Style Q&A: Nine-year-old entrepreneur talks building a candle business

South Surrey-based entrepreneur Lily Harper marked her ninth birthday in a special way. Though, perhaps not in the way most would expect.

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South Surrey-based entrepreneur Lily Harper marked her ninth birthday in a special way. Though, perhaps not in the way most would expect.

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The entrepreneur and founder of the brand Lily Lou’s Aromas debuted a new collection of “luxury candles” dubbed Enchanted Ritual — with a little help from her parents, Chloe and Sergio, of course.

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Harper, who started her company as a homeschooling project amid the COVID-19 pandemic, has since grown the line to include diffusers, wax melts, candles and other assorted home fragrance products. We caught up with Harper to learn more.

Q. What made you want to start a candle brand?

A. My mom and I have a little girlies night routine for our mental health. We put Friends on the TV, get some snacks, prepare some face masks and always light a candle or a wax melt to provide the most chillax vibe! Candles and wax melts, to me, are a reminder to take some time for yourself and focus on your mental health. I told myself, “Maybe I should start a brand to help others with self care while being sustainable and cruelty free. It’s your ‘you time.’ I want my products to be soothing to people while smelling amazing. Aromas are also associated with memories. And, personally, candles remind me of the girlies nights with my mom. I want to bring good memories back for my customers, too!

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Q. Who is the target customer of Lily Lous Aromas?

A. My target customer is anyone who loves candles, sustainability and are eco-friendly. They could be moms or women who love to take time for mental health, love luxury items and home decor.

Q. Have you found people are surprised when they find the brand founder is only nine?

A. People are often surprised when I say that I am the CEO of my own business. Once, I was at a market and they said to me ‘You are so kind to be helping your mom at the market.’ It was so funny. I explained to them that, actually, it’s all my ideas and a true reflection of me. They were so surprised! They congratulated me and supported my small business. It’s very challenging, yet very fun and rewarding — so worth it for all the cool skills I’m learning. I know that it can be very surprising that I work on the business myself, as not a lot of people know of kids my age who do this. My parents help, of course, as well as my team, but it really is my business.

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Q. What can you share about your creation process? Is it just you and your parents making the candle collections?

A. My dad and I make the candles. We often switch between tasks from making the content for social media to pouring to whipping. He’s always there to supervise because it can be very hot and dangerous. My mom helps with a lot of the business stuff like the website. We’re a good team and we always work together. Each person has a job to do and I usually organize it all and give the final nod to decision making. I also have some amazing team members who help me build my collection names, descriptions and designs. They’re all my ideas and they help me bring them to life.

Lily Lou’s Aromas Enchanted Ritual candle.
Lily Lou’s Aromas Enchanted Ritual candle. Handout

Q. For those who aren’t familiar, what is the new Enchanted Ritual line?

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A. Enchanted Ritual (launched) on my birthday and I’m so excited! It is our newest candle collection and our first luxury line. We have gorgeous new vessels with iridescent, sparkly and enchanting colours. There will be four different vessels to choose from with different scents. They sparkle when they melt. You can reuse the vessels for jewelry holders, put on your nightstand or anything to go with your home decor.

Q. What would you say to other kids looking to start their own business?

A. I always say to ask yourself, “What do you love? What is your passion?” And from that I tell them to make a plan. I have a routine of writing my top three most important things to do for the day when I wake up and I make sure that I follow that list and cross them off as I go. The most important thing is for you to follow your passion and work on it. It’s hard work and it’s definitely worth it. You get to learn some really awesome skills along the way.

Q. Lastly, what is the price range for your product and where can people check them out?

A. My products start at $8 and those are the wax melts. They can go up to $48 with the newest Enchanted Ritual candle line. You can find my products online on my website at Lilylousaromas.com and there is a list of shops where they are available as well.




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