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Two local girls turn their craft into business

“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use the more you have.”

– Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou and children seem to have it right. Leaning into creativity and letting it flow allows that creativity to multiply. As it multiplies, it spreads its light and color and its little droplets of hope and whimsy across the landscape of a mundane life. Maybe that is why a child’s imagination is so infectious.

Two local children have taken the color of their imaginations and the creativity of their souls and turned them into a business, taking creativity to the next level.

Paisley LeBaron, age 10, said that the only thing she has ever dreamed about is owning a store. As a small child she would talk on and on about it to her parents.

“What would you put in your store?” asked her mother Chelsea.

“Crafts!” Paisley answered with her toothy smile.

Ever since she can remember, Paisley has loved doing crafts. She loves to collect random material and come up with ideas of how to turn them into art.

Near their home in Arnegard, N.D., is an abandoned little building. Every time they drove by the building, Paisley would say to whomever would listen, “That is my store!”

After a while, Chelsea said that Paisley’s enthusiasm for a store was not letting up. The two talked and decided that they would work on building a business from home, a craft business. It was then that Paisley’s Treasures was born.

Paisley’s Treasures

Paisley’s Dino Egg Kit

Paisley comes up with ideas and then makes various craft kits that people can buy and put together. Some of the top selling kits are The Marshmallow Gun, Clothespin Dolls, The Dinosaur Egg Kit, and its girly counterpart, The Fairy Berry Kit. Paisley’s goal is to provide the idea and materials so that kids can have the chance to put together a fun project. Each kit comes with a step-by-step tutorial complete with pictures. Each kit also contains a link to watch Paisley herself demonstrate how to do the project on video.

When she created her first few kits, Paisley decided she would begin selling them at Watford City’s Farmers Market. She wasn’t sure if people would buy them, or which kits might sell the best, so she went to the market with low expectations.

At her first market, Paisley sold out of all of her kits. Week after week the same thing happened. Bolstered by her success, she decided to start a website and begin selling Paisley’s Treasures online.

With every step of the way, Paisley’s mother Chelsea could not be more proud of the work that Paisley has done.

“The most rewarding part is just watching Paisley and the fun she has when creating,” said Chelsea. “She loves to craft and she loves to sell. It is so fun watching her hard work pay off.”

Paisley and Chelsea love to go into an antique store to find supplies that they can upcycle into something new.

“When I’m brainstorming new ideas, my mind is usually going a mile a minute,” Paisley said. “I will think of one idea and then so many more pop into my head.”

Paisley has some advice about fostering creativity.

“The more often you create, the easier it is for you to be creative. It is kind of like working out a muscle – it gets stronger the more you use it!”

Marly’s Unique Boutique


In Dickinson, N.D., there is another 10-year-old who took her talent for making things and turned it into a business. Marly Barnett runs Marly’s Unique Boutique.

Marly has always been creative. She likes to draw and write stories. She also likes to take beads and wire and make gorgeous jewelry. So, when she started thinking of ways that she might be able to make money, she put two and two together and came up with Marly’s Unique Boutique.

Marly makes earrings. From small and simple, to large colorful, Marly sells her inventory through her online shop and at local vendor shows. While, she is motivated by her love of making earrings, Marly also has an entrepreneurial spirit pushing her to make a profit.

“Being creative makes my life better because it gives me some fun!” Marly said. “And, the most fun part of my business is getting the money.”

It is obvious in her big bright smile that Marly is both proud of her work and has fun while she does it.

What would the world be like if we all took a page out of Paisley and Marly’s book?

They both inspire the people around them to pay attention to what they love, and just do it. They contribute to the beauty and industry of western North Dakota and embody the character that makes this area a great place to live.

“Anyone can make art,” Paisley said. “The more you make, the more you will want to make!”

Check out Paisley’s Treasures and Marly’s Unique Boutique on Facebook.

Written by Betsy Ryan

Betsy Ryan

Betsy Ryan resides in Watford City and is a recent transplant to Western North Dakota. She is learning to navigate her new landscape along with her husband and their two boys. Betsy writes for the McKenzie County Farmer and also shares her experiences in North Dakota on her blog, oilgoesboom.com

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