When Nicholas Pudys’ mom said she didn’t think he’d be able to raise money on his own to help pay for extra dance classes, the 12-year-old didn’t back down.

His reply?

“I’ll show you.’’

And, proud mom Lisa says, he definitely has.

Nicholas can’t mow lawns because he’s allergic to grass, so he and his brother, Alexander, started selling painted flower pots. Their endeavor is called Panda Pots, and it’s doing brisk business.

They’ve made enough in the past year to put mon

ey toward Nicholas’ beloved dance classes and future college expenses. Alexander, 10, is just using his take for extra cash.

Nicholas, a seventh-grader at Liberty Middle School in Papillion, and Alexander, a fifth-grader at Prairie Queen Elementary, first showed their terra cotta pots to family and friends. They started buying them, so the boys created a Facebook page, and their business took off.

They won the award for highest potential for ages 11 to 13 recently at the Omaha Children’s Business Fair hosted by Acton Academy Omaha.

The pots vary in size and each painted design is unique. Alexander does the background painting; Nicholas adds the design.

Nicholas says he has learned a lot about running a business and expressing his creativity. “For me, painting is therapeutic. It’s really soothing.’’

Alexander likes working with different colors. “You have to be patient when painting.’’

Alexander also keeps track of the business side, after the boys realized they weren’t charging enough to make a profit. He bags the product, adding a cute Panda sticker.

The boys first tried out the name Pudys Panda Brothers, then Pudys Pandas and then just Panda Pots.

“They like pandas,’’ their mom says. “They have had repeat customers, family and friends gift them pandas.’’

They’ve tried a few art fairs, but their Facebook page still remains their biggest source of business. The pots were a hot ticket for teacher gifts at Christmas and during football season, when fans bought pots in the colors of their favorite teams.

Unless they have a special order, they’ll do a bunch of pots at one time to stay ahead of demand, leaving time for regular school work and things like dance classes.

That’s the best part about this whole journey.

Nicholas caught up to his age group with the extra classes and has made the competition tap team with Motion Works Dance Studio in Council Bluffs.

“He is just one happy little camper,’’ his mom says.

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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