human qualities, the company’s founder spoke with potential customers throughout the day, extolling the virtues of her products.
“We hardly spoke,” Meng said. At one point, a customer took one of the cards, which depicts an ocean wave, and the youngster replied, “Oh, that’s my most popular card.”
According to Sky, the event was a success. “A lot of people were buying,” she said. “It was good to get all those sales.”
Since then, she has also taken to a few local outlets, visiting stores to make her point after Meng set it up. Her mother explained how selling in this way will affect the bottom line. It is still looking for suitable commercial partnerships.
Profits notwithstanding, this enterprising cardmaker’s joy comes primarily from the experience of those who receive her cards.
“I’m sure a lot of people would be happy when they got my card in the mail,” she said, explaining that they would know it was a card because they could smell it and they would recognize it. that it’s from his company because of the address on the envelope. “So they’re going to get excited.”
Charlestonians can get excited, too, as the future looks bright for a new generation of business leaders – bright and rainbow-luck, too.