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Entrepreneurial 11-year-old begins business to help her furloughed mother during government shutdown

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By HEATHER GRAF, WJLA

NORTH POTOMAC, Md. (WJLA) — On Day 13 of the partial government shutdown, an 11-year-old is on a mission.

“My mind was just going through like, how can I help, how can I contribute to my family?” Bella Berrellez said.

The fifth-grader’s mother works for the Food and Drug Administration and is furloughed as a result of the shutdown. She got her last paycheck Dec. 28.

“I woke up one morning and went downstairs to eat breakfast, and I saw the television was on, and I saw it said the government was shutting down,” Berrellez said. “I just want my mom to be able to go back to work.”

That’s when Berrellez came up with a plan to try to bring in some extra money to help her family through the shutdown.

Bella’s Sweet Scrubs is a business she started, selling homemade sugar scrubs for $7 each.

“You take the scrub and rub it on your body in the shower. You use it two or three times a week. It will leave your skin very nice and soft,” she said. “I make it using sugar and all organic and natural ingredients.”

Berrellez sells them to her neighbors, and for an extra 50 cents, she’ll even deliver the products to those who live nearby. She also sells the sugar scrubs on Etsy, and started a Twitter account to tell potential customers about her special shutdown survival effort.

“I’ve sold around 30 right now, I think,” she said. “Most people are really happy and very supportive of me, and they think it’s a great idea."

On Thursday afternoon, ABC7 News tagged along with Berrellez during a few of her deliveries.

“I think it’s a wonderful use of her time and resources; it’s very creative,” one customer said.

Berrellez said she’ll likely try to keep the business going, even after the shutdown is over.

In the meantime, she hopes that every dollar she brings in will help her family in some small way as the government shutdown stretches on.

“I understand it’s impacting a lot of people,” she said. “When I found out my mom was furloughed, I was just thinking of fun and creative ways so I could help.”

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