FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Cory and Milo Buwalda are not only brothers, they’re business partners. They make colorful, stretchy, bracelets and part of every sale also helps other kids.
Boys Bracelet Business was created in April 2020 after the boys got a bracelet-making kit for Easter.
“And we decided to make a business out of it,” Milo, nine almost ten years old, said. “We had so many,” Cory, 12, chimed in.
The business started out small.
“They were just selling to neighbors and people walking by. I didn’t think it would be much more than that, Tracey Buwalda, the boys’ mom, said. “They sold to the mailman a few times, but I thought it would fizzle out in a week or so, but it didn’t.”
Instead it did the opposite. The feeling of getting that first sale not only stayed with the boys, it fuels them to keep going.
“I had money in my hand and I thought this is amazing. I thought I can feel like this and I can do this more often if I set my mind to it,” Cory said.
“We just want our customers to be happy and like our product,” Milo added.
They’ve now sold more than 500 bracelets. Each one takes about five to ten minutes to make. The boys make all kinds of color combinations and there are four different styles. Ten percent of each sale is also donated to Riley Children’s Foundation.
“Cory instantly thought of Riley because they give so much to him and he loves his nurses and he wanted to give back to them all they’ve given him,” Tracey said.
Cory was six years old when he was diagnosed with Chron’s disease. He still goes back to Riley every month for an infusion and he’s glad he can have a small part in helping other patients.
“It’s amazing. It feels great. I love it,” he said.
The bracelet business also is building character and teaching lessons in perserverance.
“Keeping a business is hard,” Cory said. “Like in my head, I’m going to make a million bracelets and give money to Riley and then no the second bracelet [when you’re making them], you think, ‘This is a lot.'”
The boys’ largest order at a time was 36 bracelets. Sometimes mom will help with big orders.
“A lot of times I’ll count out the bracelets and separate them out in baggies and that helps,” she said. “I’m very proud of them. They are very sweet boys and have very big hearts.”
They say the most popular are the red/white/blue, rainbow and custom sports teams. The brothers came up with their business name but putting several possibilities in a hat and drawing the winner. Boys Bracelet Business was born.
Perhaps not surprising, Cory wants to either be a salesman, entrepreneur or a radio personality when he grows up. Milo has his sights set on becoming a professional skateboarder.