How Food Allergies (and Unicorns) Inspired this Kid’s New Business

Elena Gallegos, an 11-year-old girl from Corona, California, used her food allergy as inspiration to create a business known as “Unicorn Kids.”

Elena designs T-shirts for kids with food allergies to promote awareness and safety. Elena was diagnosed with a food allergy at an early age and knows what it’s like to manage food allergies. “Anytime I go anywhere I have to think about and plan and prepare to have safe food.  We talk to the servers at restaurants and explain my food allergies. We read all food and bath and body products too,” said Elena.

Elena came up with the idea for Unicorn Kids after her dad explained to her how serious food allergy reactions can be and she learned the ancient myth that unicorn horns counteract poisons. Elena thought of the emergency epinephrine device that she and all people with food allergies should carry as a unicorn horn. She was able to bring the idea to life by combining her passion to help others, her love for fashion, and of course, unicorns.

In order for Elena to grow her business, she entered the “Imagine If, With Jif” Contest – a program with a mission to nourish kids’ potential and fuel their imaginations to spread more love into the world.

In November 2018, Elena won the contest and received a $15,000 grant to help continue supporting and inspiring kids with food allergies. With the prize money, Elena explained that she was able to “donate to a foster home we visit, and we will be creating a dedicated website and expanding the vision, adding more designs, adding adult shirts and making a little office space to work from in my house!”

Elena hopes to keep using her business as a way to educate people, “Because Jif chose me it made me feel like my business and vision was an important mission.”