Maya Penn started her first company when she was 8 years old, and thinks deeply about how to be responsible both to her customers and to the planet. She wants to share her story, some animations, some designs, and some infectious energy to the world.

“Animation and art has always been my first love. It was my love for technology that sparked the idea for “Malicious Dishes.” There was a virus on my computer, and I was trying to get rid of it, and all of a sudden, I just thought, what if viruses have their own little world inside the computer? Maybe a restaurant where they meet up and do virusy things? And thus, “Malicious Dishes” was born.”

“I’m also working on an animated series called “The Pollinators.” It’s about bees and other pollinators in our environment and why they’re so important. If plants aren’t pollinated by the pollinators, then all creatures, including ourselves, that depend on these plants, would starve. So I decided to take these cool creatures and make a superhero team.”

“At eight years old, I took my ideas and started my own business called Maya’s Ideas, and my nonprofit, Maya’s Ideas for the Planet. And I make eco-friendly clothing and accessories.”

“Now a lot of people ask me, why is your business eco-friendly? I’ve had a passion for protecting the environment and its creatures since I was little. My parents taught me at an early age about giving back and being a good steward to the environment. I heard about how the dyes in some clothing or the process of even making the items was harmful to the people and the planet, so I started doing my own research, and I discovered that even after dyeing has being completed, there is a waste issue that gives a negative impact on the environment. For example, the grinding of materials, or the dumping of dried powder materials. These actions can pollute the air, making it toxic to anyone or anything that inhales it. So when I started my business, I knew two things: All of my items had to be eco-friendly, and 10 to 20 percent of the profits I made went to local and global charities and environmental organizations.”

“I feel I’m part of the new wave of entrepreneurs that not only seeks to have a successful business, but also a sustainable future. I feel that I can meet the needs of my customers without compromising the ability of future generations to live in a greener tomorrow.”


Source: TED Talks – Maya Penn: Meet a young entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, and activist