Allan Maman is a teenage entrepreneur. He also has ADHD.
When Allan heard about fidget spinners last year, he decided he wanted one. But the spinner trend hadn’t fully hit the market yet, and he couldn’t buy one without waiting weeks for shipping. So he decided to create his own.
With the help of his physics teacher, Allan learned how to print 3D fidget spinners in his high school science lab in Armonk, New York. After he created his first one, his classmates started asking if they could have them too.
Soon, Allan was spending his evenings printing fidgets in the lab, and selling hundreds. In just a few days, Allan had earned around $500.
“I recognized them as a phenom the first week I started selling them at school,” Allan said in an interview with Mic. “Literally every kid came up to me asking me to get one.”
The school soon took notice of what Allan was doing and barred him from the lab. Luckily for Allan, though, he’d already saved up enough money to purchase a 3D printer of his own. He and a fellow classmate, Cooper Weiss, joined up to launch an online store for fidgets called Fidget360.
It was perfect timing, as the spinner craze was just taking off. Forbes reports that since the fall of 2016, Allan and Cooper have shipped 3D fidget spinners to all 50 states and 30 countries, ringing up over $350,000 in profit.
They have their own creative take on fidget spinners. One of their models is called “Batman” and looks like a small bat you can spin. Another is multicolored and splattered with paint. They’ve also been experts at social media marketing, racking up over 160,000 followers on Instagram.
To keep up with the increasing number of orders, Allan and Cooper now print from a factory in Brooklyn. They’ve also hired classmates to help them. And in April, they donated a brand-new 3D printer back to their high school.
For Allan, creating 3D fidget spinners is more than just keeping up with the latest trend. As someone with ADHD, Allan wanted to help kids like him who have trouble paying attention in school.
And although the buzz around fidget spinners may end, Allan thinks his ability to notice trends will serve him well in business. Right now, he’s focused on building more businesses for the future.
Read about the dos and don’ts of fidgets for kids. Watch as an expert explains the difference between a fidget and a toy. And learn about successful business people with learning and thinking differences, including the story of Max Ash, a kid entrepreneur with dyslexia.
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Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.