Hundreds of orders pour in for girl banned from selling mistletoe
PORTLAND, Ore. -- When a security guard ordered Madison Root, 11, to stop selling mistletoe from the public park next to the Skidmore Fountain, it may've been exactly what her business needed.
Madison was selling mistletoe she picked and bagged herself outside the Saturday Market this weekend to raise money for braces.
KATU told Madison's story on Sunday night. Ever since, she's getting dozens of orders for mistletoe.
Some viewers contacted KATU, asking to place 20 or 30 orders at once.
"It's awesome. I feel like we can get people to stop begging and start working," said Madison.
KATU caught up with her from the dentist's chair.
She got those braces put on early Monday morning.
"[The city ordinance] was enforced correctly. I still think there should be exceptions if you're doing it for a good cause." she said.
Portland City Code bans sales, commerce or business activity from parks without proper permits.
KATU tried contacting city officials all day Monday for their perspective.
A spokesman for the Parks Bureau referred KATU to the city attorney since the code applies citywide.
A KATU reporter called the city attorney several times and even made a personal visit to the office inside City Hall but hasn't received a response.
Meanwhile, Madison's business is booming.
She launched a website, www.madisonroot.com.
She's been making the radio circuit, granting interviews to talk radio.
She's also been planning logistics to fulfill all the incoming orders.
McKenzie Cook called Madison on Monday morning, but he didn't order any mistletoe. Cook runs the country's second largest Christmas Tree farm from Oregon City.
"I saw Madison's story on KATU and I was so moved," said Cook.
Cook, too, is an entrepreneur.
He launched his business with no trees.
Today, he grows 6 million trees and ships them all around the world.
Cook knows a thing or two about planting, so he offered Madison a $1,000 gift of seed money.
"This girl is what America is all about," said Cook.
"People should be able to work for a living," said Madison, still in the dentist's chair. "My parents raised me with a good work ethic."