Meet Southside’s 11-year-old entrepreneur, Bella Cortez. She is a 5th grade student at Oak Crest Elementary School, part of East Central Independent School District. (According to the Harvard Business Review, the average entrepreneur is 45 years old when they launch their first startup.) She is the co-owner of the Crafty Cortez Sisters, a crafts and accessory business that she started with her younger sister, Ruby this past August.
The Crafty Cortez Sisters became the first kid-owned business from the Southside to sell at The Magik Theatre. The sisters sold their crafts and accessories at the theatre’s Educator Appreciation Day and Opening Day on November 21, 2020.
In October 2020, she became the youngest contributing writer for Live From The Southside Magazine. Her first article, “Things for Kids to do on Thanksgiving Break,” was featured in the magazine’s November 2020 issue. Her goals include motivating other kids to start their own businesses, to own a boutique and to become a pediatrician one day.
In an interview with Live From The Southside, Bella said, about owning a boutique with her sister, “When we’re in college and my sister doesn’t have class and I do, she can run our boutique.”
Inspired by the success of her business and seeking to inspire other kids her age, on November 27, 2020, Bella added author to her resume with the publishing of her first book . Available on Amazon, “Crafty Cortez Sisters: The Story,” is a 36-page paperback book detailing the craft and accessory business that she started with her younger sister, Ruby, as well as her journey to becoming a business owner at the age of 11. The book was published by Live From The Southside, with April Mae Monterrosa (CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Live From The Southside) as the book’s editor and photographer.
Her desire to inspire other kids had its intended effect and as a result, her younger sister Ruby is currently writing an autobiography. Publishing her first book has also inspired her to begin thinking of her next book. She plans on writing a fictional story based on two friends.
When Cortez isn’t busy vending her crafts and writing, she simply enjoys being a kid. “I like hanging out at home with my family and watching movies and going to fun places and events with my bonus-mom”, Bella mentioned. Her goal is to inspire and motivate other kids to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. The young girl boss will be having her first book signing later this month on the city’s Southside at Brooster’s Backyard Icehouse.