February 15, 2024: “I started with almonds at Friday Night Farmers Market here in Old Town Clovis, and from that I saved up and bought my first laser,” said Patrick Palmer, a Clovis High School junior who owns and operates a small business called Little Valley Goods.
Little Valley Goods specializes in laser-cut wood products, both ready-made and custom ordered.
He’s made items for the Clovis High School track & field coaches, the Fresno State Rodeo Team, Stafford Chiropractic, and many more notable local folks.
“I got another order on Friday,” Palmer shared, “I’m doing baby shower gifts. I’m also working on a few weddings right now for close family friends and once I get professional pictures done I want to advertise that more.”
The storefront at Eye Candy Boutique, on the corner of Pollasky and 8th, has an abundance of merchandise at the moment. “When I moved in here, I decided that I wanted to keep it as filled up as possible,” Palmer said, “When I’m not in school or doing homework, I’m always making stuff.”
For a teen entrepreneur who’s just starting out, Palmer has a keen eye for business advantages.
He pointed out the great location of his storefront in the shop– within view of the front register. “When you’re at checkout in the front of the store, you can see [my display] directly,” Palmer said.
Palmer’s Little Valley Goods business is a part of his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) education through the Clovis FFA. “He is extremely hard working,” Ag Advisor Trevor Autry said, “Patrick Palmer is a great example of what the Clovis FFA program can do for a student.”
In addition to his schoolwork and business duties, Palmer is the current President of the Clovis FFA chapter and the Sentinel of the East Fresno Madera Section of FFA. He’s even running for office for the San Joaquin Region FFA this year.
“When I was young I thought it would be great to have a small business,” Palmer said, “I like to say that FFA not only teaches you classroom skills like how to be a good student, it also teaches you life skills. I definitely give the credit to FFA.”
With nearly a thousand followers on Instagram already, Palmer said that he wants to use his growing platform to help other kids.
Palmer’s ag advisors have encouraged him to learn essential customer service values and public speaking skills with firsthand experience.
Palmer’s SAE education taught him how to easily handle common problems for small businesses– like the rising cost of materials. “When I do have to buy plywood in bulk, it cuts into my operations costs, which hurts a little bit but it’s better to have it than to not,” he said, “Last year, a sheet of plywood would make me about maybe 10 signs and it only cost $25 per sheet, and now it’s up to 35 to 40 dollars.”
One major goal for Little Valley Goods is to be 100% valley-sourced. Palmer says he’s at about 50% so far, sourcing his leather and some wood products from the area.
“In the future I want to own my own storefront where I can showcase young entrepreneurs like myself and give them more opportunities.”
“For right now, I’m surviving high school.”