Alina Morse is not your average nine year old. She is the world’s newest entreprenuer and is focusing on making sweets a healthy option. For specifically, Alina has invented “Zollipops” which are lollipops created from healthy ingredients. That means you are just as likely to see these sweet treats on the shelves of Whole Foods as at your dentist!
Alina said she came up with the idea for Zollipops when she went to the bank with her father. The bank teller offered her a lollipop, but her father reminded her that sweets were not good for her teeth. This was Alina’s “lightbulb” moment. On the way home, she asked her dad if they could make a healthy lollipop and after persistence, he finally agreed!
The first batch was very important in the invention process. Alina notes that she did a lot of research before making a single lollipop. The main goal was to replicate ingredients that help clean your teeth and use those in the lollipop. Their research started online but quickly expanded to retail stores and asking for help from dentists and hygienists. They were able to pinpoint a specific plan that would be the main ingredient in Zollipops. After many variations and trials, they have settled on the final product that is available today.
Alina knew she had a great product when she convinced one of the toughest critics, her little sister Lola. Lola is a notorious picky-eater who loves sweets. When Lola gave her approval of the formula, Alina knew she had a winner! In fact, Lola was the one who called them “Zollipops”, and the name stuck! After Lola was on board, Alina handed them out to family and friends who all loved them.
When the family realized they had something special, it was time to take it from a hobby to a business. Right after schoolwork, the business was Alina’s top priority. Alina re-designed the packaging to make it more appealing and started presenting them to local retailers. The retailers loved it and started selling them in their stores.
Alina hopes to make a big splash by getting her Zollipops accepted into the retail-giant Whole Foods Markets. She has met regionally with buyers and provided them with nationwide samples. She hopes to hear soon about whether or not Whole Foods will begin offering her product.
While Alina is incredibly impressive, she hasn’t done all the work herself. She credits her parents for being extremely supportive and encouraging. They have suggested flavors, colors, and packaging as well as contacting some local retailers to set up meetings. And of course, they drive Alina to these business meetings as she is still seven years away from getting her driver’s license!
Alina continues to be very level-headed even in her success. She notes that after school she splits her time into thirds. One third for homework, one third for business, and one third for playing with her sister.
Alina wants to encourage other young entrepreneurs to create products that are special to them. She tells her peers to “follow your dreams” and that you can do anything you put your mind to.
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