5 Girls Who Mean Business: Meet Our Contest Finalists
Since we kicked off our Startup Squad contest last summer, we’ve met so many amazing girlpreneurs who have officially rocked our socks off. Seriously—we’re wearing our kicks with bare feet these days because we’ve been so wowed by all the girls who submitted inspiring videos of their businesses.
Of course, there can only be one winner (the downside of contests). All the girls who entered are winners in their own right, but here we’d like to introduce you to our five remarkable contest finalists, one of whom will be featured in the first The Startup Squad book.
Here are our contest finalists and their stories:
Hannah Grace BeYOUtiful
On New Year’s Eve in 2016, Hannah went to shop with her family to her favorite health and beauty store, and her dad offered her a challenge: “I bet you can make and even sell products like these yourself.” Hannah accepted the challenge, and that day she went to work, researching the ingredients she’d need to succeed. Later that week, she made her first bath bombs (her favorite product). And within a few weeks, Hannah Grace BeYOUtiful was selling her bath bombs in a local gift shop. Today, you can buy BeYOUtiful bath bombs, shower cakes, and foot soaks both online and in eight retail outlets in two states. Hannah has donated over $3000 to various charities and has committed to donate 20% of all web sales to JDRF, an organization working for a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Happy Heart Advice
Eleven-year-old Savanna, founded the nonprofit, Happy Heart Advice, after learning the devastating impact of heart disease. When she was just six, Savanna went to a local hospital where her Sunday school teacher was scheduled for a heart procedure. Even at her young age, she decided to study the heart and its impact on the human body; that’s when she learned that heart disease kills over 2,000 people every day. She began making YouTube videos, teaching people about healthy hearts, wrote a book called Happy Heart Advices, Vol. 1, and with the help of her parents, Savanna started her own organization. In 2015 Savanna was awarded the UnSung Heroes Award by Senator Richard Pan. In May of 2017, she was invited to speak at the 9th Biennial Obesity Conference in San Diego. And in June of 2017, she was honored by the American Heart Association for her work and impact in the health community.
Rose & Co. Candlemakers
“Because business is a girl’s game.” That’s the motto of Rose & Co. Candlemakers in New Jersey, owned and run by 11-year-old Rose (with some help from her dad). Rose and her dad started making candles when she was eight as a way to welcome new neighbors to their neighborhood, then went on to sell candles at one of her mom’s trunk shows. Eventually they decided to have a candle sale at their home, and now they sell their soy wax candles at fairs, popup markets, and through their website. Rose & Co. Candlemakers make natural soy wax, cotton wick, dye-free candles. Their annual scents include Rose, Lemon Verbena, and Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee, and they add seasonal scents throughout the year.
Based in Bremen, Georgia, 11-year-old Sara and her mom run Sara Sews. Sara started sewing four years ago when her mom taught her how to sew a simple dress for a special doll. They started with one machine, one yard of fabric, and they worked on the dining room table. Sara eventually learned to sew aprons, which led to customer requests for aprons in doll, toddler, girl, and tween sizes. They’ve since moved off the dining room table, created a dedicated sewing room, and today they sell aprons in all sizes, colors and fun prints through Facebook, Amazon, and Etsy. Sara’s a fifth-generation seamstress and passionate about her craft and helping other girls learn to sew. Sara Sews donates sewing machines and fabric to schools, churches, and even their local rec department.
When Alina was seven years old, she was at the bank with her dad and a teller offered her a lollipop. She was immediately torn: She wanted to accept but had heard her parents say candy was bad for teeth. So, she asked her dad, “Why can’t we make a lollipop that’s good for your teeth?” In 2014, the first Zollipops® hit the shelves, and Alina became known as the “Lollipop Girl.” And the name? Alina’s little sister, Lola, tried to pronounce one of the teeth-friendly ingredients in the candy. She said “Zollipops,” and that’s what stuck. Alina is now 13, and last August she became the youngest person ever featured on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine. Zollipops are sold nationwide at Whole Foods, Kroger stores, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. Through their One Million Smiles initiative, 10 percent of profits are given to school and organizations to support oral health education.
To hear from these young entrepreneurs yourself, buy their products, and vote for your favorite (you have until October 31), head over here.