Youths offer new business, organization to Orange

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

Three young ladies were the stars of the Tuesday evening Orange City Council meeting.

Nia Hodges, 14, London Stroud, 10 and Nia Lewis, 14, are three of Orange’s newest and perhaps youngest entrepreneurs.

Hodges, owner of Nia’s Treats, has baked since she was 8 and after listening to her family tell her she should try selling them she started her business.

“My family would say my cookies were so good that everyone should be able to enjoy them,” Hodges said. “Baking makes me happy and I make everything from scratch.”

Council member Annette Pernell, a chef, offered Hodges some tips for becoming an even better baker.

“I am going to get in touch with her soon,” Hodges said.

Nia Lewis is founder of Teens Make a Difference.

“Not everyone sees the potential in teens,” Lewis said. “Teens can make a difference.”

The young organization, formed just a week ago, wants to give back to the community as well as provide events with teen positive activities.

“We will never make a difference unless we rise above and show there are kids with potential,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the idea for the organization inspired her to make a difference.

London Stroud, owner of London Lane, has been in business for two years and is branching out from painting to teaching others how to create signs.

Stroud has sold her art at Art in the Park, Kids Inc. events and the Health Fair. She is offering a painting class for kids on February 11 at the Orange Train depot.

“This will be my first time teaching a class,” Stroud said. “My mom inspired me.”

Stroud’s mother, Tricia Stroud, told her two daughters they needed to find something they could do to make their own money.

“It has taught her so much more,” Tricia said. “She enjoys having money so she can do the Angel Tree at Christmas, but it has also taught her so much more like how to speak in front of others.”

She said she worked with London to find something the young business owner could do and enjoy.

“It began with using reclaimed wood and has evolved along the way,” Tricia said.

London now offers picture frames and now the painting classes.