CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A 13-year-old entrepreneur is working to beautify neighborhoods across Central Virginia with her own mailbox makeover business.
“I create curb appeal by repainting ugly, faded mailbox posts,” Amari Clement, CEO of Mari’s Mailbox Post Painting told 8News.
Clement, a 13-year-old Henrico student, started ‘Mari’s Mailbox Post Painting’ at just ten years old after noticing her own mother’s mailbox needed some updating.
“We live in a [homeowner’s association] so I started off by painting my parents’ mailbox,” Clement explained. “Then, I did my mom’s friend’s mailbox. Then, my mom encouraged me to start a business because at the time I liked painting so I wanted to make money off of it.”
Clement says she draws inspiration from the mother, Patricia Clement, a retired police officer turned entrepreneur.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur,” Patricia Clement said. “Since she liked to paint, I went to her and said, ‘Hey, do you want to make some money off of this? You can start a business — especially because no one else is doing it.'”
Recently, Clement was tasked with her biggest job yet — painting 94 mailboxes in the Kings Grove subdivision in Chesterfield.
“I was shocked because that sounds like a lot of houses,” Clement explained.
Her mother says the HOA had to vote before it was a done deal.
“They voted on it,” Patricia Clement said. “I sent the proposal. They voted on it. I didn’t think they would take her seriously because she’s a kid but of course, I oversee everything. They voted on it and voted yes. We’ve received positive feedback that they’ll be calling us again.”
With help from mom, the teen says the process of updating a mailbox takes just minutes.
“If a board is broken or damaged or rotten, then we replace the whole post,” she said. “Then, I repaint it. Then we’ll replace the post and paint the actual post. Then we just put the numbers back up.”
Not only is Clement beautifying neighborhoods across Central Virginia, she’s also learning essential finance skills.
“When I get my money, I split into three ways,” Clement stated. “I save some. I put some in an account I can spend. I also invest some.”
“One day, we were coming here and I forgot my purse,” her mother added. “We were at the toll, and I was like ‘Oh my god I forgot my purse!’ just running around. She was like, ‘I got my card!’ She had her debit card. She was able to pay the toll, buy us lunch. She’s like a little adult.”
The teen says she already has high hopes for the future.
“I hope I can hire people to do mailboxes, and maybe franchise it,” she said. “It taught me that I can do stuff I enjoy without being frustrated with having to go to work. I’ve learned not to work for nobody. I learn how to be responsible with my money and make better choices.”