14-year-old making thousands from business started in his bedroom
And he didn't just think about it - he did it. Now 14, Charlie makes thousands a year selling products he designs or hand picks, from his company - Hood + May.“I've always been interested in starting my own business,” Charlie, from Herefordshire, explained to Mirror Money. But what to sell? “I spent many an hour thinking about it and decided on candles after I read about all the nasty things that go into making many of them and wanted to make some that were eco friendly,” he said. Charlie designs all the candles he sells himself - making sure they contain none of the nasties you find elsewere. For example one of his best selling candles - the Lime, Basil and Manderin - is described as being made with sustainable ingredients purchased from ethical sources. The candle is also additive free, not tested on animals and packaged in a reusable and recycled glass jar. But how does he manage to combine running a business with schoolwork? “I get home from school and do my homework first – and any spare time I dedicate to the business,” Charlie explained. And it takes a fair bit of time - as well as dealing with customer enquiries and suppliers, Charlie visits trade shows, packages goods to send on and works on the site. And that means he's had to expand into new parts of the house. “I started off in my bedroom, but now have a small room to work from, as well as a few shelves for storage,” Charlie explained. The good news is his parents are fully supportive - and have been since he started out. But that doesn't mean there haven't been a few questions. “Sometimes when a package arrives they think: 'Oh, what's he ordered now?',” Charlie confessed. “A company makes the candles for me, but I do all the design and branding and decide what goes in them. “It's mostly been good fun. There have been a couple of dodgy boxes of candles and the occasional angry customer, but that's about it.” His parents also help him travelling to trade shows, which can take up a fair bit of time. “I hand select the other products [I sell on the website] from trade shows I attend,” he told us. Charlie also has plans for the future, although they don't involve giving up his business. “I'm looking at doing a pop-up shop and expanding the ranges of product on sale,” Charlie told Mirror Money. “I could see myself doing this for a long time, but might switch to something new later on if a better business idea comes along” And if you're thinking of starting yourself? “Start small and work your way up,” Charlie advised.
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