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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics) » Nine Year-Old Entrepreneur Sells StopWar Necklace
Nine Year-Old Entrepreneur Sells StopWar Necklace

By Steve Lyons | July 23, 2010

Eli Lyons-Seiser learns the ins and outs of community-minded business.

Eli, an exceptionally bright and articulate 9½ year old, has designed, manufactured and marketed the StopWar necklace, his own initiative to help prevent wars for future generations and support those traumatized by its effects.

“I was in Ohio with my uncles and when we came home from the firing range my Uncle Rick offered to drill a shell and string it for me,” he says. “Then, my dad and I came up with the idea to string them and then sell them.”

The StopWar necklaces are simple and stark — a spent bullet casing on a plain black or green cord. Currently five percent of the profits go to Amnesty International, but soon they are to be split evenly between Amnesty and a U.S. veterans’ charity yet to be chosen.

The Lyons’ military pedigree sparked Eli’s concern for American servicemen and women. Three of his uncles are veterans, variously of the Army, Air Force and Marines.

“It’s important to help them because a lot of times when people come home from war they have traumas — it’s difficult for them to find and keep a job,” Eli says. “The necklaces symbolize that bullets should only be fired on the range, not at people.”

This is not the first commercial venture undertaken by this budding young businessman. At age six Eli opened his first franchise in Provincetown, a lemonade stand. Within two days he had earned enough to afford his own digital camera.

Eli’s father and investor Steve Lyons, a marketing expert, says his aim was to teach his son the basic principles of business and how to give back to the community. “We buy all the materials right now, but he understands he has to pay us back for all the goods.”

Repayment should not be a problem as Eli says business is booming after only two months. Sales at retail shop All American Boy in Provincetown are going well and orders are starting to come through on the website he has set up, an impressive achievement for a boy who has not yet reached double figures.

This article originally ran in the Provincetown Banner in August 2009.

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