Iyla Baker is an 11-year-old entrepreneur, environmentalist, botanist and math whiz. She’s also the owner of I’s Cacti. Iyla was born in Chino Valley where she lives with her parent and younger brother. She planted her first cactus seeds three years ago with the intention of selling them. She opened her business a year ago at the winter farmers market in Prescott. She’s passionate about the environment and wants to spread low-water plants to customers. When asked about her business, she said “I’m helping the environment because I’m selling plants that once are established, they don’t have to be watered.”
Iyla learned about cacti from her father, botanist Marc Baker, who specializes in cholla cacti. She has 10 different cacti for sale at the farmers market including cholla, barrel, hedgehog, and prickly pear. All varieties were planted and grown in Chino Valley so they are well-adapted to the quad cities area. Iyla’s favorite cactus is the Rainbow Cactus, which has red and white spines that curve inward so you can pet it without getting poked.
Iyla is in the sixth grade at Basis Prescott. She loves math and has placed at several competitions. Last year she was 3rd place in the state and got to attend the national math competition in Houston. This year she placed 2nd in the qualifying competition and will participate in the national competition again. She is a member of the National Junior Honors Society at her school and was voted treasurer by her peers because of her cactus business at the farmers market.