Two 12 year old entrepreneurs have donated thousands to animal shelters from their sales on a successful invention, the Ornament Anchor. Brothers Ayaan and Mickey Naqvi, who live in Shelton, Connecticut, were decorating their family Christmas tree last year when one of their favorite ornaments succumbed to the forces of gravity. The beloved family dog, Zara, whose tail Ayaan describes as an “ornament missile,” may have played a part as well.
While the decoration couldn’t be saved, the brother decided to find a better way to hang ornaments so they’d be truly secure. Using a loop and toggle system, Ayaan created the prototype and presented it for a school project. The reception was overwhelmingly favorable—so favorable in fact, the boys quickly decided to turn their invention into a potential money-making proposition. “My brother and I worked together to design the product, patent it, create an awesome website, calculate profit margins and did our own market analysis.” Ayaan said.
This wasn’t the boys’ first commercial invention attempt. A previous gadget landed the pair and their family on an episode of Shark Tank. While they didn’t cut a deal, it was a true learning experience. From $1,000 in sales in six hours at a local Christmas trade show, the Ornament anchor went on to be showcased on Good Morning America as well as being featured on QVC and Amazon Launchpad. In one year, the brothers’ invention has raked in more than $250,000.
Ayaan and Mickey are determined to pay their good fortune forward by donating 10% of their profits to local animal shelters. “Ever since I was super young, I’ve had a fascination with all of life’s creatures,” Ayaan explained. “My goal is to help as many animals in need as I can.”
While they’re enjoying their well-earned windfall, the boys admit that starting a new business in 2020 has had its challenges. “Running a business with your brother has its pros and cons. But, we make it work and we’re the best of friends always,” Mika’il said. “It’s an amazing journey,” Ayaan said. “With my brother especially. Just to go along and just us together selling our product is really cool.”
Adjusting to distance learning and other constraints of the coronavirus lockdown wasn’t easy. Through the turbulent times, they say they’ve just tried to take things one step at a time and keep a positive attitude because that—along with the love and support of their family—are what keeps them anchored.