Twelve-year-old Ava Kuhn is making a significant impact with her small business.
Back in 2020, she told her parents 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 says.
A short time later, Ava started making lip balms.
“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,” says Ava.
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.
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.
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,” says 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.
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 as prizes, so a lot of kids in the community got some. 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 in 2021,” Yolanda says.
As they enter their third year in business, they plan to continue supporting the women’s shelter.
Growing Into Year Two
Ava hopes to continue raising money for local charities and possibly making 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.