Sixth-grader is budding businessman

Jun. 29, 2013 @ 05:23 PM

Not many elementary school students have started a business, much less two.

But when rising sixth-grader John Hudgins decided to start selling plants in honor of his grandmother, a cancer survivor, he turned to his previous experience.
In second grade, just for fun, John and his friend Zach Yeoman operated “Big Time Green,” which sold buttons and hats to raise awareness of environmental issues. They even had their own website.
Two years later, his paternal grandmother gave John a succulent plant as a present, and he started researching them on the Internet and learned that they don’t require much upkeep.
“Succulents can store water inside, kind of like a camel,” John said. “Except camels don’t come in different colors,” he joked.
When a friend said she collects succulents, John decided to grow and sell them to classmates.
His teacher at Southwest Elementary School, Julie Kubrick, allowed John to take orders before and after class.
“Southwest is really supportive of the entrepreneurial spirit,” said John’s mother, Dawn Hudgins.
John’s second business took off in 2012, a few months after his maternal grandmother, Shirley Marion, was diagnosed with lung cancer.
“He was my biggest supporter when I got sick,” Marion said. “It broke my heart, how much he worried about me.”
Wanting to help, John decided to convert his growing business into a fundraiser for lung cancer.
“There was not very much coaxing,” his mom said. “He did everything on his own.”
John has been saving up his profits for his swim club’s upcoming Swim for Cancer event. He’s already raised enough to swim the maximum 40 laps — which is 2,000 meters.
He said he will continue selling and expanding the business as long as he can.
He recently bought new varieties and now has 10 kinds in more than five colors. Each of John’s plants costs $2. To order or request a brochure, call John Succulents at 847-7037.

Lung cancer facts from John’s brochure

• Every year, there are more than 220,000 new cases in the United States.
• Survival rate for five years is only 15 percent
• Lung cancer funding is less than $1,500 per death. In comparison, breast cancer’s is nearly $22,000 per death.

Swim for cancer

Hosted by the High Point Community Swim Association, the event is similar to a bike-a-thon. Each participant will swim a certain number of laps, based on the donations collected.
Each participating swim club holds its own event. All money goes to the American Cancer Society.
Donate at: