At the age of 10, Nile Ross told his mother Danielle Hinton he wanted to start a business. An entrepreneur herself, Hinton designs and creates custom shoes. Once he told her he was interested in selling socks, Hinton wasted no time getting Nile started.
During a trip to China, she ordered socks through a manufacturer she met there, and the youngster began selling them through his own website. Today, Nile’s aspirations in the sock market are paying big dividends through his company NWRsocks. The online company specializes in colorful, bright socks that Nile describes as “the best quality” and makes wearers feel like they are “walking on clouds.”
The socks sell for $10 a pair, and according to Hinton, the “kidpreneur” has sold hundreds.
“When Nile came to me and said he wanted a business, I was shocked, but not surprised,” said Hinton who has owned her shoe line for three-and-a- half years. “Children watch our every move, and parents are really their first role models. Nile is outgoing, speaks well in public, and I felt he was mature enough to handle it. I told him he needed to think of something he enjoyed, liked, and wanted to sell people, and he said, ‘socks.’”
NWRsocks are in high-demand, and popular among both youth and adults.
“You’re never too young to start a business,” said Nile.
Smiling at her son who sat brimming with optimism, Hinton said: “Nile symbolizes the future for us. We’re at an all-time high when it comes to negativity and violence in Baltimore, but I also believe a lot of children are lacking nurturing, guidance, and love. Nile symbolizes hope. There are many children like him with the same, broad mindset.”
“There are many young entrepreneurs in Baltimore. But it’s hard for them, because so many media outlets are focused on negativity. Many young entrepreneurs don’t get the platforms to show what they have going on, that they’re out there, or to advertise. But we have to take it one day at a time. Hopefully, one day things will be different.”
An athlete and musician, Nile is in a soccer league and plays the African drum.
“With social media and other avenues, children are striving or aspiring for things we didn’t even consider in our youth,” said Hinton. “Nile is an encouragement because his friends are in awe of what he’s doing. He tells them once he gets a little more, he wants them to come help him. So, it’s not about him striving to be great alone. He is interested in being successful and bringing people along with him.”
Nile provided some advice for other youth who want to become “kidpreneurs.” “Keep your head up,” he said. “Don’t let anybody tear you down.”