Maya Penn is not your average 13-year-old; she’s a fashion designer, cartoonist and the CEO of her own company.

She launched Maya’s Ideas at tender age of 8 and now she’s taking over our world one animation and eco-friendly scarf at a time. On her self-built website, she describes herself as an “entrepreneur, philanthropist, designer, artist, animator (I make animated short films), illustrator, and writer.”

“I’m also really into technology,” she writes. “When I was about four years old my dad showed me how to take apart a computer and put it back together again, and that really started my love for technology. I’ve built my first website myself, and I’m learning JavaScript and HTML 5 so I’m really hands on in all aspects of my business. I create handmade artisan crafted one-of-a-kind eco-friendly accessories and clothing.” All of her products are environmentally friendly and she donates 10-20% of her profits to her favorite charities, including the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Maya says her love for animation started around age 3 or so. “I started making little flip books and I always wondered how they make cartoons. To this day, right after I watch a movie on DVD, the first thing I do is go to the behind-the-scenes [feature]. I was always really excited to know how they made this all happen,” she tells TED Blog. “I’m going to be releasing “Malicious Dishes” later this year. It’s an [animated] series about little viruses in the computer. One time I had a virus on my computer and I thought, “What if they had their own little world inside the computer? What if they had their own restaurant?” I thought I could make my own little cartoon out of it.”

And if that’s not enough, the young starlet also runs a non-profit called Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet.

“I’m also working on a project with my non-profit about creating eco-friendly and reusable sanitary pads for girls in third world countries. A lot of them can’t go to school because they don’t have any pads to wear,” she explains.

As for other kids looking to follow in her footsteps, Maya says “ you always, always, always have to start with a passion.”

“If you don’t have a passion, a love or drive behind what you’re doing, then eventually it’s going to go downhill, and you won’t want to do it anymore. It’s really important to do what you love because you’ll go farther,” she says.

All we can say is: You go, girl!


One thought on “13-Year-Old CEO Makes Her Fashion, Technology & Animation Dreams A Reality

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