Candle making began as a beloved self care activity for nine-year-old Lily Harper. “Me and my mom really like to take care of our house and mental health. We have a ritual where we go upstairs to watch our favorite tv show, and light candles and wax melts,” she explains. “The scents always remind me of happy times. I love candles and I think they are amazing. One day, I wanted to make my own candle and my mom has a friend in Spain who knows how to make candles. We video called her and she taught me. I followed her instructions and kept going while learning new things on the way.” This excitement unexpectedly expanded into something much grander than a quiet family activity. “At first, my mom and I had a fake shop selling the wax melts we already had in our house as a way to homeschool me. We found it was the best way for me to learn because I had trouble with traditional teaching methods. After I learned how to make wax melts and candles myself and figured out how fun it was, I knew that’s what I wanted to do when my ice skating and gymnastics classes had fundraisers for our competitions. I started to sell wax melts in super cute shapes and bars, and people loved it! I then made candles and added other fun items into my shop. It kept growing, and soon I got big wholesale orders. It kind of just turned into a business.” Her company, Lily Lou’s Aromas, was born.
Lily is certainly a hands-on entrepreneur. “I get to pick out and play with scents. I get to name them. I get to pour, which is so much fun! There’s so many creative things I can do while making candles. I like choosing the vessels, and making and printing the labels. Anything creative is what I love most about making candles.” Running her own business has been invaluable for her education. “I’ve learned how to organize myself. Sometimes my mind is all over the place, and I had to learn how to stay organized so my team and I don’t get mixed up. I write down three things that I need to get done each day. Then I go do those three goals and I do that every single day. I definitely don’t give up when things go wrong, and my mom and dad and team are always there to help me if things don’t go the way we want it to.” Plus, every candle is its own art project! “My dad gets to help me pour the candles. It’s really cool to see all the sparkles and wax mix together. It’s like making a fancy drink for dinner. The sparkles are also eco-friendly – no microplastics!”
To other kids out there thinking about being entrepreneurs, Lily advises patience and acknowledges her humble roots. “They have to write things down if they want to reach their goals. And, be creative! Follow your passions. Starting your own business..it’s a lot and you need to take the time. You just need to start and do it until it’s big! When I first started, I made wax melts. I still do both. And I enjoy making both, but a lot of people forget that I made wax melts first. I do like candles better though because they do much better, look prettier as home decor…and it’s fancier!” Lily’s candles will make every home a little fancier!