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At just 16 years old, Moranbah State High School Grade 11 student Lexi Croce is taking the entrepreneurial world by storm. Between juggling school and sports, she’s carved out time to run her own business, Elsie Grace, which recently won her the Young Rural Business of the Year award.

Lexi’s journey began just by spending some quality time at her grandma’s farm.

“I’ve always enjoyed sewing with my grandma. One day, the idea just clicked to experiment with wire and head wraps. It started small. My mom showcased my work on her Facebook page and from there, Elsie Grace was born.”

Elsie Grace caters to custom needs, offering everything from scrunchies and head wraps to zippy bags and earrings. Her creativity extends to custom-ordered children’s clothing for special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas.

Besides being a young business owner, Lexi also embraces the learning curve.

“I’ve learnt that in business, you’re just one person who has to do so many roles. I’ve learned a lot about social media marketing, which is a whole separate thing from actually making the products, but just as important.”

In balancing school, sports, and business, Lexi relies on careful planning.

“I prioritise schoolwork first, then I have my sports activities about three times a week. My business just seems to slot into the missing pieces, like before I go to bed or if I’m up early in the morning,” she explained.

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When asked about her win, Lexi was full of genuine surprise and enthusiasm.

“I was shocked but so excited. I didn’t attend the award ceremony online, so getting the email the next day was a true ‘pinch me’ moment.”

What’s more remarkable is that Lexi’s community rallied behind her and was instrumental in her win.

“I was nominated by some of my Facebook followers, which just makes this award all the more special,” said Lexi.

While Lexi’s future plans are not set in stone, one thing is certain: she’s not giving up her business. In fact, Lexi’s newfound recognition is giving her business a boost.

“It’s something I love and can do well. The award has definitely amped up the exposure for Elsie Grace.”

With a community that supports her and a spirit that doesn’t quit, Lexi Croce proves to be a true inspiration, deserving her title as this month’s Community Champion. For other young, rural entrepreneurs dreaming big, Lexi has some grounded advice.

“If you have a dream, don’t let anything make you think you can’t achieve it.”

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