A Teen's Tumblr Blog Helps Save Her Mom From Financial Ruin

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If a family member was laid off, you might know the right things to say. But is there anything else you could do? An enterprising 14-year-old Connecticut girl figured out an answer when her mother was laid off from her banking job, her stepfather moved out and the family was facing possible homelessness.

In June, Danielle Walters, of Suffield, Connecticut,posted a heartfelt plea on the social network Tumblr, asking people to visit her mother's small online business, Suffield Sundries, which sells artisan candles and soaps and is hosted on the e-commerce crafts site, Etsy.

"All I want is for [my mother's] business to get big and noticed a lot more," Walters wrote. The post, shown above, included a snapshot of the business card, and request that others reblog the picture to "help my mom's business get out there."

At first, there weren't many clicks, according to DailyDot.com, the Internet news site that first broke the story. But then last Saturday, her mother, Noelle Walters-Davis, saw a spike; in the last week, she's sold out her entire stock of 200 soaps, receiving as many 10,000 customers per day. The Tumblr post now has more than 34,000 notes.

In speaking to the Daily Dot, Walters-Davis said she was completely in the dark about her daughter's public relation efforts until she got contacted via Facebook. "We were both shocked at how things blew up on Saturday. Orders just kept coming in one right after the other, and she and I would just look at each other in amazement."

She also told the news site she and her four children are "not in the clear yet," and she is still looking for a new full-time position.

In writing about the story, Women's news site Vitamin W said, "it's enough to make you want to send a love letter to the Internet--and to this daughter." The site also said Walters's Tumblr post was noteworthy for being written so "compassionately." Vitamin W also called attention to the following passage in the Tumblr post:

This is what she wanted to do when she was younger, and even today, Make candles, soaps, etc. She loves this. She hated her old job as a banker and she hated retail. I want her to be happy.

E-commerce sites like Etsy have exploded as more people attempt to build second (or third) careers as entrepreneurs. Increasingly, entrepreneurs are attempting to "crowdfund" their businesses through sites, like Kickstarter. Indeed, the crowdfunding market has exploded, growing from a $32 million market in 2010 to $123 million last year.
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