Most people wait until adulthood to learn a trade and earn a living, but ten-year-old Demarli Williams is determined to learn the skills necessary to make her own money from now.
Demarli’s’ mother Janelle is a pedicurist and masseuse and is teaching her the tricks of the trade. She told Newsday Kids said she wants to own a spa when she gets older and is learning how to run her business.
Demarli said she was inspired by her mother, who also works for herself. She is learning how to do pedicures, hand and foot massages.
She said many people have insecurities about those parts of their bodies, and she wants to teach others how to take care of themselves.
“Happy feet, happy life,” she said. “My business is to inspire people to not have insecurities. You have to give your feet the same amount of love you give the rest of your body.”
She said there are many things about caring for your feet that most people don’t know, like staying properly hydrated. “You can actually feel the difference in their feet if they are not drinking enough water.”
She said her mother has taught her a lot about running a business, like customer care. “She taught me how to be consistent and patient; whatever the client asks for, you do it with love and patience.”
She said she understands that there are some things about being a masseuse she is still too young to do, but she is practising simple massages so she can learn as she grows up.
One of her favourite products to use is the mint-scented foot scrub. “It makes the whole room smell good,” she joked, “and the scent keeps the client calm and settled.”
Demarli started last year soon after lockdown and works with her mother out of their Champs Fleurs home.
She said learning how to run her business has taught her to be more mature, and how to be gentle, and patient with people. “Patience is the key to success. As I get older, it gets better. I practice often.”
She said in recent months, she has also been able to help her mother who injured her foot stepping out of a car. “My mom hurt her foot and I massage it often. I will soak her feet and help her keep her toes clean.”
She said people often underestimate her because of her age and think she cannot do a good job, but she tries not to let that discourage her.
She said despite the doubt she received from some she has also received many compliments. “One client said I do it better that my mom and that inspired me,” she said enthusiastically.
Demarli thinks it is important for children to learn how to start a business as it will help them become more professional when they are older.
She is a member of Dime Star Kids Club, which hosts a virtual activity space for children. Last year, the club hosted a project that encouraged students to choose a business they think they can run for themselves, and Demarli chose a spa.
She said she has had a lot of support from her mother, her aunt Anna, and her teacher Giselle Simon, a director of the club. She said they have all helped her by purchasing some of the supplies she needs to work, as well as boosting her self-esteem.
“Aunty Giselle helps people gain confidence in themselves.”
Demarli said right now, she does not have many customers, but she won’t give up. “Sometimes, it can be overwhelming, but I know God would not give me more that I can handle, so I am working on God’s timing.”
Faith is very important to Demarli, even closing her interview with a word of prayer.
“She starts everything with prayer,” said her mother, Janelle. “Even in class, she is the first one to volunteer to pray.”
The family attends the Jesus the Lamb Church in Barataria. Demarli is a standard three student of Holy Saviour Anglican Primary School in Curepe and said math is her favourite subject. She joked that she is not fond of social studies but will continue to work at it because she wants to learn.
Demarli does not only aspire to be a spa owner, but also a firefighter. Her mother said every career day in school, she goes as a firefighter. Demarli said she is determined to do both.