Family traditions encapsulate history, culture and a positive source of identity. Strong familial bonds can be built around these traditions, especially between generations, creating a direct link to those before us. Some families pass down recipes, others have an annual holiday potluck. Some pass down dances or songs, while others simply make it a priority to eat dinner together every night.
Asia Newson’s family has been passing down the art of selling candles. The rather new tradition started with her father, who taught his oldest daughter and son how to sell candles first. Eventually, the tradition was passed down to Asia at 5 years old.
Newson would go door to door with her father as he sold candles, watching as he made a sales pitch to each potential buyer.
“One day I interrupted him and I finished the pitch for him. My dad was just looking at me,” Newson said. “The customers bought some, so I did the next door with my dad right there, and the next one.”
The natural salesperson in Newson shined during those door-to-door sales. Eventually, she began growing her own business by selling candles she bought for $1 at wholesale distributors and bumping up the price to $5 and $10. After her buyers began to catch on the father-daughter duo decided to go a different route and make the candles themselves.
Now 13 years old, the young entrepreneur has grown her small business into “Super
Business Girl,” eliciting attention from the likes of “Ellen,” ABC’s “20/20” and even being featured on a TedTalk in 2014. In 2016, she was able to make $69,900 in revenue, and the Detroit teenager plans to make $100,000 over the course of 2017.
Newson’s best selling candles are her three-layer signature candles. Each layer emits a different scent when burned — the top layer being green apple, the second is mango, and the last is cotton candy.
The future business mogul runs a tight ship. She starts her day as early as 5 a.m., helping to get her younger sister ready for school and to the school bus. She participates in both choir and dance after school, and when she comes home she goes into business mode. With hopes of getting into Harvard Business School after graduation, Newson does all of this and more and still dedicates her time on the weekend to giving back to her community.
“Making candles, growing my business and helping children is something I love to do. But also school, and dancing and singing and performing,” Newson said. “I just manage to do all of it at once because they’re something that I love, and I’ve got to fit them all in if I love them.”
Newson plans to open her own premier self-training academy for young potential entrepreneurs to learn more than just business but also other important subjects, involving math, science, agriculture and more. She also hopes to open up a shelter for the homeless to provide them with necessities such as food and clothing, as well as money to help them get back on their feet.
But for now Newson makes efforts to give back by providing jackets in the winter and food throughout the year to those who need it. She also provides extra money to parents who may be having trouble paying bills.
“I think it’s very very important to give back to the community, because the community is what helped me grow. They’ve invested in me as well. They keep me going, they’re the reason I go out every day and I do what I do.”
Newson has many other plans for the future and is working to expand her products from just candles to a clothing line, school supplies, books and more. But her main goal is to help other children learn their potential and teach them that giving up is never an option, no matter what stands against you.
“Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but it pays off. I feel it’s better than working a nine-to-five because you meet different people, and you learn, and you experience. That’s what you need,” Newson said. “And stay motivated, stay determined. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything because they’re not you. You’re the only one that can hold you back. No one else.”
You can purchase candles on the Super Business Girl website, as well as visit Asia at the Downtown Detroit area, where she sales candles throughout the week.