FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — At D.C.'s Downtown Holiday Market there are rows of vendors selling their local and international goods.
Among the twinkle light tents is the youngest seller on the lot, Alejandro. The 11-year-old Fairfax County kidpreneur founded his own candle company out of his home two years ago.
“My mom really liked candles but she got headaches because they had paraffin, and paraffin is a by-product of petroleum that they put in candles to make it burn and we would get headaches and I have asthma so it would trigger it," the 11-year-old CEO said.
Alejandro said he then had the idea to make candles and to ship them. That idea brought life into the flame that is now his company Smell of Love Candles.
"It’s been really expanding rapidly than we thought it would go,” the young entrepreneur said.
He said they have since sold tens of thousands of candles with the profits going toward buying books, his future college education, and helping those in need.
“We believe that together we are stronger and if we help another person, we get stronger together," Alejandro said.
It's a business and an inspiration that got the attention of the country's most powerful woman, Vice President Kamala Harris. The Vice President visited his vendor stand while at the holiday market over the weekend.
"I really am so proud of you," Harris told Alejandro. "The thing that you've figured out is that anything can be done, and you had a vision and you saw it through."
“That was big because she’s the Vice President she’s doing a lot of important stuff, so I was very shocked that she knew us," Alejandro said. “It was a lot to take in. I was like the Vice President bought two candles and they’re going to be in the vice president’s house and that’s a lot to consume.”
Alejandro said that was his biggest accomplishment, but he is just getting started as they are thinking of opening a storefront.
"My dream is to see all of our candles in every single house and to see the candles bringing joy into everyone’s house," Alejandro said.
He will be selling candles at D.C. Holiday Market until Sunday, December 5.