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Eight-year-old Moorhead girl's soap biz cleans up at local craft fairs

For Livvy Caroon, entrepreneurship is in the blood. Livvy's mom, Laura, co-founded the popular networking organization Ladyboss Fargo-Moorhead. But Laura says she didn't have to use stage-mom tactics to convince her daughter into launching Livvy's Luxury Lab, a business of homemade soaps and fidget spinners. Livvy just thought it would be fun to try.

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Livvy Caroon, 8, of Moorhead, creates "gem" soaps and fidget spinners for her business, Livvy's Luxury Lab. She also has considered making earrings to sell.
Tammy Swift / The Forum
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EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story is the latest in The Forum's Kid Bosses series, which profiles teens and kids who have taken the initiative to start their own businesses.

MOORHEAD — It might have been more surprising if Livvy Caroon hadn’t started a business.

After all, entrepreneurship seems to run in the family. Her mom, Laura, co-founded Ladyboss Fargo-Moorhead, which expanded into Ladyboss Midwest and is a popular networking organization for entrepreneurial women.

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But Laura, now director of culture and growth at Trive, a business consulting firm, says she didn’t need to use stage-mother tactics to persuade her daughter to launch her own business. The feisty 8-year-old just knew she liked to do crafts and, at some point, figured she could also sell them.

“I decided it would be kind of fun,” Livvy says, sitting at the kitchen island of her parents’ home, where photos of Livvy at various ages abound.

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Laura Caroon and daughter, Libby, 8, at the Unglued Craft Fest at West Acres March 11-12.
Contributed / Laura Caroon

After scrolling through Pinterest, they found some cute ideas for making glycerin soaps. They settled on “gemstone” varieties, which could be layered in bright colors and seemed fairly unique.

Livvy even came up with her own business name, Livvy’s Luxury Lab, instinctively relying on catchy alliteration.

Since forming the little cottage business last fall, Livvy has sold her soaps via successful “shop drops” on Instagram. She also was invited by the owner of Jade + Jasper to sell her soap line at the West Fargo boutique at 3150 Sheyenne St.

But their biggest event so far has been the Unglued Craft Fest at the West Acres Mall. Livvy and her mom not only made, shrink-wrapped and labeled 200 “baubles” of soap (which, at $6 a bar, nearly sold out), Livvy also turned to Dad Josh's tech expertise and 3-D printer to make fidget spinners.

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Dad Josh Caroon unabashedly donned a Livvy's Luxury Lab sweatshirt to help out his daughter during the West Acres' Unglued Craft Market in March. Josh also used his 3-D printer to help Livvy make fidget cubes for the event.
Contributed / Laura Caroon

The brightly colored fidget cubes, which can be flattened or formed into different shapes, were a big hit. Unfortunately, it took four hours to print a single cube, so they only had 15 of them available. “Everybody loved them,” Livvy says. “We did have a lot, but not for everybody.”

The soaps also take time to make. The glycerin is melted and then poured in soap molds, which have been misted with rubbing alcohol to help prevent formation of soda ash (a white powdery coating) and to prevent air bubbles.

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Livvy Caroon, who hopes to be a dentist or an orthodontist someday, says she has learned a lot from running her own business.
Tammy Swift / The Forum

The mixture dries for several hours before another layer in a different color is added. It’s then refrigerated.

Once completely hardened, the soaps can be shrink wrapped and labeled, with labels featuring a little, pink-haired girl (who kind of looks like Livvy) made with Canva , the free online design tool.

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A close-up of soaps from Livvy's Luxury Lab.
Contributed / Laura Caroon

Laura says her daughter has already learned some important lessons from the venture. One is the realization hat Uncle Sam always needs to get paid — and paid properly. “Yes, I learned about taxes,” Livvy says, before looking to her mom for guidance. “I forgot what that is.”

Laura explains that after their first “shop drop” on Instagram, the soap sold like, well, soap cakes, but then they realized she wasn't old enough to be on the platform. So she's no longer on Instagram.

Livvy also learned about persistence and staying power. Like the fact a business can “start off fun and then it gets really hard,” she says.

Even so, the extra spending money has been handy. “Sometimes I’m a saver and sometimes I’m a spender,” Livvy says, although her mom adds, with a grin, that her daughter probably trends more toward the spending end.

It won’t hurt to start a college fund now, as Livvy says she hopes to be a dentist or orthodontist someday.

And Livvy also likes to send 20 percent of her earnings to a good cause, the Sloth Conservation Foundation.

Why sloths?

“Because they always smile,” Livvy says.

Tammy has been a storyteller most of her life. Before she learned the alphabet, she told stories by drawing pictures and then dictated the narrative to her ever-patient mother. A graduate of North Dakota State University, she has worked as a Dickinson, N.D., bureau reporter, a Bismarck Tribune feature writer/columnist, a Forum feature reporter, columnist and editor, a writer in NDSU's Publications Services, a marketing/social media specialist, an education associate in public broadcasting and a communications specialist at a nonprofit.
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