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Posted on March 9, 2014 | 7:50 p.m.

10-Year-Old CEO Invites Kids to Bennett’s for First-Ever Wigglo Day

Source: Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowski for Maya Grace

Bennett’s Educational Materials in Santa Barbara will be hosting its first “Wigglo Day” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22.

Wigglo Pets are toys created by local fifth-grader Maya Grace. She started the business when she was 8 years old working from the garage of her home. Since then, she’s sold more than 1,000 of these cute, furry creatures all over the world. The toys are interactive pets that respond to their owner’s touch.

“We thought the toys were so cute and had to have them in our store,” said Julia Yescas, Bennett’s manager. “Kids loved them because they were a throwback to toys of yesteryear, with no batteries, buttons or screens. Children were able to exercise their creativity and imaginations playing with the Pets.”

When she saw how much kids loved the toys, Yescas offered the creator the opportunity to have a day at the store dedicated to her creation.

“I was so excited when they asked if we could do a Wigglo Day at Bennett’s,” the young entrepreneur beamed. “I love Bennett’s and this will be a fun way for kids to learn more about Wigglo Pets.”

And, fun it will be. The day will include face painting by local face artist, Maria Perez, Wigglo-inspired sweet treats from Delicious Expressions Bakery in Santa Barbara, art activities, contests, a scavenger hunt, a Wigglo Pet stunt station, prizes and lots more!

“I think it’s important for kids to see that the owner of this company is just like them ... a kid,” Maya explained. “We kids have so many cool ideas, but sometimes we don’t believe we can make them real until we’re adults. It’s important for kids to see other kids making their dreams come true. I want to inspire other kids to follow their dreams, too.”

Not only does Maya follow her dreams, but she’s trying to make the dreams of others come true, too. A lover of animals, Maya donates a portion of the profits of her sales to the Santa Barbara Humane Society via her “Pets for Pets” campaign. Through her business, an art show she hosted in 2011, Girl Scouts fundraising and more, she’s already raised nearly $2,000 for the local nonprofit. And, she’s donated 50 of her pets to Unity Shoppe to help local under-privileged children via her toys during the holidays.

Maya is so pleased to have the opportunity to team up with this 40-year Santa Barbara mainstay that’s been giving familys ways to play and learn together for a fun, free family-oriented interactive event.

To learn more about Bennett’s Wigglo Day, call the store at 805.964.8998 or click here for more information. Bennett’s Educational Materials is located at 5130 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information about Wigglo Pets.

— Proud dad Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowski represents Maya Grace.

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