Allyson Felix is sharing her business sense with the next generation

This Small Business Month, Olympic track and field star Allyson Felix has some advice for our littlest small business owners — and their parents.

She may be the most decorated U.S. track and field Olympian of all time — and a 2022 honoree of theGrio Awards — but Allyson Felix also knows how to get down to business.

After enduring a high-profile 2019 split from her sponsorship deal with Nike due to the brand’s maternity policies, Felix found a new home aligned with her values at Athleta. Then came the pandemic, which delayed her ability to join the Olympic track and field team for a fifth time. Felix took the downtime as a sign from the universe, launching her own shoe company, Saysh, in 2021, the same year she would break records in Tokyo.

Allyson Felix, HP printables, Black-owned business, Black moms, Black kids, generational wealth,
Allyson Felix attends the 2022 Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala at The Beverly Hilton on Aug. 19, 2022, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Saysh is a lifestyle brand that carries women’s performance shoes and accessories. True to Felix’s mission, the brand was founded to combat inequality in the world of sports, even offering maternity returns for expectant mothers who experience a change in foot size. The brand has also been a way for Felix to ensure what happened to her — essentially losing professional support when she became pregnant — from happening to anyone else. 

“I’m having so much fun just expanding that business,” Felix told theGrio in a recent National Small Business Month interview. “We are coming out with a performance running shoe this fall, and I am just so excited for women to feel that and experience it.”

In the meantime, Felix is encouraging the business sense of her 4-year-old daughter Cammy, and potentially the minds of other wee entrepreneurs. For National Small Business Day on May 10 (not to be confused with Small Business Saturday), she and Cammy launched a bake sale. 

“We came up with ‘Cammy’s Cookies,’” said Felix. “I recently introduced counting money to her and everything, so it was kind of natural. We’ve been having a lot of fun gearing up for it.” 

She added that Cammy has already demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit despite her young age. 

“It’s kind of in the blood,” Felix said. 

To help harness this enterprising energy, Felix said she began using resources like printable business planning templates and an Instant Ink subscription service from another of her brand partners, HP. 

“They have printables online. They have fun business plans to help with your kids and to get them involved,” she said.

The resources have come in handy as Felix begins to guide her daughter into the world of business. 

“We’ve just had a lot of fun with the process and just kind of walking her through it and even spending time together, you know, while we’re doing something that will benefit her later on,” she said. 

Encouraging children to understand business and money isn’t just about giving them a leg up on the future competition. Felix agreed this is also a way to foster generational wealth in Black families. 

“When you’re older, you feel like starting a business is such a huge thing. But this is a great intro for them,” she said. “It’s a way for them to understand the basics of it and really give them a foundation and to be able to think and dream big about creating that generational wealth.”

Felix said it’s also important to “keep the conversations open” and expose children to as many business experiences as possible. Doing so can help expand a child’s imagination, interests, and understanding of what’s possible and how to achieve it. 

“It might be selling cookies now or lemonade, but it can really grow,” she said. 

Kay Wicker,

Kay Wicker is a lifestyle writer for theGrio covering health, wellness, travel, beauty, fashion, and the myriad ways Black people live and enjoy their lives. She has previously created content for magazines, newspapers, and digital brands. 

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