Supporting a Good Cause with Lip Balm

May 20, 2022

Eleven-year-old Ava Kuhn is making a significant impact with her small business.

Back in 2020, she told her parents that she wanted to help people in need, so she started making some crafts to sell.

“She put her mask on, went door to door, and sold crafts in the neighbourhood, saying she would donate the money to a charity. We were trying to figure out what charity to choose. We went to visit the women’s shelter in Medicine Hat, and that’s the one she chose,” Ava’s mother, Yolanda Kuhn explains.

A short time later, Ava started making lip balms.

11-year-old Ava Kuhn holding a box of lip balms she made

“We had some Vaseline, and my mom bought some small paint containers online for me to play with. I just started mixing the Vaseline with food dye and some scents. Then my mom asked me if I wanted to make lip balms the proper way, and she found a recipe online, and then we started making lip balms,” explains Ava.

Ava preparing lip balm tubes

A Business is Born

“Dad tested the first one out, and thought it was pretty good. He said I should start a business. I asked what I should call it and my mom suggested Peachy’s Bee Balm,” says Ava.

Yolanda says ever since Ava was born, her nickname has been ‘Peachy,’ and that’s how she came up with the name.

They worked on the first few batches together, but Ava was keen on doing one herself.

“Last time we made lip balm, we had to make the peppermint one. I told my mom that I could try to make this batch on my own this time. What we have to do is get all the ingredients out of the cupboard, and then we have to lay them on the counter, weigh and measure them, mix and melt, put them in tubes, wipe them, label them, and put them into a bag,” she explains.

Ava holding a tray of filled lip balm tubes.

Learning Along the Way

Ava and Yolanda say one batch of lip balms takes about an hour to make, but it isn’t always an easy process.

“One time, we forgot an ingredient. I’m pretty sure it was coconut oil,” Ava says.

“The lip balms were too hard, so we had to take them out of the tubes and melt them down again,” explains Yolanda.

While they’ve experimented with unique flavours like root beer and bubblegum, Yolanda says they’ve been challenging to work with. For now, they offer original and peppermint lip balms and two tinted ones: pink shimmer and red shimmer.

Putting labels on a fresh batch

A Successful Year

Ava and Yolanda estimate that they’ve sold 800 lip balm tubes since starting Peachy’s Bee Balm one year ago.

“There was a Youth Rodeo at the end of August, and they bought a bunch of lip balms to use them as prizes, so a lot of kids in the community got some from there. She also did a few Christmas markets and did well at those events,” Yolanda says.

A portion of every sale goes to a good cause.

“They’re $3 each. We donate 50 cents per tube to the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter, $1 goes to me, and the rest goes to buying supplies,” explains Ava.

“She donated $400 to the women’s shelter over the past year,” Yolanda says.

As they enter their second year in business, they plan to continue supporting the women’s shelter.

Adding the finishing touches

Growing Into Year Two

Peachy’s Bee Balm lip balms are currently for sale through their Facebook page, at some local stores in their southeast Alberta hometown, and through their Etsy Shop.

Ava hopes to continue raising money for local charities and possibly creating an Instagram account for her business.

“It’s been pretty inspiring to see her go for it. The giving back part is pretty awesome. I’m really proud of her,” Yolanda says.