Jewelry, CI Bling, and Partnerships: Interview with 13-Year-Old Hard-of-Hearing Entrepreneur, Hayleigh Scott
Douglas L. Beck, AuD, speaks with Hayleigh about her latest jewelry designs, her commitment to her business, and being a hearing-impaired teenager.
Academy: Good morning, Hayleigh. It's great to hear your voice!
Hayleigh: Hi, Dr. Beck. It's nice to speak with you, again, too.
Academy: Hard to imagine it's been two years since we last spoke. How have you been?
Hayleigh: My family is doing great! I finished school in June and we're really busy this summer. I'll be doing mass production of my products and I'll be exhibiting at lots of conferences like the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) in Rhode Island, and I'll be at the Alexander Graham Bell Conference in Arizona, too. I'll also be at the Clark School this summer and a few others, too.
Academy: Fantastic, okay, so apparently you're still in the hearing aid jewelry business?
Hayleigh: Yes. I'm still designing, building, selling jewelry, and working with five distribution companies.
Academy: Is it still fun?
Hayleigh: Yes, it's really wonderful!
Academy: And are your brother and sisters still working with you?
Hayleigh: Yes, they still work for me when their schedules allow it, and when I need extra hands to build the products. AJ, my 2-year-old brother, is my newest tube twist tester. He is going to be in a video that I post this summer showing how indestructible my new silicone tube twists are.
Academy: I see on your Web site you have a new business relationship with Westone. Does this have something to do with your new tube twists?
Hayleigh: Yes, I've partnered with Westone and they've helped me build a machine to use silicone to make the new Tube Twists, which go on the ear mold tubing.
Academy: That's really cool, Hayleigh. And I guess you have additional colors and designs for the Tube Twists?
Hayleigh: Yes, the Web site explains the colors and prices and how to order them. In fact, this summer, I am doing a new test with audiologists.
When I go to my audiologist's office, there is a bowl with stickers and candy for patients. I would love to see audiologists have a bowl full of tube twists in bright solid colors for their patients to pick from for a gift.
Academy: What a great idea Hayleigh!
Hayleigh: Thank you, Dr. Beck. Any of your audiologists reading this who want to participate, can e-mail me and I can help them.
Academy: That's fantastic! How many hours per week do you spend working on Hayleigh's Cherished Charms?
Hayleigh: Usually I spend about three hours per day working on my business. So that's probably one hour before school and about two hours after school. It just depends on homework and what else we're doing.
Academy: And I should mention that you also design and sell jewelry for cochlear implants and RITE hearing aids.
Hayleigh: Yes, we try to offer fun and exciting jewelry for all children and adults who use hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other amplification devices.
Academy: I noticed on your Web site you offer magnetized "cochlear implant bling," which can be attached to the external transmitter of a cochlear implant, and I know you've already told me that the magnetic bling doesn't cause any problems with the cochlear implant….That's pretty neat!
Hayleigh: Thanks, Dr. Beck. I think they're really fun and special.
Academy: And while working so hard and being so committed to your business, you've developed a work ethic which helps you maintain your focus and momentum…Can you tell me and the readers about that?
Hayleigh: Well, I think you mean the story about when my dad and I were talking about starting a business a few years ago, and he told me that things don't always have to be perfect. In fact, he said that if you're waiting for perfection, things are probably not going to go anywhere! You have to do the best you can with what you've got, and that's good enough! I call it production to perfection and it's been working pretty well. I keep improving my products and prices.
Academy: That makes perfect sense and I think that's a great philosophy for an entrepreneur. I'm so glad your business is going well, Hayleigh. And you've also helped other artists and entrepreneurs across the globe. Can you tell us a little about that?
Hayleigh: Well, I recently helped a woman in El Salvador to get her jewelry business started through KIVA. You can choose what size loan and the type of business you would like to invest in. Eventually the person receiving the loan pays it back and you can re-invest the money to another entrepreneur. It's a neat idea and helps a lot of people.
I also really recommend Big Dent. It is a great program, too. I just recently started supporting women in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, by sponsoring entrepreneurs and by purchasing beads that they make by hand that I will then turn into charms.
Academy: Thanks, Hayleigh. I want to encourage all of our readers to check out your Web site and your products! You are a very talented, kind, and polite person and I'm very proud of you.
Hayleigh: Thanks, Dr. Beck.
Hayleigh Scott is a 13-year-old jewelry entrepreneur. Visit her Web site for more information.
Douglas L. Beck AuD, Board Certified in Audiology, is the Web content editor for the American Academy of Audiology.