13 Companies with Kid CEOs
You don't have to wait to graduate from college (or even high school) to start a successful company. Check out these kids who've built big businesses while juggling play dates and homework.
Lily, Chloe, and Sophie Warren, Sweet Bee Sisters
Courtesy Sweet Bee Sisters
These three sisters built their beeswax skin-care product business nine years ago when they realized that they could make amazing lip balm from their family’s beehives. (At the time, they were just eight, six, and four years old!) The Sweet Bee Sisters product line has expanded to include lotions, sugar scrubs, and even subscription boxes and make-your-own balm kits.
Megan Grassell, Yellowberry
Seventeen-year-old Megan Grassell was tired of only having low-cut, “sexy” bra options for her and her younger sisters—so she decided to design launch Yellowberry, a line of cool, comfy bras that look tween and teen appropriate. Since the launch in 2014, she’s gone on to add t-shirts, camisoles, and loungewear—all featuring life-positive mantras like “Seek and find a hug when you need one”—to her product line. Some CEOs have great ideas–these are the nicest things they’ve done for their employees.
Benjamin “Kickz” Kapelushnik, Sneaker Don
Benjamin was just 15 when he decided to turn his passion for sneakers into a business, dealing in hard-to-get, limited edition kicks. He started out by paying friends to stand in line when new shoes were released but now has connections with retailers to help him get the most sought-after shoes in bulk for Sneaker Don. He currently counts star athletes and musicians, including DJ Khaled and P. Diddy, among his clientele.
Asia Newson, Super Business Girl
Sampson Cunningham/Courtesy Super Business Girl
Asia Newson started her candlemaking business at just five years old. But since then, she’s expanded her vision to offer “Super Business Girl” merchandise and workshops to help inspire and encourage junior high and high school wannabe entrepreneurs. Learn the secrets to building a million-dollar startup.
Mihir Garimella, Firefly
This 18-year-old Stanford freshman has a number of projects already under his belt, including creating a homework app to replace paper planners and working on technology to diagnose concussions on the sidelines of a soccer game. But his latest work, Firefly Autonomy, involves building autonomous drones that can go into dangerous or difficult locations, from inspecting equipment to conducting search-and-rescue missions during fires or other disasters.
Ryan Kelly, Ry’s Ruffery
Teenager Ryan Kelly brought his fresh-baked, healthy dog treats to ABC’s entrepreneurial show Shark Tank, where he won over investor Barbara Corcoran. Ry’s Ruffery offers three different flavors of doggie treats (cheddar, apple-pumpkin, and peanut butter)—and donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescue groups.
Mikaila Ulmer, Me and the Bees
One of the most well-known kid CEOs is Me and the Bees Mikaila Ulmer, who was just four years old when she became fascinated by bees—and was gifted with her great-grandmother’s recipe for flaxseed lemonade. After getting her start selling her lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events, you can now find her honey-sweetened BeeSweet lemonade in Whole Foods. A portion of the proceeds from her lemonade business goes to environmental groups. Learn which foods were invented by accident.
Alina Morse, Zollipops
Seven-year-old Alina was tired of having to turn down lollipops at the bank and other places because the candy wasn’t good for her teeth. She and her dad worked on a formulation for a lollipop that’s sugar-free—and can actually help reduce the amount of acid in your mouth after a meal to reduce the chances of tooth decay. And that’s how Zollipops was born. The company has expanded to create Zolli Drops hard candies and Zaffi Taffy for a chewier treat.
Rachel Zietz, Gladiator Lacrosse
Lacrosse player Rachel Zietz was just 13 when she was looking for the right equipment to up her game—and was disappointed with the quality of what was out there. Rachel got involved with designing the products for her e-commerce site, Gladiator Lacrosse, to help ensure that they were high quality, easy to use, and stood up to the elements. Check out these 10 life-changing things that were discovered by accident.
Brandon and Sebastian Martinez, Are You Kidding
This pair of brothers creates some pretty stylish socks for their company, Are You Kidding. They include fun, colorful designs for kids and adults, but their Charity line, which designs special socks for various charities like Special Olympics, Autism Awareness, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, may be their most popular and meaningful designs. Be impressed by these 17 most inspirational kids.
Moziah “Mo” Bridges, Mo’s Bows
Courtesy Mo's Bows
Mo Bridges was not impressed with the bowtie options he had for a special event, so he started working with his grandmother to design his own—and Mo’s Bows got its start. His business, which was featured on Shark Tank, now has deals with companies like the NBA. The Memphis-based company’s bow ties are all handmade in Tennessee.
Maxine Marcus, The Ambassador Company
Unlike many young CEOs, 17-year-old Maxine Marcus built a service, not a product. Her company, The Ambassador Company, helps big companies and brands understand the teen viewpoint—and ensures that their efforts to connect with them succeed. See the most ironic items ever invented.
Juliette Brindak Blake, Miss O, and Friends
At ten years old, Juliette Brindak Blake first conceived of Miss O and Friends, a site and set of characters that encouraged connection and self-esteem building in tweens and teens. The site—based on her ideas and characters—has become one of the top ten sites for girls and now features plenty of teen-created content, a safe messaging system, and a partnership and web series with Disney and YouTube. Check out the coolest things ever invented by kids.