Animal welfare

Bridgewater girls start bracelet-making business to benefit New Milford Animal Welfare Society

BRIDGEWATER – Channeling their creativity into a cause, two elementary school kids started their own business, P&B Loom Bands, this summer to raise money for the New Milford Animal Welfare Society.

As well as being best friends, the two Bridgewater residents, Beckett Cardonsky, 8, and Penelope Cooper, 9, will be starting year four at Burnham School this fall. Beckett said their business started a few months ago when Penelope tried to teach him how to make elastic bands, elastic bands that can be made into bracelets, necklaces, keychains or earrings. The girls got together for a slumber party in April and got to work creating Loom Band accessories, during which Beckett said she fell in love with them.

Using their love of the Loom Bands, Beckett thanked Penelope for thinking about starting a business and seeing how much money they could raise to donate to a local animal shelter. After a few months of creating Loom Bands, they decided to raise money for the New Milford Animal Welfare Society – a choice inspired in part by their own animals, including Beckett’s recently deceased Boxer-Ridgeback mix, Rocky.

“We did it there because we know a lot of people donate to hospitals and stuff,” Beckett said. “We wanted to donate to an animal shelter because we thought it was something we wanted to do since we both have animals.”

Penelope added: “It feels good to be able to help animal shelters and give them lots of money and stuff to help their animals.”

Ready to put their plan into action, the girls set out to create a variety of Loom Band bracelets, necklaces, keychains and earrings. Earlier this summer, Nathaniel Cardonsky, Beckett’s father, said the girls cleared out a former playroom, donating hundreds of books, costumes, stuffed animals and toys to the New Milford Goodwill . After clearing the space, he said they organized and designed “a space where they could create and manage the dream, and it quickly took physical form and grew exponentially.”

Penelope said it took them a few weeks to create each type of prop and a month or two to put them together. By the time the girls were done, Penelope said there were so many different kinds they couldn’t count them all.

Cardonsky said the girls took it upon themselves to go to the Bridgewater Village Store and ask the manager for a window of time to set up their supplies and put their work to the test. They got a four-hour window on July 30 to sell their Loom Band designs from noon to 4 p.m. Aided by Cardonsky’s girls’ business post on the Nextdoor app, customers and donations started pouring in. Along with helping them raise around $326, the girls said people also brought pet food donations to the Animal Welfare Society.

Penelope and Beckett presented all of their profits and pet food donations to the New Milford Animal Welfare Society (8 Dodd Road) on August 2.

“They brightened our day with their generosity,” Animal Welfare Society Inc wrote on its Facebook page. “Thank you very much Penelope and Beckett.”

With the school year fast approaching, Beckett and Penelope said they would try to run their business by making the Loom Bands during the school week and selling them on Saturdays and Sundays. Cardonsky said the girls plan to expand their business to The Elephant’s Trunk and other high-volume areas of New Milford, as well as volunteering at the animal shelter. In addition to purchasing their Loom Bands, the girls said customers can donate money, pet food, toys, bedding and other supplies to help animal shelters.

Cardonsky said he was proud of the girls’ work.

“When I was their age, I was picking dandelions and running around with very little ambition,” he said.

Rather than attend a summer camp in Bridgewater, Cardonsky said the girls presented their parents with “a very thoughtful business plan” which they were excited to implement.

“It’s really great to see,” he said. “It’s just something we definitely want to encourage and hopefully show where they can sell.”