Meet an Idea Girl: Kemery Oparah

Kemery was just 13 months old when she started learning Japanese. At age 8, the idea girl from Atlanta, GA decided she wanted to visit Japan and practice her Japanese. When her mom broke the news that they just didn't have the money to go to Japan at the time, Kemery decided to take matters into her own hands and raise the money herself.

DESCRIBE THE IDEA OR PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON.

Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Kemery Desu. Hassaidesu. Issaikara nihongo ga benkyo shitemasu. Dozoyoroshiku! That was Japanese for "Hi, my name is Kemery. I'm eight years old. I've been studying Japanese since I was just one year old. Nice to meet you!" That is my usual introduction. I want to go on my first trip to Japan next summer with my teacher, friends, and family, but I don't have enough money for the trip yet. That's why I started a business called Kemery Kreates. Here, I sell bracelets with your name on it in Japanese. There is also the option of having one of the following words engraved: faith, hope, love, strength, courage, peace, or kindness. You can get one bracelet for only $20.00,  add another to your order and it is only $35.00! We accept both cash and credit card. We have 11 colors and five sizes. Domo arigato gozaimashita! That means "thank you very much" in Japanese.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA?

I came up with my idea when my mom told me that we just didn't have enough money to go to Japan. If you knew me, you would know that I wasn't going to let that happen without a good fight. I thought that night, "what could I do to make money for the trip to Japan that I just can't pass up?" In the morning, I just did it. I wanted my own business for a long time. The name Kemery Kreates had been picked out for years. I thought that that would be perfect for my new business. Then I realized that if my business was called Kemery Kreates I would have to "Kreate" something to sell. I love fashion and jewelry; I'm also fluent in Japanese. That's when it happened! I thought of an idea like I always do! I decided I wanted to sell bracelets with names engraved on them in Japanese. 

WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

My GoFundMe campaign: www.gofundme.com/KemeryGoesToJapan

Kemery Kreates website: www.kemerykreates.com  

We are also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the name @KemeryKreates

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN THIS?

I think I will tell you about the time when things got a bit out of hand. One day, mommy told me that she might sign me up for a triathlon, but only if I wanted to come. So I did. I biked, swam, and ran perfectly during all of my training sessions. During the race, I was doing just fine until I saw about 15 children jumping off of their bicycles to get ready for the running portion. They made it look so easy and simple to do, so I dared myself to try. It didn't work. Turns out that those kids had had about a year or more of practice. So that was how I turned out with two skinned knees and a scraped elbow. But do you know what? I kept going on, pushing through it, and ran the rest of the race.

This relates to my business in two ways. The first way is the reason why I started the business. It was the answer to a challenge. If we didn't have enough money to go to Japan, I could earn the money by making a cool product. The other way the triathlon story relates to my business is that we planned to go to Japan this year but did not raise enough money fast enough. The solution is that Kemery Kreates will keep moving forward toward the goal and we will go to Japan next year with my teacher, another one of my best friends, and our families.

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?

Since I started my business at the end of January, I have been working very hard and I have raised about $3,300 for the trip. I'm also going to be in one, possibly two magazines soon. Another good thing is that I am meeting lots of great people when I'm selling my bracelets at different places like the farmer's markets or at events like the Activating Your Magic Conference coming up in May. 

WHAT DO YOU STILL NEED HELP WITH FOR YOUR IDEA? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU?

We need to have bigger and better marketing and more profits. Reaching more people who think education, languages, culture, and young entrepreneurs are important is key. We are looking into other items we can sell as well.  We need help reaching more people and also with insurance and vendor fees. Those two costs take a lot of the profits I make.   

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG GIRLS THAT WANT TO MAKE THEIR IDEAS HAPPEN?

My advice is to never give up because the sky is not the limit, you can go farther.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM JOB?

I'm not really sure what I want to be when I grow up, but here are some of the things that I have on my mind: I'd like to be a lawyer, a business woman, and a professional horseback rider. I might even do all of them. I think that I will be prepared for those many years of college, as long as they're not all in a row. I'm going to space them out evenly and wisely, and in doing so, make sure that I spend plenty of time with my family and friends outside and inside of school.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES?

Some of my favorite hobbies right now include sewing, dancing, reading, and more. I am also currently involved in taking Japanese classes, Girl Scouts, chorus, and I used to be in Science Olympiad, but I already competed in the championship so my work there is done. I'm about to start training for my third triathlon.

If you know a girl with a story like Kemery's, nominate her to be our next featured idea girl using this link.