5th Grade Entrepreneur Turns Passion into Profit

A 10-year-old boy in Mansfield may have the right idea when it comes to making a buck in a tough economy.  He took his passion for art and turned into a business.

"It makes me happy. That's why I came up with the business 'cuz I wanted to do something I liked," Bryce Roberson told NBCDFW.

Yes, Bryce, a fifth grader, started his own business - ABBsigns.

"A  lot of people didn't know what that means," said Bryce, "It's Art by Bryce."

Bryce creates lawn art -- those big signs people put in their yards to celebrate something.  Clients tell him what the festive occasion is --like a birthday or holiday -- and he creates a design for it.  He draws it on paper first, then on a piece of plywood.

"It takes him 15 to 20 minutes, and he says, 'Dad, I'm finished.'  And I say, 'There's no way you're finished.' I come back out and he's done, " explained Bryce's dad and partner Curtis Roberson.

Roberson helped steer his oldest son toward turning his art into a business.  The two searched the Internet for ideas and decided on renting lawn art.  The next step was to put a price on the product.

"Forty dollars per sign," said Bryce, "and if it's a week, it's $70."  

But, is he making money? 

"Yeah. Oh, yeah," he said.

"This whole venture is all to teach him about business.  That's my whole focus, and if he makes money, great," his father said.

Roberson is a manager at Sewell Lexus of Fort Worth.  Bryce's mom, Stacy, works for American Airlines, and has had an interior design  business for ten years.  Stacy said it's common for Bryce to hear conversations about business at home.

Still, the fact her son can make money from his talent surprises Stacy.  She remembers Bryce's early years of coloring and drawing.

"And I'm thinking, 'Oh, my goodness.'  I said, 'Curtis,' my husband, 'I'm worried. Bryce can't stay in the line. He can't color, '  she said. "And all the sudden, he just blossomed."

Bryce's talent is also nurtured at school.  He attends Mary Orr Intermediate in the Mansfield Independent School District.  His art has led to awards on a district level, and he learns next week whether he won in the National PTA Reflections Program, an arts and recognition achievement program for students.

When he grows up, Bryce wants a career in art  "drawing cartoons or anything," he said.  

His best work, so far, may be the picture of father and son working side-by-side. 

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