Entrepreneurs come in all sizes and Madison Harrison, 7, is a small package making a big impression.
Andrea Harrison, Madison’s mother, wasn’t surprised that her daughter exhibited independent ideas. Harrison is a self-made business woman with a successful business, Tantalizing Tablescapes & Decor, in Hernando County. Yet even she was impressed with how far the Challenger K-8 second-grader was taking her aspirations.
Like most little girls her age, Madison loved having her picture taken, especially with her dolls. She told her mother, “if I like taking pictures with my dolls, I know other girls will like it too. I want to help them create lifelong memories with their dolls.”
She began using her mother’s cell phone to create images, including those of her dolls. Then she asked to use the real camera.
“This was a $600 camera,” Harrison said. “It wasn’t a toy. But I saw how intense she was, that she wasn’t using it as a toy, and the pictures she took really showed how serious she was.”
And shortly after, “she asked if I would help her start a business,” Harrison said.
Madison always enjoyed taking pictures, but if she was going to be serious about it, her mother wanted her to get instruction. So she hired a photographer to help Madison learn technique.
Soon after, Madison asked for a Facebook page. Thrilled at witnessing the blossoming of a little entrepreneur, Harrison was nonetheless concerned about opening that door. She was a mom first and decided to build a family fan page instead where Madison could display her work.
“But that wasn’t enough for her,” Harrison said. “Madison wanted more. She wanted exposure.”
And that is when the idea to hold a photo shoot first came into play. Harrison’s friend and business associate, Wendy McGinnis, was a photographer with her own studio. McGinnis was a mentor for Madison and encouraged the girl’s passion. She agreed to rent Madison the space for an afternoon at $2 an hour.
Madison wanted to photograph little girls with their dolls for her first shoot and 12 showed up, with props in hand.
The experience propelled Madison deeper into her business. She wanted an actual company Facebook page so others would take her seriously.
“She said her business needed more exposure,” Harrison said.
Madison isn’t afraid to spread her entrepreneurial message. She was invited to speak at the Seventh Annual Summit for Youth & Families on Oct. 17 where she got up in front of 120 guests. The summit was sponsored by the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Education Training Association
Madison’s confidence and poise exceeded her age, yet her voice through the microphone reveled her age and innocence.
Her company, Photos With Madison, is just beginning to launch. When she isn’t taking pictures or studying the camera she is playing with her dolls or giggling with her friends.
Madison is a good girl, said her grandmother, Ruthann Abrahams, who lives with her daughter and son-in-law, Gordon. “She takes care of me and checks on me all the time.”
The family is very close, Andrea said. Madison was a miracle baby. She and Gordon had given up on having a child.
An only child, Madison was showered with love and encouragement. And Andrea believes giving her daughter creative freedom with boundaries has ignited the little spark that is quickly growing into a viable little business.
Madison was recently hired to photograph a friend’s wedding.
Now she is preparing for her second shoot, just in time for the holidays. On Sunday, Photos with Madison will host a Christmas Photo Shoot at Silverthorn Golf & Counry Club from 12 to 4 p.m. For $20, Madison will photograph little girls and boys with their favorite toy. Each sitting will receive a digital photo.
Madison hopes to raise enough money to purchase her own camera.
To reserve a spot, email your request to [email protected]
Email Hernando Today correspondent Kim Dame at [email protected]
Biz at a Glance
Name: Photos With Madison
Phone: (813) 625-5502
Email: [email protected]