Surrey-based Lily Harper is celebrating her ninth birthday with the Enchanted Ritual collection
For most children under the age of 12, the entrepreneurial spirit begins and ends at the lemonade stand. That’s not the case for “minipreneur” Lily Harper.
Eight-year-old Harper started a small candles and scents business from her Surrey home during the pandemic. Like many other kids, she was being homeschooled at the time. And like many other kids, she had struggled with bullying and traditional learning methods. So the family stuck to homeschooling, even when restrictions started to lift.
Harper’s entrepreneurial journey began with an imaginary store. In looking for products to sell, she started playing around with her mother’s wax melts, expressing pointed interest in customer service and mathematics. Her dad, who had been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, recognized similar traits of the condition in Harper. Her obvious excitement with the new way of learning prompted parents Chloe and Sergio to encourage her by playing along.
Lily Lou's Aromas. Lifestyle products
Then Harper got a task: she needed to raise money for a gymnastics competition. That’s when she and her dream team at home rolled up their sleeves. Under her parents’ supervision, Harper started hand-pouring wax for melts and candles, as well as designing the scents for room sprays herself.
With offerings ranging from $8 to $50, Lily Lou’s Aromas specializes in renewable, vegan, phthalate-free soy wax products. Its candles are made with a cotton core and FSC-certified wood wicks. Its recycling program allows customers to send old candle containers back to be made into a new one.
The company recently announced its Enchanted Ritual candle collection, set to launch on August 21 in celebration of Harper’s ninth birthday.
Giving back is important to the young entrepreneur, who was born with seven little holes in her heart. Her first charity run took place at the first Christmas she got to spend at home instead of the hospital, when she teamed up with a local mall to distribute 2,400 gifts across the hospital.
Lily Lou's Aromas. A candle from the Enchanted Ritual collection
Now Lily Lou’s tries to work with a new charity every month to support causes close to Harper's heart. So far, the small business has worked with a number of charities in B.C., including Mamas for Mamas, Balding for Dollars, Canadian Wildlife Federation and One Tree Planted.
The business is not only good for the environment, but for the girl boss too. On top of her homeschool classes, running her own company has already instilled lifelong skills in her, like budgeting, customer service and management.
More importantly, it allows Harper to learn at her own pace and build on the sort of decision-making skills that can benefit her further down the line. But for now, we can let this little girl’s story melt our hearts.