More Than Happiness Can Be Found with a Gumball

Ten-Year-Old Gives Back With New Business

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon

    Ten-year-old Carson Gillum has just become one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the city of Ashland. He has partnered with Diamond Lewis at Sideburns Stadium Haircuts to start his business, Gumball Happiness. But this young man is doing more than just selling gumballs, he is already using his starter business to help others.

   When Carson approached Lewis about placing his first gumball machine at Sideburns, Lewis asked him to come up with a business plan. Carson said that Lewis wanted to know what he was going to do with the money and how he planned to help the community. So Carson put some thought into what he could do to help the community and remembered his mother telling him about Hope’s Place. Carson typed up his business plan and scheduled a one-on-one business meeting with Lewis to pitch his idea.

   Lewis later said that he was already going to take out his machines to help Carson start up his new business, but he wanted to make him work for it. Lewis said that the number one selling point was when Carson Gillum told him that he wanted to share a part of the profits with Hope’s Place. Carson said that there are kids and mothers that go to Hope’s Place and “they need our help.”

   The other part of Carson’s business plan included the fact that if the machine breaks, he has to fix it. He will also check the machine regularly and come to the business and refill it every Friday.

   Last week, Carson, along with his father, Blake Gillum, and his little sisters, Camrynn and Corabelle, showed up at Sideburns with his gumball machine. He had purchased one of the large machines with the spiral slide in the bottom so children and adults can watch as their gumball makes it way down to the chute. Carson said that he chose gumballs because a lot of people like them and they are entertaining to chew. The gumballs sell for 25 cents each.

   Carson plans to sink his share of the profits back into the business for right now. He has one machine, but would like to have at least 10. Other businesses have already reached out to him about having a machine at their location because they are impressed with his willingness to help others. He also wants to eventually buy the machines that hold three different items and fill them up with M&Ms, Skittles, and bouncy balls.

   When asked what he is going to buy once he starts turning a profit, Carson said that first he has to pay his dad back for his business start-up loan, though he hopes to eventually be able to buy a really good gaming computer with a gaming chair. Carson is willing to work with other businesses and charities too. He says that if a business owner is willing to let him put one of the machines at their location, he will give money to “whatever they think is a good charity to donate to.”

   Carson’s father, Blake Gillum, says that he is so “proud of his son for the idea and for what he’s doing to give back to the community.”

   Carson is still working on getting his own Facebook page up and running for his business but for now, he can be reached through his father, Blake Gillum, and through Diamond Lewis at Sideburns Stadium Haircuts.