- She's the CEO of Maya's Ideas, a company she started in 2008 when she was just 8 years old. She creates handmade, artisan crafted one-of-a-kind eco-friendly accessories and clothing.
- She's been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Ebony,Young Entrepreneur, Redbook, FOX 5 Atlanta, Black Enterprise, Etsy,The NRDC, Gotham Gal, The Michael Baisden Show, CBS Better Mornings Atlanta, and many other publications.
- She also write a column called Ask The Expert as a contributing writer for Livethrive.org and was honored as an entrepreneur at the 2012 SCLC Women's 33rd Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards in the Youth Category.
- She was panelist/speaker at the economic empowerment summit at Agnes Scott College that was being presented by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights for teen age girls.
- She also has a non-profit organization called Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet.
- AND, as if that isn't enough, she's been a speaker at a recent TEDX youth event.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Maya recently and learn more about her. Read our question and answer below to find out more about this ambitious entrepreneur. Watch out world, Maya is going places!
My parents taught me at an early age about recycling, organic gardening, and being environmentally aware. I started doing my own research, and I found out about how the dyes in clothing or the process of even making the items was harmful to the people and the planet. I thought: "How can helping the environment tie into my business?" I immediately knew it had to be eco-friendly.
What sets you apart from other "kidpreneurs"? Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I feel I am part of a new wave of entrepreneurs that not only seeks to have a successful business but also a sustainable future. I feel that I can meet the needs of my customers without compromising the ability of the future generations to live in a greener tomorrow. In the next 5 years I see myself doing exactly what I'm doing now. Being an entrepreneur, philanthropist and animated film maker, and doing everything I can to help the planet. I may be one person, but the smallest actions can lead to the biggest changes, that's why everyone should get involved with saving our environment and giving back to our communities through doing what you love.
How do you think you've evolved as an entrepreneur? How are you different now than when you started at 8 years old?
I had to learn a lot about my business, like branding and marketing, social media, and learning about my audience and my customers, and seeing what items sold the most and what items sold the least, and listening to the feedback of my customers. Of course I didn't think about these things when I was 8, but being a young entrepreneur has been a great learning experience.
I hang out with my friends and have parties, sleepovers, etc. Basically the things every normal kid would do. My favorite hobbies are animating/making animated short films and drawing, needle felting/fiber art, technology and HTML scripting.