Emily Waldon was only six-years-old when 9/11 happened, but the patriotism she felt after that event has grown into a thriving business.
“It really hit home for me, even though I was just a six-year-old. I was like, 'Daddy let’s show them that we’re Americans,' ” said Waldon, now 17.
Emily wanted to build a flagpole with her Dad to fly an American flag in their front yard. When they were done with their own, neighbors started asking them to build more flagpoles.
Before the Waldons knew it, Emily had a decent business on her hands. She named it Flagpole Express.
“All we want is for people to have flagpoles and be able to have them in their front yard, because as Americans we need to show that we’re proud,” the young entrepreneur said.
In the last eleven years Flagpole Express has built, delivered, and installed more than 500 flagpoles at homes and businesses throughout Mississippi, Memphis, Tenn., and in parts of Arkansas.
“What we make is the best you can get,” Emily said with a smile.
Emily puts the poles together at home with her dad, usually after school when she’s done with homework, and then they deliver and install the flagpoles on the weekends.
“This is a country that the American dream is possible and really that’s what occurred with her little business,” said Emily’s Dad, Bryan Waldon.
Each flagpole sells for a couple hundred dollars, and the Waldons typically handle a couple orders each week, depending on the season. Over the past 11 years, Emily has made more than $100,000 in profits.
“Just fellow Americans wanting to show pride in America. They wanted what we had, the flagpoles, to show that they were proud also. It was a great coming together with the whole community being patriotic,” Emily said.
Emily plans on studying international business at college after finishing her senior year of high school. She’s still deciding where she’ll go, but she says wherever she goes, Flagpole Express is coming with her.
“I’m definitely going to keep with it as long as I possibly can. Maybe pass it down to my kids. It’s been great growing up with it.”