Life's Reflections: Linda Moody's Weekly Column
Ansonia has been blessed with a young entrepreneur.
Belle Billenstein, now 10, started her business, Annabelle’s Candy Bouquet, on Jan. 31, 2021; thus it’s almost a year old and still going strong.
“My friend had a birthday last year and I didn’t know what to get her,” Belle said. “I know she likes candy so I made a bouquet. It wasn’t my best, but my mom posted it on Facebook and everyone liked it and some people asked for one. That is when I got the idea for the business.”
She also came up with the name.
“I’m Annabelle, so I named it Annabelle’s Candy Bouquets, but I do gift baskets also,” she remarked.
Not only does she get customers from out of her home but she has also set up her products at other venues.
“I have set up at the Mississinawa School D.C. Trip Craft Show in the spring and for Twisted Pony Creations and Crazy Train Creations open house in December,” she said. “I would like to do more events this year. I also make mini bouquets (five candies) for $10 and they are for sale at Abel’s Barbershop in Ansonia.”
Her bouquets are made for all holidays and birthdays Her biggest holidays last year were Easter and Valentine’s Day, she reported.
Belle gets her candy in bulk at Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Sam’s Club.
“But, in a pinch, I’ve gone to Casey’s or Dollar General. I buy my containers at Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, or wherever I see something that I like for a good deal,” she said. “I try to buy stuff at the end of the season and save them so they are cheaper. Customers get to keep the containers and I try to pick something they would like or their favorite color.”
She has also contributed to such benefits as the Mississinawa Fall FFA Fair, Ansonia Athletic Boosters (football and horse races), Ansonia Fire Department Halloween Chili Dinner, Ansonia 4th of July Parade and Softball Tournament, Ansonia 4th of July 5k, and Ansonia Elementary School Spring Fling.
Her favorite candy is cotton candy.
“Every bouquet gets one small package as an extra candy,” she said. The different colors of cotton candy are different flavors.”
She pointed out that every client can tell her their favorite candies and colors.
“I try to make them as personal as possible,” she said.
The Ansonia fifth-grader also plays basketball and shows horses with her 4-H Club, Buckeye Buckaroos.
“I show at the Darke County Fair and locally when I can,” she said.
If she gets real busy with her business, family members, including her mother, sister and stepfather, help her.
How long does it take to prepare all these baskets?
“Depending on the size, the mini’s take about 15 minutes and the large takes about 30 minutes,” she replied.
She has no plans of working in sales when she gets older.
“I don’t really like the sales part; I like the creating part,” she said.
Belle does, however, have definite plans for the money she makes.
“I am currently using the money for my eighth-grade D.C. trip, but after I have enough for that, I will start saving for a vehicle when I turn 16. Then, I will save for college.”
Belle, who loves recess and math at school, said her mother puts the money she makes into a savings account.
“I get some of the cash for spending but most of it has to go to my savings,” she said.
Belle is the daughter of Jeni and Eric Hanna of Ansonia, and Jamie and Brian Billenstein of Greenville.
“My mom works for Union City, Ind., Junior Senior High School as an aide and at the Whistle Stop when needed. My stepdad Eric works for the town and at Eldora in the summer,” she said. “My stepmom babysits kids and helps take care of my horse, Twister, and my dad works for Laux Trucking out of New Madison.”
Her grandmother, Leona Douglass, used to own the Brown Bag Soap shop near Mississinawa Valley School, but now residing in Ansonia as well.
Belle also has a sister, Mackinzie, who is in seventh grade, and a brother, Noah, who is 1 1/2 and son of the Billensteins.
Has Belle ever tried to make homemade candy for her business?
“I have never tried to make homemade candy, but you never know, I might someday,” she said. “Right now, I want to be a horse trainer, a cosmetologist, or a teacher.”
What are her plans in this new year?
“I want to do more gift baskets,” she replied.
Those wanting to order one of these bouquets can contact her on her Facebook page or call 937-459-9725.
Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families of: Billy Ray Crossley Sr., Eric Elson, Al Bliss, Larry Grow, Earl Kriegbaum, Mary Ellen Hart, John A. Mangen, April Fetters, Larry Eugene Baker and Barbara “Ann” Heitkamp.
Please pray for these people: Randy Heck, Danny Foster, Jeff Rider, Stefani Priest, Roxanne Barnes, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Vanna Hannam, Debbie Labig, Jeff Stewart, Kevin Wampler, Brenda Wallace, Linda Subler, Michelle Young, Roger McEowen, Jerri Barber, Sally Burnett Ganger, Rick Alexander, Jeff Zumbrun, Gary Cain, Shelley Brinley, Stacy Cline, Ron Mills, Cheryl Gilmore, June Moody, Larry Vititoe, D’Arleen Waymire, Joe Arnett, Tony Liette, Jennifer Peck, Matt Hiestand, Kathy Swabb, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Cory Meadows, D’Arleen Waymire, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Albert Duncan, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses, including Covid and other variants associated with the Pandemic.
Happy birthday to:
Jan. 17 to Karen Young, Larry LeMaster, Jennifer Teegarden, Kevin Riffell, Tyler Hiestand, Wanda Burke, Anita Brown Unrast, Kenton Moore and Lois Drew.
Jan. 18 to Ralph Byrd, Josh Swisher, Tonya Francis Riffell, Tom Moody and Jeff Wappelhorst.
Jan. 19 to Kelly Menchhofer, Jeff Minnich, Deb Crist and Crystal Mead Rediger.
Jan. 20 to Bud House, Taylor Hammaker, Judie Hathaway, Ellen Depweg Hetzler, Alexa Hetzler, Karen Smith Fiste, David Kress and Josh Riffell.
Jan. 21 to Connie Hodson, Junior Bryant, Tina Lyme, Cindy Shuttleworth, Denise Huff and Jennifer Brown Trittschuh.
Jan. 22 to Rhyan Francis, Jim Holland, Greg Moody, Tammy Hodson Mendenhall, Linda Miller Budde, Shawn Trissel, Leon Rogers, Diane Delaplane and Mindy Saylor.
Jan. 23 to Carrie “Missie” Hall Guillozet, Dixie Whittaker, Carl Bricker and Diana Sleppy.
Think about it: “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”Elizabeth Foley