Updated: Oct 15, 2018
Te’Lario Watkins is an accomplished entrepreneur and founder of Tiger Mushroom Farms. He discovered the idea of starting a family-owned mushroom farm when researching vegetables that can grow in Ohio’s weather. They often have long and cold winters. Luckily, mushrooms can also grow in the dark. With his family’s help of purchasing a mushroom kit, Te’Lario launched his career as a business owner. I had the honor to interview Te’Lario and his passion is undeniable. Check out this Young Legend making a difference in the world one mushroom at a time.
What opportunities have you experienced since being featured on Steve Harvey and many other places?
People often ask Te’Lario to speak to children at schools and libraries, inspiring the next generation of great leaders. He has also been featured in many places like NBC4i, Columbus Dispatch, and Biz Journals.
How do you think having multiple mentors has propelled your business?
His mentors have inspired him to give back to his community. They also help Te’Lario with business logistics including how to increase revenue and manage the business finances.
What tips do you share when speaking to kids?
“Never give up” is one quote that Te’Lario always shared with kids because the possibilities are endless even for a 7-year old, which is the age that he started Tiger Mushroom Farms. Mentioning his book Te’Lario’s Amazing Mushroom Farm, shows his audience to “Dream Big. Believe Big.” Te’Lario wrote his book at 9 years old about how he started his business and his journey to success. He is a perfect role model of achieving anything because if he can do it, so can you!
What other things have you used to expand your business?
Te’Lario often attends farmer markets to sell fresh oyster mushrooms as well as Shiitake mushrooms that can make any meal delicious. In addition to what he grows, he is a motivational speaker and author. He currently has three sources of income before the age of 18!
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in school and business?
Te’Lario plans to get all A’s in school and expand his business to a factory. Those are two amazing goals professionally and academically that all kid entrepreneurs should strive for.
What tips can you share about how to reach larger platforms, such as television or radio shows?
Te’Lario’s mother, LaVanya Watkins, was also able to give insight to how Young Legends can take their business to the next level. The greatest piece of value leading into her top three tips is to “focus on your area of interest.” For example, if you’re into fashion or modeling, contact those media outlets.
Have a great story to tell
Contact local magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV shows, radio stations and popular Instagram accounts.
Expand your contacts to national magazines, newspapers, etc.
Te’Lario is a rising Young Legend that has so much ahead of him. He has already been featured on the Steve Harvey show! He is also a No Kid Hungry ambassador, which you can be involved in at NoKidHungry.org. I can’t wait to watch Te’Lario’s personal growth and continuing to expand his business.
Tiger Mushroom Farms was founded by an amazing kid and lead by an astonishing family, the Watkins!