BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One Baltimore teen turned a hobby into a business and won thousands. This week, she got a special invitation to the White House.

Gigi Barnett has more on the teen and her plans for future success.

Five years ago, 14-year-old Lily Debell’s grandmother taught her how to knit. It was just a hobby but she took to it with ease. Her specialty: legwarmers.

Now it’s morphed into a successful business on Etsy, a website for hand-crafted creations—and a meeting with the president.

“When I started this, everybody was like, `Oh, ha, ha, legwarmers, you’re from the 80s,'” she said. “I said I was going to start a business.”

She did. And Lily got some added help from a business class at her school, Roland Park Middle. Her teacher encouraged her to enter the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in California—think “Shark Tank” for teens. She beat out 20,000 other teen business owners to take home the top prize: $25,000.

“You have to put yourself out there and I don’t think always in a regular classroom you feel like you have to do that,” she said.

This week came the invitation to the White House, where she gave the president several legwarmers and talked with him about the importance of women entrepreneurs.

“If you have any idea and you believe in it and even if other people take you down and say it’s not a good idea, you have to believe in it,” she said.

Lily says she’s thinking of ways to spend her $25,000. It could include expanding her product line to feature hats and mittens in the future.

Lily says her family helps with the business. Her grandmother does some of the knitting, her sister models the legwarmers and her parents help with the business plan.

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