By Kathryn Rice

With schools not being in session, some students have pursued business opportunities or have expanded on previous ideas.

Following are two such entrepreneurs.

Mattie Dimmitt

Mattie Dimmitt, the daughter of Elizabeth and Travis Dimmitt, is a 10-year-old Horace Mann Laboratory School fourth grader, who started Smile More Cards as her entry in the Maryville Public Library’s Children’s Business Fair (CBF).

“I make all kinds of homemade cards so people can send smiles across the miles,” Mattie said.

Her cards started as handmade creations, but she has since had them professionally printed.

“I make 4×5 and 5×7 cards and postcards,” Mattie said. “All of the cards come with envelopes. I make holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, thinking-of-you cards and more. My cards are colorful, fun, some are silly, some are serious. My favorites are the fox, chickens and flower cards.”

Mattie was planning to sell her cards at the CBF and had received permission from Owner Holly Kay Cronk to sell at Ferluknat Farms. Cronk helped Mattie get a display to sell the cards.

With the CBF postponed and Ferluknat Farms closed, Mattie decided to use the extra time to make more cards.

“Then I started thinking about how my Omi (grandma) has a friend who is a jewelry seller and she does Facebook Live parties,” Mattie said. “I thought ‘I can do that, too.’”

Mattie, with help from her dad, started a Facebook page, Smile More Cards.

“Then when it was time for my Facebook Live party I felt very nervous,” Mattie said. “I didn’t really know what to do but it still worked out really well. My mom practiced with me and helped me out a whole lot. I felt proud when it was over. I sold a lot of my cards and I plan to try to have these live parties twice a month if I can make enough cards.”

Packs of six cards cost $8, packs of eight cost $10 and individual cards are $3 each. Mattie will take special orders with cost being determined by the amount of work entailed.

Mattie plans to adopt a cat, donate to The Ministry Center, pay her brother for his help with the cards, put money back into the business and put the rest into savings.

She can be contacted through her Facebook page and requests people to follow her so they can take part in the twice-monthly Smile More Cards Facebook Live Sales. If unable to follow Facebook, her mother can be contacted at 816.507.8896.

“Please stay healthy, happy, safe and socially distanced in these times of trouble,” Mattie said. “My cards can help you smile more through tough times and stay connected with your family and friends.”

Loe Lawn Care

Cooper Loe, the 15-year-old son of Darin and Lisa Loe, Maryville, has taken the extra time to expand his lawn mowing business. The MHS freshman has added the services of his 18-year old sister, Macy, a junior. Macy will not only drive her brother this year but will assist with weedeating and leaf blowing.

Cooper is currently looking for more lawns to care for. He added newspaper advertising this year to get the word out, besides distributing flyers. He gives free estimates and will look at the lawn to tell the homeowner what the costs will be, same day.

Cooper has been mowing his parents’ grass since the age of eight. He added a neighbor’s yard at the age of 11. He wanted to get a job so he didn’t have to ask his parents for money. He loves mowing which is flexible with playing sports during the summer. This led to his decision to start a lawn care service which includes mowing, striping, trimming, weedeating and picking up leaves and sticks.

Traveling with his family to ball parks, Cooper admired the grass striping on the fields. When he received his own striping kit he said it felt just like Christmas.

Cooper plans to continue his mowing service through his high school and college career. He may be reached at 660.853.8086 for further information.