Shawn Nowlin email@example.com
Every dream has to start somewhere. For local teenager Kevin McNeil, his dream of starting his own business began last month after an in-depth conversation with his father. While looking for an avenue to get his two boys actively engaged in something productive over the summer, Pastor Kevin McNeil made them a deal – if they developed an impressive business model, he would fund their idea with $250.
“It was important that their business plans were detailed and included projections. For weeks they came up with individual ideas before ultimately deciding what made the most sense. Kevin, 14, expressed an interest in selling space to vendors while Carrington, 12, decided to sell homemade funnel cakes,” said the pastor.
Instead of trying to auction merchandise for himself, the Kevin instead chose to provide rental space for others to use. Vendor’s Hub, a “pop-up shopping” venture as he describes it, is committed to providing a central location for Salem residents to sell everything from beauty products to old clothes.
To advertise Vendor’s Hub, Kevin, a William Fleming High student-athlete on the football team, used various social media outlets and created flyers to pass out. Vendor
Hub’s first official day of business was last Saturday at Bethany Christian Church, 3115 Fleming Avenue. Roughly a dozen vendors purchased a leasing space for the event. Social distancing was emphasized and everyone who participated wore a face covering.
“I wasn’t exactly sure how things would go, but the day turned out better than I imagined. A lot of face masks and funnel cakes were sold,” Kevin said with a smile. “A similar event is scheduled here at my father’s church on August 1. I am looking forward to serving the community once again.”
Those who have known Kevin for a long time are not surprised that he is finding success in this endeavor. Said family friend Lisa Robinson, “He is one of the brightest teenagers I have ever met. He understands that hard work is required to accomplish goals and he is willing to put in the necessary work.”
Kevin also understands the importance of giving back to the community. That life lesson, among many others, was taught by his father and mother, Kim. A portion of Vendor Hub’s proceeds will be redistributed throughout the city and Bethany Christian Church.
“I would describe both of my sons as highly-intelligent and introspective. They are bright kids with big hearts and big ideas. My wife and I are so proud of them,” Kevin said. “We are now looking at starting a young entrepreneur’s team to help other teens in Salem learn how to start their own businesses and answer any questions they may have.”
Individuals interested in learning more information may visit the Vendor’s Hub Facebook page.