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Kelly Reinhart may be a fifth grader at Atkinson Elementary School in North Andover, Massachusetts, but she is not your ordinary fifth grader. With the help of her parents, she turned a simple idea into a
million dollar business.

It all started on a rainy weekend, five years ago. “When I was eight,” explains Kelly, “my five brothers and sisters and I were all inside on a rainy day. We were driving my parents crazy, so my dad sat us down and had us all draw an invention. He said that the best idea would get a prototype made.” Sparked by a western television show her dad had been watching, Kelly came up with the idea for the T-Pak, a small thigh pack that looks like a holster, designed to carry a cell phone, camera, or keys.

Kelly’s dad selected Kelly’s idea as the winner. After having a seamstress
sew the initial design and the prototype made in China, Kelly took all her
allowance money and purchased 100 T-Paks. “I was really nervous,” Kelly
remembers. At a fair at her middle school, Kelly sold all 100 packs. She
then used the sale proceeds to invest in another 500 T-Paks. “My dad and I went to a trade show and those sold out, too. Then someone ordered a container load of 100,000 pieces at a show in Vegas.” It was at this point that Kelly’s father, Bob, decided to quit his day job and work for Kelly on a fulltime basis.

The success Kelly has had at such a young age has not caused her to lose
touch with her peers. She started a foundation to help other kids bring
their inventions to market and is currently working with her brother,
Adam, on a product he invented. Kelly’s eagerness to help others is
directly influenced by her mother’s kindness. “I see my mom walk for
hunger and cancer…helping people. When I get older I want to be Senator or President, so I can really help people.”

Kelly’s mother, Lori, finds her daughter’s outward nature fascinating because she herself was very shy as a child. “As a kid I was very shy. I mean, you‘ve never seen a case of the shy worse than my case. But, because I was such a shy, quiet kid, I was determined that my children would have
their own minds and be able to think and speak for themselves. I am so proud that Kelly is not shy. She is a not a follower. She is a leader.”

More information on Kelly and her business ventures can be found at
www.kellyreinhart.com.

 

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"Entrepreneurs have to be willing to lose time and money. If you can't do that, I don't think you're a true entrepreneur."
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