Over the last year, our own Contributing Writer Tia Shah, has been writing an amazing column about trailblazing girls throughout history. This new Incredible Girls column is in that vein, only this column is about contemporary girls under the age of 25 who are doing awe-inspiring and significant things in the world. Every Friday in 2019, we are going to post a column detailing the life of an Incredible Girl and why you should know about her. Read on for a glimpse into the life of candy entrepreneur Alina Morse.
14-year-old Alina Morse is the CEO and founder of Zolli Candy, a company that sells sugar free candy as a healthy alternative to other candy. Their first candy, Zollipops, came into being when then 7-year-old Alina went to the bank with her father, and the teller offered her a lollipop that her father told her was sugary and bad for her teeth. After that experience, the elementary schooler became obsessed with trying to develop a healthy alternative candy and launched her company at age 9, after two years of exhaustive tests in her family kitchen. Soon after the launch, American grocery store Whole Foods began selling the candy. The candy is also sold on Amazon, Walmart, and 25,000 other retailers in America, and in China, Korea, France, and the U.K. Zollipops are sugar free, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, kosher and made with natural flavors and colors in the USA.
The company is ranked one of 2019’s fastest-growing private companies with an estimated $2.2 million in profits last year, totalling $6 million in sales in 2018. In addition to being the CEO and founder of a multi-million dollar company, Alina also goes to high school and dances competitively in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. She was the youngest person to be on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, in 2018, and she was invited to the White House twice by former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Her parents and younger sister, Lola, also participate in the company — her father is Alina’s manager and handles meetings when she is busy/in school, her mother is her schedule organizer and stylist, and her sister makes videos for the company’s YouTube channel.
The really amazing thing about Alina and her company is that 10 percent of the profits go to One Million Smiles, an oral health education nonprofit, which aims to fight the tooth decay epidemic. In a 2019 interview with Money.com, Alina said she knew she wanted to be a CEO when she was a toddler, and kept coming up with different business concepts while in preschool and kindergarten. She settled on teeth-cleaning candy after learning that tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions for children. “There had been no prior research [into teeth-cleaning candy] that had been done.” Morse said in an interview. “We felt that this is a new thing, we’re filling a niche in the market.”
Cheers to badass teenage girl CEOs, may the world see more of them!
Girl Museum Inc.