Like most 12-year-olds, Ayaan and Mickey Naqvi love their family Christmas traditions, like making cookies and wrapping gifts. But most of all, they love decorating the Christmas tree with their family’s heirloom ornaments.
One day, as the Connecticut-based brothers were hanging their decorations, one of their favorite ornaments slipped off a branch and broke.
It was then that the light bulb went off and the Ornament Anchor was born.
A more secure way to hang your decorations, the Anchor features a toggle device that fastens your ornaments safely against the branch instead of hooking them over like the conventional product.
Ayaan tested the Anchor for a school project last year. And when parents and teachers swarmed his booth with interest, he knew he and his brother were on to something.
The pair didn’t waste any time turning their invention into a business.
“My brother and I worked together to design the product, patent it, create an awesome website, calculate profit margins and did our own market analysis,” Ayaan told CNN. “We did everything to the point where every month was Christmas.”
After selling over $1,000 worth of product within the first six hours at a local Christmas fair last year, the boys were determined to share the product with the world.
In a matter of months, Good Morning America featured the product. So did QVC, where it sold out twice.
In just one year, Ayaan and Mickey made over $250,000 in revenue and have donated – and will continue to donate – 10% of all profits to local animal shelters.
“Ever since I was super young I’ve had a fascination with all of life’s creatures,” Ayaan said of his reason to support shelters. “My goal is to help as many animals in need as I can.”
Though the boys are enjoying their success now, 2020 was not an easy year to start a new business.
“Starting a new business only three months before a crisis and then suddenly quarantining and learning to do school from home was hard,” Ayaan said. “We went from such highs to such lows so fast.”
He added: “We’ve been keeping it positive though. We are taking small steps every day and have been so amazed by all the positive responses for Ornament Anchor we’ve gotten so far!”