Photo by luigi ciuffetelli
Arianna Fox is a force to be reckoned with. This multitalented preteen is an inspirational dynamo with wisdom that belies her 12 years. When the homeschooled Milford resident isn’t penning her next novel, she lights up the inspirational speaking circuit. She also handles marketing duties with her parents’ social media management business, Splash Designworks LLC. Her title? Social Samurai.
DT: When did you realize that life might be a little different for you?
AF: I was very young when we started doing the business. I started writing books when I was 6. My rewards were—instead of playing—actually going up there and speaking. It’s an amazing reward. I definitely don’t have the typical 12-year-old life, but I am so grateful that I don’t.
DT: Do you know other young entrepreneurs in the area?
AF: As far as kid entrepreneurs go, there are actually many. I’ve attended the Kidpreneur Business Expo—it’s for kids who are doing amazing things. One of them has a cookie business, and [another] makes slime and teaches science. They are kid entrepreneurs and they have their businesses, and that’s really, really epic.
DT: What has been your coolest speaking gig so far?
AF: I was at the 2019 DigiGirlz event for girls in the STEM fields and tech and things like that. The first year (2018) I was the keynote speaker, and this year I was actually the panel interviewer, the spokesperson, the facilitator and the video spokesperson. I got to interview Dr. Mark Brainard, the president of Delaware Tech. When I met him, he gave me an epic shout-out on social media. He said that I was basically the highlight of his day—and not just that, but the future is in great hands with me and my digital friends leading the way.
DT: That’s awesome.
AF: There aren’t many kid entrepreneurs in Delaware right now, so I’m really, really honored to be one of the few, and one of the ones leading the way to more rising stars. I like to say, “Shine a light, light a spark, spark a fire.”
DT: What is your most important message?
AF: I actually have many, but I will just say, “You rock, dream big and you got this!” That’s my mantra. That’s what I say at the end of all of my events. I love that because it’s quick and powerful and hopefully inspires. I have a few others like, “You only fail if you give up.” That’s one of my biggest messages. I tell people that mistakes are part of life. They are part of your journey. You must get back up. People think that when they make a mistake they fail. But the only time you truly fail is when you don’t get back up.
DT: Who are the people you look up to?
AF: I have a few. One of the biggest inspirations for all of us in the family has been Kid President (a character in a series of YouTube videos and a TV show). His real name is Robby Novak. I think he started his kid business and his Kid President when he was about 9. He is just, like, a ball of energy.
DT: What’s been your life/career highlight so far?
AF: After speaking at an event, kids come up to me and tell me how I inspired them. At my first speaking event, at a daycare, I did this activity called the balloon stomp. It was basically an allegory—the kids would try to protect their own balloon [while] at the same time stomping on other kids’ balloons. The moral of the activity would be that you never obviously tried to stomp on other people’s balloons but you have to protect your own. The balloon was the dream, and you have to protect your dream from other people stomping on it. One boy still had his balloon in his hand. He said to me, “I’m never going to let anybody stomp on my dream.” It was great to see [the activity really touched people].
DT: So, your main goal is …?
AF: No matter how many people I speak to, if I touch at least one person, then it is totally worth it. And I want to make sure that I am making a difference in Delaware and that I lead the way in Delaware for more kid entrepreneurs and rising stars—basically the people who are the future in Delaware.
DT: How do you gauge your success?
AF: I would have to say by lives impacted, because it’s not about me. It’s about how I can deliver the message and inspire people. I get my success by the lives that I have impacted and the people that have been inspired by my speaking events. Success isn’t just about money. Our family talks about it a lot. Success is about balancing all the things that I’m doing, having fun and still being a kid—to balance life and work perfectly.