Maya Penn, 11-Year-Old Entrepreneur Designs Eco-Friendly Accessories



By TACOMA PERRY/myfoxatlanta

CANTON – The business world can be brutal and it’s not exactly the place for a pre-teen. But one young metro Atlantan is succeeding in business and she says she’s not really trying.

She’s young but she’s saavy. And she’s done — at 11– what many adults are struggling to do. She’s turned her passion into profit.

Eleven-year-old Maya Penn is full of ideas. The 7th grader spends much of her time working them out in her Canton 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.

But unlike most children whose greatest entrepreneurial endeavor involves a lemonade stand — her creations make money. The idea came to her when she was just eight.

“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.”

Penn designs and hand makes eco-friendly clothing and accessories. And she’s now the CEO and owner of her own online company called Maya’s Ideas.

“These are a lot of the fabrics that I might use for my tank tops or my bags, purses, hats.”

And her business is gaining her a bit of attention. Not only are her items worn by customers all over the world, she was recently featured on . But for Penn, fashion design isn’t enough. She blogs regularly about her experiences, including her love of animation. Something she calls a hobby for now.

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

And the mini business woman isn’t consumed by the money. At least 10 percent of her profits are donated to Atlanta area charities — learning at a young age that business should always be personal.

“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.”

Penn says when she grows up, she wants be doing exactly what she’s doing now – that and making films.

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