Nov 23, 2012 6:09 PM by Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News

Local 9-year-old entrepreneur uses new business to help others in need

A local entrepreneur is doing her part to help others in need this holiday season, and she's only in fourth grade.

Maya Grace launched Wigglo Pets just before her ninth birthday this month.

Wigglo Pets are handmade interactive toys that respond to a person's touch.

After seeing how much children were enjoying her new creations, Maya decided to give back by donating 25 Wigglo Pets to the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara.

In 2010, she helped victims of the Haiti tsunami by selling handmade art pieces and donating the money to Direct Relief International, and last year, she hosted an art show and raised more than $1,400 for The Santa Barbara Humane Society.

Maya has also won many art competitions, both locally and nationally.

But Maya is not the only one giving back in her family.

Five years ago, her older sister, Madison, started Kidz for a Cure (KidzForACure.org), which raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Maya says than a percentage of each Wigglo Pets' sale will go to that charity.

Maya hand makes every Wigglo Pet in her office, which consists of a folding table in her family's garage.

Wigglo Pets can be made in boy or girl patterns, different prints, and much more, and people as far away as New Zealand and Singapore are requesting the interactive creations.

Maya attends Hollister School in Goleta.

To learn more about Wigglo Pets, click here.

To place an order or see how they work, visit her Facebook page here.



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