13 Year Old Entrepreneur Starts Candle Business
Between studying for math and science tests, 13-year-old Maddison Grace Brown of Morrill, NE is learning about entrepreneurship and operating her own candle business, Gracie’s Candles, LLC.
She may be GROW Nebraska’s youngest member, but she’s not letting her age stop her.
“I want other young entrepreneurs to know that age doesn’t matter if you put in a lot of hard work and make quality products,” Maddison said.
Maddison said she always wanted to start her own business, so she asked her mom about making candles. Her mom contacted a friend in Omaha who makes candles to get her started.
“She made me do a bunch of research first before she would teach me,” Maddison said. “So, I learned I needed to use soy wax because it burns longer, has a stronger scent and burns cleaner. I fell in love with making and selling candles.”
Maddison now sells candles and melts in more than 25 scents, including best sellers Cranberry Marmalade, Peach Nectar, Oakmoss and Amber, and Cinnamon Buns.
Maddison is a new member of GROW Nebraska®. She sells her candles and melts at GROW’s Buy Nebraska retail store in Kearney and on the Buy Nebraska website. She also has participated in a GROW video-training webinar.
“I love being an entrepreneur, and I am hoping to gain tons of knowledge through being part of GROW Nebraska,” Maddison said.
Maddison also sells her candles on her own website (graciescandles.com), which she created herself, and at several retailers in western Nebraska and a few in central Nebraska. She’d like to grow her business even more.
“I would love to expand not only throughout Nebraska but hopefully someday to a big retailer,” Maddison said. “That is my dream!”
Maddison said her biggest success in the past few years has been seeing her business expand. She also earned a booth at the 2019 Nebraska State Fair, where she learned about long days and hard work. She made new connections at the state fair, including GROW Nebraska® staff.
Maddison has had to overcome many start-up business challenges, especially challenges related to her age.
“Some days I feel like being a young entrepreneur is so much harder than if I was older,” Maddison said. “Sometimes people don’t take me serious or think it is an adult’s business. It really bothers me because I have put so much hard work and time into my business. But then I have the people who make it so wonderful, especially my customers and friends who encourage me daily and have shown me such kindness. I really appreciate all the support.”
Maddison reinvests her profits into the business and had one little splurge so far.
“It has taken me three years, but I finally was able to buy my first goal, which was a puppy named Baxter,” Maddison said.
Maddison has also donated proceeds to organizations serving cancer patients.
“I knew I needed to give back, even if I didn’t have a ton to give,” she said.
In addition to continuing to grow her business, Maddison wants to save for a car and college.
“I would love to be able to have the money all saved up before I go to college so I won’t have any loans,” Maddison said. “I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I hope to accomplish that.”