Youth Makers Market

By Stella Haffner   |   June 7, 2022
Sisters Aaliyah and Bella Rubio started the Youth Makers Market so that young people can start their own businesses

If one thing is true about Santa Barbara, it’s that our young people have a world-class entrepreneurial spirit. Sisters Aaliyah and Bella Rubio are no exception. 

Starting as a way to escape pandemic boredom, Aaliyah (14) and Bella (12) dreamt up the Youth Makers Market as a space for the young people of Santa Barbara to be a part of their own small business. Aaliyah and Bella believe in the power of youth to contribute to their local economy. As younger sister Bella says: “We wanted to show the world that youth can accomplish anything in the world as well.” 

In addition to managing the market with the help of their family, Cecilia, Joel, and Priscilla Rubio, the girls each have their own booth. Aaliyah, a rising freshman at Santa Barbara High School, sells handmade jewelry at her stand. 

Q: Aaliyah, how did you choose to make jewelry?

Aaliyah Rubio (AR): I was inspired by my cousins that make jewelry in Durango, Mexico; their handmade details left me in awe. 

You have already accomplished so much – do you think the market will continue to grow? 

AR: I believe that with the community’s help, the market will continue to blossom, and youth will continue to be more successful and supported. 

Do you know what you want to do when you’re older?

AR: I do know that I want to study in California and continue with a computer science degree. I want to minor in computer science engineering and major in computer science. All the profits I have made at the Youth Makers Market will be saved to go towards my schooling. 

Currently finishing 6th grade, Bella Rubio also has her own stand at the market where she sells freshly harvested honey. 

What is your favorite thing about being able to sell at the market?

Bella Rubio (BR): Meeting new youth vendors and new families of different ethnicities. 

What have you learned from the process of selling your products? 

BR: That having a business is physical, but I can manage it. 

What is the most fun sale item to make?

BR: I really like to sell honey, but I don’t make it. The bees do. Usually I just go out and get the honey from them. But it is a fun process. 

I think a lot of people would be too afraid to harvest honey from bees – were you scared at first?

BR:Yeah, a little. But I got used to it. I don’t know if you know this already, but I’m allergic to bees. 

Didn’t that make you think: “Maybe I shouldn’t handle bees?” 


What is something you want people to know about the Youth Makers Market?

BR:Young people can accomplish anything that adults can. 

If you’re looking for local art, food, and crafts, I highly recommend attending the next Youth Makers Market on Saturday, June 18. To learn more about the Youth Makers Market, you can visit or follow the Rubio sisters on Instagram @youthmakermarket.  


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