All 11-year-old Madison Root wanted to do was raise a little money to fund her new braces, which were going to set her family back almost $5,000. So she cut some mistletoe from oak trees on her uncle's farm, bundled it up with a red bow and headed to the Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon, last weekend.
Problem is, the city ordinance bans people such as Madison from setting up shop without going through a formal application process. A private security guard delivered the bad news to Madison and suggested she try begging for the money instead, according to HLN affiliate KATU.
But Madison wasn't having any of that.
"I don't want to beg!" she told KATU. "I would rather work for something than beg."
When Madison's story hit the KATU newscast Sunday night, the news station reported that offers to buy her mistletoe started pouring in. Some viewers wanted to place more than 20 orders at once. A man who owns a local Christmas tree farm even gave Madison $1,000 to invest in her new business.
"It's awesome. I feel like we can get people to stop begging and start working," said Madison, who got her braces Monday morning. "[The city ordinance] was enforced correctly. I still think there should be exceptions if you're doing it for a good cause."
The budding entrepreneur has started her own website, www.madisonroot.com, where she's selling bundles of mistletoe (and T-shirts, too). She is also scheduled to make several appearances, including one at the Saturday Market, to which she has been invited back.