11-year-old entrepreneur creates eco-friendly clothes

ATLANTA: An 11-year-old girl from the metro Atlanta area has turned her passion for making clothing into a successful online business. The pre-teen entrepreneur designs handmade eco-friendly garments and accessories that are sold on her website to customers across the globe.

Maya Penn, CEO and owner of her own online company called Maya’s Ideas, set up the business when she was just eight-years-old. She joined the online crafts store Etsy in 2007 and spent a year coming up with ideas for her own shop.

The home-schooled seventh-grader from Canton, Georgia, says when she’s not studying she spends much of her time working on designs in her studio. “It kind of depends on what my schedule is, but I like to be in here because I like to create new items and it’s really fun for me,” said Penn in an interview with FOX 5 Atlanta.

“I always loved to find fabrics around the house and say well, this might make a good headband or a good hat or something and then I thought one day I thought I could probably make a shop.”

Indeed, her business is gaining a growing reputation. Not only does Maya write a blog about her experiences, which includes her love of animation, but she recently featured on a Forbes.com list of talented grade school entrepreneurs.

“It’s really fun to animate because you can see your ideas come to life right before your eyes, said Penn. “But it is kind of tedious and time consuming but the work really pays off.”

Not only is the Etsy entrepreneur talented, she is socially conscious as well. At least 10 percent of her proceeds go to Atlanta charities and global relief organizations.

“I like making people happy through my items, but some people may not have the money to purchase my items, so I try to help other people and make them happy through donating.”

Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti