Tybee 6-year-old turns painful jellyfish experience into her first business

Local News

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — It’s jellyfish season, and if you ever get stung at the beach, you might want to call on “Stingy” for help.

That’s the name of the colorful jellyfish logo on the side of each one of local first grader Dorothy Lynch’s handy first-aid Sting Stopper kits. 

The 6-and-a-half-year-old Tybee Island resident learned firsthand how unpleasant jellyfish stings can be last summer, when she and her family visited the south end of the island.

“We live on the north end, and I didn’t have anything with us to help treat the sting other than some ice cubes, which didn’t really help,” Dorothy’s mother, Lea Lynch, told News 3. “So, Dorothy had to just tough it out. She was very brave, but it was obviously very painful for her.”

That experience inspired Dorothy to become a child entrepreneur. 

Her mom told News 3 that Dorothy comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, including herself and Dorothy’s dad.

Usually, grown-ups get to do businesses, and now, kids get to do it!”

Dorothy Lynch, Founder of Sting Stopper

“It may be in her genetics, but I think she might be the first person in our family to start a business while in grade school,” Lynch said, adding that she loves that Dorothy has taken an interest in small business.

“This has not been easy for her, and we are proud of her for sticking with this,” Lynch said.

After Dorothy got stung, she and her mom researched jellyfish sting treatment options and were surprised to come across dozens of different methods. 

Six-year-old Dorothy Lynch designed the logo for her business herself. She hand colors the labels on the package so that each Sting Stopper kit is unique. However, this is her least favorite part of the process, so she will have her 3-year-old sister Margaret handle coloring for future kits. (Image/Instagram @stingstopper)

Many of them, Lynch said, were old wives’ tales that don’t work or could make things worse.

Dorothy selected the items included in the Sting Stopper kit based on reputable medical resources and advice from her pediatrician, her mom said.

“Dorothy is only a ‘junior doctor’, so she cannot give out official treatment recommendations herself, but she does include a link to a website with information about how to treat jellyfish stings,” Lynch said.

The reusable kit comes with gloves, vinegar, tweezers and hot packs. “You first put on the gloves,” Dorothy explained. “Then, you pour the whole bottle of vinegar [on the sting] as slowly as possible; then, you take the tweezers and remove any tentacles, if there are any.” 

The gloves should help prevent from coming into further contact with the tentacles.

The last step, Dorothy said, is placing a hot pack onto the sting. 

“It helps the jellyfish sting feel better,” she said.

Research has shown that marine venom is very sensitive to heat, which is why hot packs or warm water could be a more effective treatment than ice. 

On July 22, Dorothy’s Sting Stopper kits debuted at the Tybee Island Farmer’s Market as the Kid Biz of the Week.

Dorothy recently sold 30 of her 35 Sting Stopper kits at the Tybee Island Farmer’s Market. (Image/Instagram @stingstopper)

During her first few hours in business, Dorothy’s 35 kits were nearly sold out.

She’s already gotten some positive feedback on her product. 

“It worked just like Dorothy said it would!,” a kit user recently told the family.

Dorothy was asked to sell her Sting Stopper kits at Kelly and Company, located on Tybee Island. 

Lynch said Dorothy is working on putting some new kits together that will be available at the store the week of Aug. 19.

“We think it’s great that Dorothy learned from that experience [of getting stung], and took the initiative to help people who could easily be put in that situation so that they have the tools they need to take care of themselves,” Kelly Swope, owner of the essential oils shop said. 

Swope and Lynch are friends who have worked together often. Swope thought selling the Sting Stopper kits in her store was a great way to support Dorothy’s kid business.

“Usually, grown-ups get to do businesses, and now, kids get to do it!” Dorothy said.

If you’d like to learn more about Dorothy’s Sting Stopper kit, you can contact Kelly Swope at (912) 499-4190.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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