The brainchild of Gabe Jaffe, Teen Hampton launched in the Hamptons this summer to great success. The teen-run organization provides affordable and convenient access to vetted and qualified sports instructors and babysitters in the Hamptons. Parents can go to the website at teen-hampton.com, browse the numerous instructors and babysitters available for booking, read their bios, and book sessions at a location convenient for them.
Hamptons Social interviewed Jaffe about how he came up with the idea for Teen Hampton, one moment that felt like a huge accomplishment in his entrepreneurial journey, and his advice for other teens dreaming of creating their own business.
HAMPTONS SOCIAL: Do you remember the moment you decided to turn your idea for Teen Hampton into a reality?
GABE JAFFE: The moment I decided to take my idea and turn it into reality was when I applied for a job last year. Before I built the company, I knew that I was going to need some kind of funding, and it was important to me that I earned all of the money that I put into the company myself. Looking ahead, I decided to spend one summer working, making money, and researching the landscape of the Hamptons market. This would allow me to spend the following school year recruiting for the network, building the website, and growing the company. That is what I have been doing for the past nine months.
HAMPTONS SOCIAL: What makes Teen Hampton one-of–a-kind?
JAFFE: Teen Hampton is one of a kind because it offers services at a convenience and price unlike any in the Hamptons. It provides parents with a wide variety of selections for any need they may have, and it is easy to book. Parents can interview anyone they hire before they actually book, and with Teen Hampton they can book online in a matter of seconds, allowing them to spend less time waiting for an email response (of which they can reach out to us if they wish) and more time enjoying their summer.
HAMPTONS SOCIAL: What is one moment that felt like a huge accomplishment in your journey to create this business?
JAFFE: One moment that felt like a huge win for me was the launching of our website. After months of recruiting, formation of legal documents, editing, and all of the things that went into building this network, it felt great to have the website up. Soon afterward, we got our email started and began getting an influx of inquiries from potential clients — finally a materialization of all of our work. It was a great start, and we plan on keeping up the momentum throughout the summer.
HAMPTONS SOCIAL: How have you collaborated with your friends and other teens in forming the business?
JAFFE: Since the creation of the business, I have understood that my viewpoint alone is not what is optimal for running the company. For this reason, I assembled a team of about eight teenagers who formed an informal “board”. The board would meet monthly to discuss various issues such as logistics, services offered, pricing, payment, rules, contracts, and a host of other issues. The board was able to construct the bones of the business model of what Teen Hampton is today, and helped me to discover what the true potential of this company was.
HAMPTONS SOCIAL: Do you have any advice for other teens that dream of starting their own business one day?
JAFFE: I would say that if you want to start a business of this size or complexity, and you are still in school, you have to be dedicated. Teen Hampton is something I worked on every single day right after finishing schoolwork, and it still feels like I did not have enough time. It is certainly difficult to balance a high-school workload, athletics, a social life, and building a company from scratch, and at times any slight failure or unexpected bump in the road can feel very discouraging. But if you are able to dedicate yourself, continue to push for what you are trying to achieve, and think hard about what you are doing, I think that any teenager can build a company just as I did.