In & Around


On Saturday, November 4, 2023, South Miami hosted a first Kids’ Marketplace located at The Shops at Sunset Place, featuring over 50 booths with young entrepreneurs engaging with the public from 1 to 4p to introduce their product line.

The idea of a kids’ marketplace originated with two enterprising young girls Olivia and Mariel. Their ventures went from lemonade stand, cotton candy, slime among others.  The stand out product was bath bombs. All of their friends wanted the frizzy balls to relax and give a nice scent to their baths. Soon they started knocking door to door in the neighborhood and realized they were ready for a bigger audience. 

The girls came to their mothers for help, which led the moms to organize the first Key Biscayne Kids’ Marketplace in 2019. Now, with the help of District 7 Commissioner, Raquel Regalado and local sponsors, Kids’ Marketplaces are hosted throughout Miami and for the first time held here in SoMi.

Children create a product or service, develop a brand, design a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at this one-day marketplace. Kids are responsible for setup, sales and interacting with the customer. It is truly a complete hands-on business experience, a great educational tool and it is lots of fun. 

County Commissioner Rachel Regalado and City Commissioner Steve Calle with event organizer Fernanda Torres 
Olivia Almeida and Mariel Ramírez together with their mothers, the organizers Cristina Dalmau and Fernanda Torres.

Emphasis is on the fun part of the marketplace. Organizers  want kids to be kids, to be passionate about what they create and to enjoy the experience. A Kids’ Marketplace aims to motivate young entrepreneurs ages 8 to 16 to understand the value of their ideas and turn them into action. 

A rigorous application to the marketplace, which itself is a learning experience and incorporates the four basic Ps:  Product, Price, Promotion and Place.  The game-like registration has a cost calculator, business questions and also templates for media posts.  The registration process also includes a video or picture to make certain the kids are behind each business. 

The SoMi Kids’ Marketplace hosted some 50 different businesses ideas and more than 100 participants.  Four awards were presented: The Most Original Idea, The Best Sales Individual or Team, The Most Creative Stand and the Most Environmental Friendly Business. 

South Miami city commissioner Steve Calle, a big supporter of entrepreneurship, has been a key player in helping local businesses get involved and connecting with local schools so that the South Miami community truly benefits from this event. 

The organizers are grateful that 5 years later their daughters, Olivia and Mariel still participate in the Kids’ Marketplaces; and believe that for them to be busy in a positive activity at 16 and 17 years old is one of our biggest rewards. The organizers want Miami to be known as a young entrepreneurship hub.

One of the several young entrepreneurs visited with was Maki.  Her mom Carolina, noted that “Maki is a creative spirit. She paints, sings, acts and role plays to her imagination’s delight. She started painting her T-shirts, the apartment windows and all she could get her hands on since she was 2. She started her neon paint phase when we decided to have a neon party and buy neon paint as a fun activity to do during the pandemic and it stuck with her. She loves playing loud music and using the black light to get inspired as she paints. She also started adding inspirational messages to her work to uplift others so phrases such as ‘Ignite the fire inside you’, ‘Go with the flow, ‘The world is your puzzle’ and ‘Don’t give up’ are usually found in her art. “

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