9-year-old entrepreneur finds niche in candle making

Published 12:01 am Saturday, July 4, 2015

By MorganMmizell

NATCHEZ — The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the McDonald house where nine-year-old Ava is busy making her scented candles.

“Her grandmother and her were talking about different crafty ideas,” Holly McDonald, Ava’s mother, said. “Ava thought it would be cool to make candles.”

Email newsletter signup

Ava had already been making things for her friends such as lip gloss and fingernail polish; however, her candles would be an item she would sell.

Ava enjoys researching her ideas on Google, YouTube and other crafty sites.

“Her grandmother and other family members have helped her buy her starter materials along with the materials she needed to decorate the jars,” Holly said. “Eventually, she will have to learn what it means to invest some of her profits back into her business to keep it running.”

Holly said the process has been an excellent opportunity for her and Ava to bond, as well as providing a great platform to teach her daughter a variety of lessons such as math and business planning.

Ava sells a variety of scents including: Abercrombie & Fitch, Amber Skies, Apple Pie, Beautiful Day, Cinnamon, Coconut Kiss, Coconut Lime, Fresh Linen, Fruit Punch, Peach Pop, Poppy by Coach, Sugar Cookie and Vanilla.

Each candle is $10.

So far, Ava has sold 70 candles. She has three specific ideas about what to do with her money.

“I want to tithe 10 percent, donate some to St. Jude’s and save the rest so I can buy my first car when I am able to drive,” Ava said. “I don’t know exactly how much I will donate and how much I will save yet, but it is what I want to do. I know there are people with cancer who need money for things.”

Holly said her daughter has always had a big heart for those battling cancer. They recently grew their hair out and got hair cuts so their long locks could be donated to make wigs for cancer patients through Beautiful Lengths by Pantene.

A way Ava has begun to cut costs on supplies is by asking folks to bring in old candle jars and containers, and re-filling them with her scented wax.

“She has also been asked to make the scented wax bars,” Holly said. “That is our next project.”

The process of candle making requires melting wax, adding the scent, gluing the wick in the proper place in the jar, pouring the wax around the wick and letting the wax cool and harden.

“It is not really dangerous, but I like to supervise her,” Holly said. “There are a few tricky steps including measuring the exact amount of scent to add to the melted wax, but she is good at it all, and could really do it by herself.”

Ava has already had repeat customers.

“We hope to get ahead on the orders and make enough to put in local shops in the area,” Holly said. “I have not even had the opportunity to have my own candle because we have sold every single one we’ve made.”

The work-ethic Ava is learning is invaluable for her mother.

“She is learning to earn and save,” Holly said. “She has dreams of owning her own business, and I think this experience will help her prepare for that.”

Ava’s desire to be her own boss comes honest. Her mother has a degree in business and her father, Josh, owns his own business, and has their son, Maddox, 7, working with him this summer.

“This has been a great experience for us both,” Holly said. “We have always spent a lot of time together, but for the past few years, I have been very busy with her baby sister, Lilly Brooke who is 4.”

Aside from her creativeness, Ava is involved in several activities in the community as well as in her church, Community Chapel Church of God.

Ava’s candles can be seen on her Facebook page, Ava’s Candles, and orders can be made through her mother’s email, mcdholly@yahoo.com.