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My name is Patrick Palmer and I am the Owner of the Little Valley Goods! I started my Buisness back in June of 2021 when I was just 15 year old! I first got the idea of starting my small business back in February of that year through FFA (Future Farmers of America) which is a youth organization for high school students who are looking to pursue a career path in Agriculture! My ag advisor, Steve Gambril of the Clovis FFA Chapter, asked me if I wanted to start making Candied Almonds out of the almonds that were grown at our school farm right here in Clovis, CA. Of course I said yes, and from that moment my dreams of owning a small business finally came true! I started selling at the local Friday night farmers markets in Old Town Clovis all summer long, until I finally saved up enough money to buy a laser engraving/cutting machine that I had had my eye on for awhile. After that I attended my first big Festival in Old Town Clovis called "Clovis Fest' which could also be known as the Hot Air Balloon Festival too! This event was put on by Mykel Suntrapeck who is the founder of the organization called, Central Valley Young Entrepreneurs! She helped me get my business up to speed so I would be able to sell to the tens of thousands of people that were attending the event! From the months of September-December of 2021 I had a jam-packed schedule of festivals and markets! It finally got to the point where I had to make so much product and I didn't have enough space to display it all at my events. So I got creative and I came up with the idea to convert a vintage horse trailer into a market trailer. I did all of this work in my shop class at Clovis High School with the help of my shop teacher, Mr. Ben Orozco! Since the new year I have been busy with back-to-back markets and creating a workshop space in our house's spare bedroom. I am now on my new adventure of getting moved into my first ever storefront inside of Eye Candy Fashion Boutique in Old Town Clovis at 756 pollasky Ave! As well as buying my second laser to keep up with production and working with many mentors to continue to make my business the best it can be! If you want to follow along with all my markets and future endeavors please follow me on social medial with the handle "@littlevalleygoods" or make sure to subscribe to my emailing list which is at the bottom of the website! And always remember to "Find the Joy within your Little Valley"
Click Here To Read My Feature In The Buisness Journal!
Published On November 7, 2022 - 1:51 PMWritten By Ben Hensley
While many high school juniors worry about Friday night football games, homecoming parades and what to wear to prom next year, Clovis High School junior Patrick Palmer is worried about customer satisfaction, shipping times and profit margins.
Starting with a dream many high schoolers have — owning his own car — Patrick started saving up for the new Ford Bronco in 2021 after his ag adviser at Clovis East showed him how to candy and package almonds.
Hoping to make a bit of side money at local farmers markets, he started counting the dollars — that is until he saw a video on TikTok showing a laser printing machine.
“I saw the laser and kind of forgot about the Bronco dream because I was so invested in owning a small business and how cool that would be,” Patrick said.
Having saved up around $3,000 for the printing machine, Patrick’s father, Sean, offered him the final $1,000 in the form of a loan to purchase the printer.
From there, the opportunities grew and continue to grow.
“It just kind of slowly got bigger and bigger,” Palmer said. “I never thought it would blow up to this point.”
Buying the laser printing machine opened up new opportunities for the young entrepreneur, allowing him to branch out from just selling almonds to selling a wide variety of goods, from cutting boards to home decorations to apparel.
Patrick participated in the recent Children’s Business Fair, which was introduced last year during ClovisFest by Mykel Suntrapak.
“I think he was really shocked with how much he sold during the event,” Suntrapak said. “He has just been such a wonderful example of a young entrepreneur; he’s got a lot of drive.”
At this year’s event, Patrick shared his entrepreneurial experience with younger children at the business fair, filling in after a previously scheduled presenter was unable to attend the event.
“He has shared that we have been very helpful in helping guide him, but he kind of has it all by himself,” Suntrapak said. “I hope that the experience with the Children’s Business Fair gave him that much more confidence to keep going with his idea.”
Suntrapak praises Patrick’s commitment to investing in his own business, adding that he’s already saving to buy more equipment for the business.
For Patrick though, his commitment to success was taught at a young age by his parents, Sean and Kristina, emphasizing hard work being the key to personal success — starting with a spelling lesson.
“It all started when he was in first grade,” Kristina said, reflecting on Patrick holding a silver dinner tray, to which she added keys, his dad’s wallet and more items before removing them all to teach a life lesson.
“The only way you’re going to own a car, own a house and have anything of your own is you’ll have to earn it — and it starts with these spelling words,” Kristina said.
Patrick has taken that lesson and ran with it, with Kristina emphasizing that Patrick sees the business not as a right, but as a privilege.
“You have to fill your own silver platter,” she said.
That’s not to say both Sean and Kristina are unwilling to help. In fact, quite the opposite; Patrick mentions that there’s a possibility his family may temporarily run the business while he attends college.
“My mom and dad are [my] biggest supporters,” he said. “My mom’s talked many times about running it if she needs to for a year or while I’m at college.”
Despite the rising costs of operating a business, Patrick still does his best to place his customers before everything else, offering discounts, giveaways and special promotions throughout the year.
“Every three months or so I do a giveaway and it brings customers back,” he said.
Little Valley Goods can be found on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, with products for sale on his website, littlevalleygoods.com.