Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Youth entrepreneurs: Arabella Camunez

Editor’s Note: Each month, the Sun News is spotlighting a youth entrepreneur participating in the Cruces Kids Can – Jr. Vendor Program, a project meant to inspire and equip the youngest business people. Students’ participation entails showcasing and selling their goods from 8:30 am to 1 pm Saturdays at the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces in the city’s downtown.

Arabella Camunez

Grade and School: graduates; Arrowhead Park Early College High School

business name: Shrinky Chains

Arabella began her journey with the Kids Can Program six years ago. She is the owner of Shrinky Chains in which she designs and creates keychains and wine glass charms made out of Shrinky Dink. You may have seen her at the Farmer’s Market and other Kids Can-hosted events. She has a wide variety of styles ranging from symbols of the Southwest to animals and superheroes. She will make special orders of any design.

Arabella Camunez is pictured in 2019.

Arabella is one of our original founding Jr. Vendors and she has been an asset to our program over the years. She has served as a mentor to many of our participating youth, has volunteered countless hours and participated in several events.

You can continue to find Arabella selling at the Farmer’s Market throughout this summer, but then she is off to begin her journey in college. She will be greatly missed by our Kids Can family. However, there are many more adventures for her to chase and we know that she will do great things in life. Best of luck Arabella!

In her own words

“I’ve really enjoyed all of Kids Can, as it has taught me so many valuable skills,” Arabella said. “I always enjoy talking with customers and learning how to read people to find a product they would like. The program has helped me understand people in other aspects of my life. My business has also always been a way for me to be creative and try new things, which I really enjoyed.

“My favorite memories of kids Can have been participating in the large events, getting to see the wide variety of products, and getting to advertise my business on the radio.

Arabella Camunez sells her wares at the Plaza de Las Cruces in 2018.

“I will be going to Caltech to study Chemical Engineering and Political Science. I want to work in renewable energy and then go into environmental policy. The skills I have learned with Kids Can will be very helpful when I work in politics in the future, as both are all about reading people.

“My advice to youth entrepreneurs would be two things: go for it and be friendly. Trying new products is fun and exciting, and then you can find something that you really love to make! Being friendly and enthusiastic will help you sell products, and make you more comfortable talking with people, which is helpful far beyond Kids Can.”

Arabella Camunez, a graduate of Arrowhead Park Early College High School, poses with her diploma in 2022.

April Christensen is the founder of The Village Development Center of Las Cruces, which runs the Cruces Kids Can youth development program. You may be reached at [email protected]

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