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#FMFeline: @SNACItUp and 12-year-old CEO a role model for food entrepreneurs

#FMFeline: @SNACItUp and 12-year-old CEO a role model for food entrepreneurs

Published author? Check. Entrepreneur? Check? Met and impressed former President Barack Obama? Check. At just 12 years old, Shiona “Shi” Curry has accomplished more than some adults, and is full of ideas for how to better herself and her company, S.N.A.C. it Up! (Shi’s Natural Approach to Cooking). The Georgia native began crafting healthy meals for her family when she was six years old, and is a proponent of veganism. In addition to her S.N.A.C. it Up! Cookbook and cooking club (complete with original recipes, instructional videos, and more), Shi also has a guided affirmation series, and conducts healthy eating workshops across the country with her mother, Celeste Curry. In an exclusive interview, both mom and daughter discussed building their brand, what’s next for S.N.A.C. it UP!, and their advice for parents and budding entrepreneurs.

FM HIP HOP: What is the best part of owning your own business?

SHI CURRY: The best part about owning my own business is that I get to do what I love and get paid for it.

FM: What advice do you have for young people with a business idea?

SC: Speak positive things over your business idea and believe that you can do it, even at a young age.  You don’t have to wait until you get to college. Start doing small things and get a mentor.

FM: What are some easy tips for parents to get their children to eat healthy foods?

SC: Don’t go cold turkey and shock your children. You can sneak vegetables in like I do when I make my “Smiling Heart Pizza Muffins” with spinach.  Children that don’t like spinach LOVE my pizza muffins. This is a great way to get your greens in. Secondly, parents can have their children drink more water. Lastly, let your children go to the grocery store with you and pick out vegetables and fruit. They are more likely to eat it if they help make the decision to buy it. Also, children can get my cookbook and learn how to cook like me.

FM: You’ve accomplished a lot at such a young age. What goals do you have for yourself and S.N.A.C. it Up?

SC: I want to reach all of the children in the world through my own television show, products, restaurants, and by traveling to speak at different schools and events. I would like to do a childhood obesity challenge, “For Kids by a Kid,” in all of the schools. I would also like to cook for different celebrities because they will tell their audiences to eat healthy and then everyone in the world will see how awesome it is to be healthy.

FM: How did you decide to turn your daughter’s culinary interests into a business venture?

CELESTE CURRY: Shi is the middle child between two brothers and she struggled to find her place in the family. She was sometimes disrespectful and would act out quite a bit. In the midst of this, we noticed that she LOVED to cook. We began to nurture this gift by buying ingredients, and noticed that her behavior improved. Shi later explained that although we were very attentive, she didn’t feel loved until we began to support her and encourage her in her endeavors to become a chef. We quickly recognized that not only did Shi have a knack for combining spices and making delicious foods, but she would also plate her food as if it were being presented at an upscale restaurant. This signaled to us that this was more than a hobby, and we legalized her love to become a business.

FM: How much time do you and Shi devote towards S.N.A.C. it Up, and do you have a support team?

CC: We devote about four hours per day, four to five days per week on S.N.A.C. it Up! This does not include traveling for television appearances, workshops, and other events. Shi comes up with a lot of the ideas and is involved in every aspect of the business, including finances. We have a team of seven team members, with Shi as the CEO and myself as the COO. Shi loves what she does so it never feels like work.

FM: What advice do you have for parents of children with creative gifts?

CC: I would tell the parents to explore their children’s gifts, building their confidence. Because children haven’t been exposed to a lot of adult-like responsibilities that could produce fear, they live in the world of make believe. This is the world where dreams are built with success as the only option. This is the energy needed to build a company that lasts beyond our lifetime.

FM: What’s next for the company?

CC: S.N.A.C. it Up! will be introducing unique health products, fun workshops and television programs that will highlight healthy eating and thinking “For Kids by a Kid.” You can follow Shi on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to find out what she is up to or check out her website at SNACItUp.com.


Brownie Marie| IG: @browniemarie | Twitter: @mz_brownie

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Brownie Marie

March 29th, 2017

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