This teenager is on a mission to save the planet one scent at a time!
Mahogany Young is what one would call, an earth-conscious entrepreneur. Recently, she started The Green Things — a candle business that focuses on handmade and eco-friendly products, according to Because of Them We Can (BOWTC).
The 15-year-old is also keeping it in the family, lining the shelves of her parent’s historic bookstore, MahoganyBooks with her goods.
In an effort to create something that her family would love, Mahogany created the vegan products without added chemicals or animal products, including beeswax!
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“I wanted to make some [candles] that are vegan because I’m vegan,” Mahogany tells DCist. “Since becoming environmentally conscious, some of my friends have become vegetarian or try to eat less meat and dairy. My parents eat a little more vegan food…and recycle a lot more.”
She made the transition to a vegan lifestyle two years ago after learning about inhumane farming practices and wanting to reduce carbon emissions. It was then that she also made the decision that she’d make something that would help “others think about their actions and what impact they have on our earth.”
“They’re made out of natural soy wax, so there’s not any additives, which is good for the air in your home,” Mahogany said, according to DCist. “They’re made out of cotton wicks. Cotton is biodegradable and plant-based. The jars are made from at least 30% pre-consumer glass. The fragrance oils are all-natural, and the labels are made from recycled materials.”
Her parents, Ramunda and Derrick Young explain that this isn’t her first stab at entrepreneurship. According to them, Mahogany began designing and selling jewelry and hair accessories at the age of seven. They also said she would sell her products at author events they’d host.
Mahogany credits watching her parents have their own business has influenced her candle company.
“We’ve helped her with some of the strategy and marketing… [and] understanding profit margins,” her mother, Ramunda, told DCist. “We really allowed her to be creative in how she packaged the product and sourced it.”
The wax is created by Mahogany herself, which she explains isn’t hard to do. She says that YouTube tutorials have played a hand in teaching her how to build the business right from her kitchen. Today, she makes about four candles at a time, an hour per batch, and usually produces around 12 candles per week.
Along with handmaking her candles, Mahogany designs her own label with the help of tools like Canva. She also built her own website — something she learned to do while in middle school — in addition to taking her own promotional videos and pictures.
The 10-ounce candles come in various scents, including, Cashmere and Plum, Amber Driftwood, and of course, Mahogany and Teakwood.
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Mahogany is well on her way with dreams of becoming both a filmmaker and paramedic and continuing to elevate her company, The Green Things. She has plans to expand to more products including greetings cards with her original designs set to launch sometime this month.