When you were 7 years old, how did you spend most of your time? Did you play with Barbies or Hot Wheels? Maybe you liked to play make-believe or spend time reading. Did you run your own business? No? Well, Madison Cross is doing just that, and yes, she’s 7 years old.
Madison and her mom, Davetta Cross, are the owners and operators of Shop Madison XOXO, an online bath bomb retailer. The Irving family started the venture just a few months ago, when Madison was in first grade learning about money. “I went to my husband and I said, ‘Hey, what do you think about Madison starting a business?’” Cross says. “It’s never too early for her to learn how to manage money, how to be an entrepreneur, especially during this pandemic. Everyone’s losing their jobs and it’s important for her—for both of our girls—to learn how to be able to create wealth for themselves and not have to rely on other people and companies. They can do everything themselves.”
From that mindset, Shop Madison XOXO was born. But why bath bombs? Simple: Madison says they smell good. And business is good too. “She’s had 26 orders, and each order—you know no one just buys one bath bomb, so they’re going pretty well,” Cross notes.
Right now, the shop sells six different kinds of bath bombs—all designed for kids (Madison’s favorite is vanilla seashell)—but they’re working on increasing the inventory. “You know, she’s 7, so we’re still trying to teach her about this whole thing,” Cross says. “She picks all the orders, and she puts the boxes together and the packaging, but the vision for her business is [that] it’s something that can grow with her, so as she gets older, she can do whatever she wants with it.”
Madison and her mom hope to expand from bath bombs into selling makeup and lip gloss as well as an adult collection of bath bombs and bath salts. “And she’s expressed an interest in nail polish, which is definitely a possibility,” Cross notes.
Whatever Shop Madison XOXO eventually encompasses, Madison and her mom plan to continue ensuring their products are top notch. “The universal theme we have for her business is products that are non-toxic, cruelty free, vegan—and I think if we stay consistent, she’ll be able to do whatever she wants to do.”
Madison’s favorite part of running the business? It’s selecting the scents and designs, and then testing the products. For example, a skull-and-crossbones bath bomb didn’t make the cut, and neither did a rainbow one. (It didn’t look great dissolved in the water.)
Reflecting on all they’ve done to establish and grow the business, Cross says it wasn’t as difficult as she imagined. “You know, before, I was like, Oh man, this is going to take so much work and there’s so much planning involved. But it was a lot easier to get this jumpstarted than what I thought.”
Cross also says the business has been a learning experience for the whole family. “Learning from my mistakes, things that we should’ve done, thing we shouldn’t have done, and just really encouraging [Madison] to learn at a young age.”
If you’re interested in supporting Madison’s business, you can shop online at shopmadisonxoxo.com. A pop-up store at the Las Colinas Farmer’s Market is coming soon.
Photo courtesy of Davetta Cross.