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For 'Mistletoe Maddie,' adventure continues


by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - At 12, Madison Root is already an accomplished entrepreneur, video blogger and political pundit. Remember “Mistletoe Maddie?”

She’s the Lake Oswego 12-year-old — real name Madison Root — who sold mistletoe last holiday season outside the Portland Saturday Market to fund her orthodontic treatment. Her story went national when security at the market asked her to leave for lack of a vendor’s permit.

Not to be discouraged, Madison moved her business online. She employed 38 people to help clip mistletoe from her family farm, package it and ship it out in time for the holidays. She concluded the holiday season with an event — The Great Kiss Off — where the leftover mistletoe was given away for free. The event culminated with participants kissing a loved one after a 3-second countdown.

All told, she earned about $75,000 — enough for her orthodontia and to start saving for college.

Maddison speculates that her story got so big because, faced with a challenge, she adapted and thrived, and because she’s a young entrepreneur who “didn’t let someone else knock them down.”

With all of the national publicity that resulted, Madison was invited to speak on talk shows, such as Megan Kelly, Glenn Beck, Shawn Hannity and Fox and Friends. She’s since ventured deeper into the realm of political punditry; her primary topic is the importance of hard work — starting when you’re a kid.

Madison’s interest in politics inspired her to create a video blog where she can address political issues. Her blog will also highlight interviews with successful people, who will share what they did to create their success.

It is a tall order for a 12-year-old, but those who know Madison are not surprised.

“She knows what she wants to do. She is going to chase something big someday,” said Jeff Sessions, Madison’s orthodontist.

And Sessions should know — he has gotten to know Madison through their regular orthodontic appointments. He also visited Madison while she was selling mistletoe in Portland to show his support. More recently, Sessions outfitted Madison with a new dental apparatus, the AcceleDent, that purportedly will straighten Madison’s teeth more quickly.

Inspired by Madison’s story, Michael Lowe, CEO of OrthoAccel, donated the apparatus.

“As an entrepreneur myself, it was so encouraging and inspiring to follow Madison’s story,” Lowe said. “And we applaud her for having such an entrepreneurial spirit and passion at such a young age.”

Madison says her goal is to foster a strong work ethic and drive for entrepreneurship in her generation.

“Being 12, I don’t know the whole dynamics of it all, but I think there need to be changes made,” she said.

Madison recommended that kids her age focus on schoolwork. As an aspiring neurosurgeon, she said that her grades are a priority.

“I’ve really been trying to focus on school after the mistletoe season, and I had all As in my classes last semester,” she said.

For more information about Root’s video blog and upcoming mistletoe sales, visit madisonroot.com.