Miranda Lyman models her new pin design: a peace symbol in the colors of Ukraine. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

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The two top interests of young Miranda Lyman are Barbies and social issues.

At nine years old, Miranda has been working at Secret Treasures Antiques & Collectibles at 605 Dempster St. since she was three. Her parents are avid shoppers at the store and Miranda landed her job after repeatedly asking the owner of the shop, close family friend Dawn Okamoto, if she could also work there. 

Okamoto said Miranda is a natural salesperson.

“We don’t even need to supervise her, she knows how to sell and is wise beyond her age,” Okamoto said.

Dawn Okamoto, owner of Secret Treasures Anitques, wears a couple of Miranda Lyman’s Ukraine pins. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Miranda, a former Evanston resident who now lives in Highland Park, is paid by Okamato for her shifts at the store in an unconventional currency: Barbies. Miranda told the RoundTable she has collected 2,000 Barbie dolls, a total verified by her mother, and she has an entire room dedicated to them at her house.

Miranda’s mother, Anna Lyman, said it is important to her that Miranda knows what is going on with the world and recently, what is happening in Ukraine. Lyman has friends in Ukraine and Russia. She waits each day with Miranda for a text that offers assurance her friends are safe.

Miranda got a button maker from her grandparents and has since been testing out designs. She recently showed up to Secret Treasures with a plastic bag of blue and yellow pins replicating the Ukrainian flag and asked if the shop could sell them.

“I wanted to make the pins because I didn’t feel good that we were just here and Ukraine is having so many problems. I thought at least this is some way we can support them,” Miranda said.

Secret Treasures Antiques & Collectibles at 605 Dempster St. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Each pin is $1 and they have been popular. Miranda had to replenish her inventory Wednesday evening and created new button designs for the second round with peace signs and hearts, all with the Ukrainian blue and yellow.

Miranda said she is “very happy” that her pins have been a big success and is looking forward to getting back to work with new designs.

The money raised from the pins will go to care.org for its Ukraine relief fund. So far Miranda has raised $89. 

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is a reporter and the social media manager at the Evanston RoundTable. She covers small businesses, social justice and human interest stories. Contact her at sam@evanstonroundtable.com and...

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