A Grandma Turns to Kickstarter to Help Fund her Startup

When 89-year-old Pearl Malkin became bored with her plain black cane, she decided to glue on a few flowers. From there, the grandmother from San Rafael, California began creating different canes to match different outfits.

Enter Adam London, a family friend who suggested that Malkin turn the canes into a small business. As reported by this CNN Money article, she took his advice. The result: Happy Canes, a line of walking sticks that Malkin decorates by hand.

Last month, London — an aspiring entrepreneur himself — helped Malkin launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $3,500 in startup capital for Happy Canes. He also set her up on Etsy, an online marketplace for crafted items where her canes sell for $60.

In the CNN Money article, Malkin said she decided to start a business because she “can’t sit idle and watch boring TV all day long.” Happy Canes also represents her latest creative effort to add to her retirement fund. Five years ago, she took on a gig as a standup comic at a local restaurant.

“The older crowd wanted dirty jokes. I don’t tell dirty jokes so I stopped,” she told CNN Money. Now, she added, “I want to make people happy, spread a little cheer around and maybe buy some nice shoes again.”

Here’s a video about “Grandma Pearl” and her happy canes.

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A Grandma Turns to Kickstarter to Help Fund her Startup

  1. Debra Eve says:

    Best story I’ve read all day! Thanks, Lynne

  2. kenhaberman says:

    This story has it all. Down to earth heroine. humble beginning and success. Love it! Ken

  3. Love love love love love love love! Thank you for sharing this!

  4. And to think I just aim to be in business til 60… Must rethink that.

  5. ciiconcierge says:

    Reblogged this on thecowryshell and commented:
    Inspiring Grandma shows it’s never too late to make the entrepreneurial leap.

  6. kimansa says:

    Reblogged this on kimansa's Blog and commented:
    My inspiration

  7. This is phenomenal! I guess I need to move forward with some of the ideas that have come to me. I, too, get tired of just sitting around. I am only 65!

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