Local 9-year-old's business, Made With Heart, raises $500 for HSSC

Local resident, Matthew William Holdford, turned a hobby into a business last year and recently presented a $500 check to the Humane Society of Summit County as a result.

Matthew, a 4th grader at Dodge Intermediate School in Twinsburg, launched Made With Heart in January 2020. For the last year, Matthew has been transforming new and used greeting cards into bookmarks and gift tags. As part of his business plan, Matthew donates 50 percent of his profit to the local humane society.

“We are so proud of Matthew’s creative and giving mind and his entrepreneurial spirit,” said Matthew’s mom, Mary Beth. “He first started making bookmarks with his grandmother, Millie Holdford, who lives in Hubbard. What began as a fun hobby has transpired into so much more.

“One day, he asked if he could start selling his creations, and of course we said yes,” she said. “Together, we came up with the name, which was created using his initials, and a logo. He asked his grandpa to create a display to showcase his products. Everything else was all him.”

Matthew cuts the bookmarks and gift tags by hand. He rounds off all the edges and applies his logo on the back of each bookmark and gift tag. He selects the ribbon style and color and adds any other finishing touches. Because there is little to no cost to run the business, other than his time, he agreed to donate half of his earnings to a charity. He chose the Humane Society of Summit County because he loves animals, especially dogs.

“We are honored to be given this wonderful donation by Matthew and Made With Heart,” said Diane Johnson, President and CEO, Humane Society of Summit County. “It is especially meaningful as he raised these funds by personally creating and selling bookmarks and gift tags. He did this work not just for personal gain, but to help the victimized animals rescued by HSSC. This outstanding young man is an example of true philanthropy and most definitely an animal hero! On behalf of the animals, staff and volunteers of the Humane Society, thank you so much, Matthew.”

In March 2020, Matthew participated in his first vendor event, the Twinsburg Expo, and the response was incredible. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented him from participating in events for the remainder of the year. However, local restaurant, Michael’s Café, offered to sell his bookmarks and gift tags and collect donated greeting cards. The Twinsburg Public Library’s Friends Shop also serves as a collection point. In July, Matthew started selling his products online at Feather Leather Designs, a small business owned by his mom, aunt, and nana, all of Twinsburg.

“People have been really nice. I’m having fun running my own business, and I’ve learned a lot. I’m most proud that I was able to give money to help animals at our local shelter,” said Matthew. “I’m very thankful for my family’s support, especially my mom, dad and my grandma, who got me started. My brothers, cousins and my neighbor have also helped me a lot.”

Bookmarks sell for $1 each and gift tags are two for $1. Matthew will continue to donate 50% to the Humane Society of Summit County. To shop, look for “Made With Heart” at New or used greeting cards can be dropped off at Michael’s Café of Twinsburg or the Twinsburg Public Library’s Friends Shop.

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