For Austin and Preston Anguilm, mowing lawns and picking up dog “stuff” was not exactly how they envisioned earning extra money over the summer.
Although each boy receives a $10 per week allowance, it just wasn’t enough to feed a voracious appetite for high-end video games.
Nope. Mom wasn’t open to negotiations.
“Video games are expensive and so I told them if they wanted to buy them, then they needed to find a way to make more money,” explained Kelly Anguilm, mother of the Centennial brothers, ages 14 and 9, respectively.
Thinking the boys would walk dogs or do yard work around the neighborhood for money, Anguilm thought the problem was resolved.
But the two fledgling entrepreneurs surprised her when they approached her with a plausible business proposition they called Fly Guy.
Fly Guy is a T-shirt company, founded by Austin and Preston, and reflects what they hope becomes a healthy alternative to other name-brand clothing items, promoting a positive outlook on life.
“We wanted to make something that represented how we felt about some of the things we like such as skating, riding bikes and making money,” said Austin.
With a little financial help from mom, the brothers hired a graphic designer and purchased their first inventory of shirts approximately 16 months ago.
The Fly Guy motif features a six-legged winged insect character sporting a top hat, tennis shoes and a trendy, but age-appropriate message.
The Urban Dictionary defines fly guy as a term dating back to the 1970s referring to “a very cool person or someone regarded as appealing in a sociable way.”
“It’s important to believe in your kids and what they are capable of,” said Anguilm, who acts as the boys’ shipping and inventory manager. “I think the whole experience has made them more mature and they make smarter decisions when it comes to spending.”
The boys say the business venture has helped them see the value of money and the possibilities and challenges that come with running a business.
The brothers, both students at Southeast Christian School in Parker, run the company like a Fortune 500 listing, holding monthly business meetings, making design decisions, and cold-calling local stores themselves.
“Yeah, we sometimes have some tough decisions,” said Austin. “So we just stay in a room until we get things done.”