HARRINGTON – Savannah Henderson walks the halls of Lake Forest Central Elementary School right along with her fifth grade peers. But she has one homework assignment most others can’t yet fathom: running her own business.
Her mother Gail Henderson says Savannah has made “probably about 100 skirts and at least 40-50 dresses and costumes by hand,” selling them through the youngster’s business, Rayne Boutique.
“When she was little, she would draw stick figures. But she would also draw clothing on them, color them and label them,” Ms. Henderson said of her daughter.
Savannah still draws her creations out on paper before she starts putting pieces of tulle together to transform supplies into skirts, dresses and costumes.
“She’s going to be a fashion designer,” Ms. Henderson said.
To support her daughter’s interest, she took Savannah to a wedding show in Harrington last year after Savannah earned a spot on the school honor roll.
“She wanted to surprise me because I got good grades,” Savannah said. “Then I knew I wanted to make these.”
Get to know more about Savannah Henderson in this week’s Get to know the town feature:
Name: Savannah Henderson
Educational background: Lake Forest Central Elementary School, 5th grade
Occupation: “Making dresses.”
Why did you start creating outfits?
“Mom took me to a Love Bella fashion show (a wedding show at Harrington Raceway and Casino). My cousin Hannah was in it. I saw a dress I liked and I wanted to make it for the school Father-Daughter Dance, but turns out I didn’t make it in time because the tickets were sold out. Then I just used the skirt to go to the craft events [Bug & Bud festival, etc.]. I said I was going to start making them because I like doing it.”
It looks complicated! How do you make them?
“I take headbands and tie it all together. It’s just something to do because I don’t like to do nothing with my hands.”
Do you know how many you have made?
This is a business for you?
“Yes. Mom made us all get a bank account when we were little. So, all the money from the skirts go in there. The skirts are $10 and the dresses are $25.”
Tell us what you plan to do later this year?
“This Christmas, I want everybody in the hospital to have skirts and I can make bracelets for the boys. I feel bad that they can’t have a Christmas, so I’m going to bring Christmas to them.”
Tell us about school. Favorite class?
“I like all my classes. My favorite class is art. And I play the flute. But I’m not very good at that yet. And I like karate.”
If you could give any advice to kids your age…?
“Follow your dreams.”
Tell us about your family?
“I have a sister Cheyenne, brother Mason and mommy. We have a little doggy named Nikka. And this Halloween I’m going to put her in a pink tutu cause I’m going to have a Draculara costume, which is pink on the bottom. So she can match me.”
Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
“Maybe having my own store front so people can come to me. My outfits are great because they are hand-made, not made on machines.”
Jennifer Antonik can be reached at email@example.com