13-year-old Alina Morse is the CEO and founder of Zolli Candy, and her company made $6 million in 2018. Instead of spending her teenage years having mood swings and thinking how the world is unfair, Morse is showing everyone that her age won’t stop her from achieving her goals. Her teenage rebellion is against the adult-dominated candy industry.
The company started from humble beginnings: just a kid who wanted to eat candy. When she was nine, Morse’s dad told her that she can’t eat candy because it’s bad for her teeth. Instead of blindly following the rule, she wanted to find ways to make candy that’s actually good for your teeth. With that, Morse began experimenting with different candy recipes in her kitchen, and her sugar-free product was born. Since candy makes your mouth acidic and destroys the pH balance, Morse’s product uses Xylitol and Erythritol to reduce the acidity to prevent teeth damage. With this comes her unique selling point: candy that cleans your teeth as you eat.
Zolli Candy was started in 2015 and has grown exponentially since. Morse runs her company between school and dance practice. The driven teen also manages six employees and prepares for meetings with retailers like Whole Foods and Walmart. She has the number one sugar-free lollipop on Amazon. Her success not only brought her money ($6 million at that), but also fame. She is the youngest person to be on the cover of Entrepreneur, met Michelle Obama in the White House, and was interviewed by many publications.
Morse sometimes finds meetings difficult because adults don’t take her seriously. However, she has a unique quality they don’t have: she’s still a kid. Morse understands the candy market more than adults who probably don’t eat candy as frequently as they used to. With her perspective, passion, and innovation, Morse has been able to (and will continue to) earn success.
Morse is not only a successful CEO but also an altruistic one. 10 percent of Zollipop profits go to fund oral health classes in public schools through Morse’s non-profit, One Million Smiles. Her passion for the company and helping other has taken her far in life, and she will surely continue to amaze the world.