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Fourth-grader designing own business

April 16, 2012

Wapakoneta Elementary School student Emma Nolte

An interest in a career in fashion design has led a Wapakoneta Elementary School fourth-grader to create her own business.

Emma Nolte, 10, enjoys sketching designs for clothes in her spare time. She watches wedding dress shows on TV for inspiration and then puts her ideas together for her own fashions.

After sketching her ideas for clothing for several years, Emma said she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up.

“I’ve made clothes, church dresses, with my grandma before,” Emma said. “The first is really short on me now, almost like a shirt, and the second is a Christmas dress. I want to make more clothes this summer.”

For now, she’s keeping busy with her “It’s a Bling Thing,” hair flower business.

“I’ve sold a lot of flowers to classmates and friends,” said Emma, who has distributed business cards and periodically brings her wares to school to sell. “It’s just kind of a start.”

In addition to hair flowers, Emma makes pins for shirts and hair flowers for dolls. She’s also held a class on how to make them for members of her church, St. Paul United Church of Christ. It was at a church bazaar where she first saw the hair flowers and bought one, teaching herself how to make them for family members to wear on a cruise.

Purchasing her supplies at Hobby Lobby, Emma soon was making a lot more of the hair accessories using artificial flowers, clips, jewels and pins. She purchases what she needs using money from what she sells.

Prices of her items range from $5 for a regular hair flower to $2 for a doll hair flower, with other items’ prices falling somewhere inbetween.

“My mom taught me to take the money I’m spending to make them and add it up for the price,” Emma said.

She said she tries to use really fun colors like hot pink and lime green in her designs, but she has gone the more traditional route, too, using poinsettias to give to nursing home residents.

Emma enjoys making crafts and creating her own unique presents out of a variety of mediums for people, too.

The daughter of Heather and Craig Nolte also loves the outdoors.

She spent her spring break teaching herself how to boogie board and surf while visiting Florida.

Emma said she learned with her 14-year-old sister, Allison, by watching movies, such as “Soul Surfer.”

She plays goalie for her select soccer team, for which she had to try out, in the spring and fall.

“I like the energy in it,” Emma said. “I love being physical and getting outside and getting exercise.”

She also plays softball and said she loves the feeling when she is thrown a ball really hard and hits it.

But her interests don’t stop there.

Emma dances and is currently taking tap lessons. Typically she takes a different dance class — jazz, ballet, tumbling and hip hop — each year, but has found that she really loves tap.

“There’s so much footwork,” Emma said. “I want to do it next year. I love the sound of tap shoes.”

In the winter she played basketball, which she enjoys a lot more than she used to and likes playing defense against area teams.

She has played the piano since she was 5 and someday wants to learn the “Nutcracker Suite.”

She has been inspired by pianist Alpin Hong to do bigger and better things, so she keeps practicing her chords and techniques.

 Emma spends her free time singing Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga songs in her room and enjoys acting and attended drama camp, earning a role in “The Wizard of Oz” last summer.

She also draws more than clothes, often making Redskin heads and other requests from her friends.

“Art is one of my favorite specials,” said Emma, who is looking forward to having her own locker and activity nights at the Wapakoneta Middle School. “I’m a little sad to move on, but I’m also ready to go.”

With favorite subjects of math and reading, Emma said she likes doing multiplication and long division and reading entertains her, especially with books like “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series.

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