Most third graders are concerned with making sure they remember to do their homework and figuring out their plans for the upcoming weekend. Miles Fetherston-Resch is not most third graders. At age 6, he founded Kids Saving Oceans, a conservation lifestyle brand "by kids, for kids." He makes clothing and accessories from recycled or sustainable materials and then donates the proceeds to groups that work to protect the oceans. His goal is to raise $1 million to save oceans and beaches by the time he's 18. And if that wasn't enough, he's also authored a book, and took the top prize of $5,000 at the inaugural St. Pete Pitch Night in 2019. However, he still makes time for activities like riding bikes and playing soccer - because sometimes you just have to be a regular kid.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
Kids Saving Oceans
What gets you out of bed every day?
School. I’m in third grade and I love learning, so it’s really easy to get out of bed every day. I also really like eating breakfast so I don’t sleep in that much. My favorite breakfast is probably cereal or pancakes.
Why St. Pete?
This is where I was born.
What is one habit that you keep?
One habit that I keep is that I like to draw every day. You can probably guess I draw a lot of sea creatures. These are the inspirations for my designs but I also like to draw superheroes, cartoons and cute animals.
Who are some people that influence you?
My two moms. They work really hard to help me in whatever ways they can. Dr. Sylvia Earle is another hero. She is a famous oceanographer, diver and scientist. I’m also influenced by Mr. Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer who is trying to take a picture of every animal in captivity before it’s too late. Finally, I met Ms. Ruth Ross at 1 Million Cups last year and she has given me some good tips and ideas for my business.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
I’m partial to the book I wrote with Tori McGee called “Kids Saving Oceans: Olivia Makes A Difference” (available locally at Book+Bottle). It’s a good reminder that all our personal choices multiplied by all of us can add up to something big. You’re never too old, too young or too whatever to make a difference. I also think inspiration strikes when you least expect it. I was sitting on my couch watching Shark Week when I was inspired to start Kids Saving Oceans. I’m very grateful I pursed my idea, and also so thankful my parents supported me when I was 6 to help me get to this point.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
This is a tricky question. I wish I knew how hard it was to run a business where there are still so many things I don’t know. Finding money to make products is hard. Marketing a business is hard. Talking to people is sometimes hard because I can be shy, but it’s all worth it. I learn more each day and I would tell 6-year-old Miles that maybe you won’t know a lot about business but you can still follow your dreams to save our oceans because 6-year-old Miles’s voice matters.
What’s next is more designs, more clothing options, more marketing and advertising and basically growing my business. The more I can grow, the more stores that sell my products, the more people that know my mission. That will mean more money for our oceans and that more kids will know about how much all of this matters for our future.