The “kidpreneur” works to grow his business and spread the joy of candles this holiday season
For 11-year-old Alejandro, making candles began as a project he could do to give his mother something she could enjoy. Now, he’s selling candles at markets and online across the DMV and beyond.
Alejandro created Smell of Love Candles officially in September 2020, according to his mother, Patricia.
“I made a candle for her because she’s taught me how to make it over the years … she really liked it and she suggested [that I] make it into a business since I’ve always [had] an entrepreneur mind — because my grandma owns a salon, so I would usually give lemonade to her customers, or I would shovel a driveway when it snows, or mow a lawn,” Alejandro said.
“That’s why he named it Smell of Love, right — it was born out of his love for me because he wanted to make me happy. And we just want to be able to spread that, whether it’s your self love, family love, friend love, whatever,” Patricia added.
According to the Smell of Love Candles website, Alejandro also has a podcast and a YouTube channel. Part of the reason he is selling candles and pursuing life as an entrepreneur is to raise money for college — and Alejandro noted that he wants to go to Duke for civil engineering.
Aside from saving money himself, Alejandro also shares what he has by donating to charity.
Patricia explained that Smell of Love Candles chooses a different organization to donate to every month, noting that a lot of them have been education-based.
“This month, we’re donating to Me and You. And it’s a local charity that gives money to the homeless. And during this time, you know, they come out to markets. So it’s pretty nice to like, support people around the world, and helping the homeless too. So it feels great. It feels real nice,” Alejandro explained.
Smell of Love Candles is a family affair. Alejandro’s mom, Patricia, works with him on the financial aspect of the business — but he is still very much in on the process. His younger sister also assists with operations.
“We spend a lot of time together, which is nice … it used to be — when they were in school and daycare — used to be a lot of like, okay, we get dinner together. But now we do a lot more. It’s nice,” Patricia noted.
And sometimes, unexpected things have happened for Alejandro while out doing work for his business. During the D.C. holiday market on November 27, Alejandro got to meet Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.
But there are challenges to running a business, particularly when it comes to maintaining supplies. But Patricia noted that there are always solutions to problems that may arise.
“It’s hard to find our glass jars, also lids because they’re on shortage. And once they have it in stock, we have to buy a pallet so that we have enough. Sometimes, with the D.C. holiday market, it runs out quick. And then when we check back, it’s already out of stock. So the shortages do kind of impact our business,” Alejandro explained.
Going forward, Alejandro is excited to continue growing the Smell of Love Candles’ online sales.
“We want to see all of our candles in everyone’s house and … the candles bringing joy to everyone,” he said.
Next, Alejandro and Smell of Love Candles will be at the City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square in Fairfax, December 10-12.