By Rebecca Moore/STUFF
Flynn Laker is putting his business hat on, or socks more like it.
At 14-years-old Flynn is learning what it takes to run his own business as well as giving back to causes close to his heart. He has Down syndrome but is not letting it hold him back from fulfilling his dream of being the boss of a business.
Flynn Laker, 14, sells socks at his popup store at Shelley E Coutts Dance Academy on Tuesday.
With his cousins Nick and Georgia Popham, and his sister Meg Laker, 16, they set up the business Flynn’s Sox.
As well as learning the skills of what it takes to be a businessman, $1 from every sale will go to the Southland Down Syndrome Support Group in Southland.
The launch was aligned with World Down Syndrome Day on Wednesday, which was why he chose the group as his first charity.
In the future he will donate the money to other charities who have helped him, including Riding for the Disabled and Conductive Education.
When asked about the importance of the business, the first thing Flynn mentioned was supporting charity.
“It’s really positive … the reason we got it is because we need the money for [people with Down syndrome],” he said.
Money will initially go towards helping support people in the region with the condition, then other charities.
On the opening day on Monday more than 200 pairs of socks were sold.
Flynn’s favourite socks were the yellow ones with squiggles – which he called scrambled eggs – and the hot air balloon ones.
However, he picked out all of the many styles of socks and comes up with quotes to put on tags for each online sale.
Some slogans read “you are the bees knees” and “man you’re going to look cool in my socks”.
Flynn’s mum Tracey Laker said the business was not a lifelong income for him, but starting business was for him to learn the skills of the business and working hard.
“Nothing ever happens if you don’t put the work in,” she said.
“It’s great to actually help him fulfil his dream and understand business. It’s wonderful. He’s so lucky that his cousins have been through university and see that he has potential.”
From the moment he was born the family decided he would not be held back by the condition.
“Ever since Flynn was born our philosophy was to support him to be the best he can be and be independent in the future. Children and adults with Down syndrome have no limit on what they can do. They can be as successful as anyone else.”
The socks were in funky patterns to celebrate difference, she said. “People just love supporting the concept of helping out Flynn in business.”