Madelyn Swelstad from Grand Junction, Colorado has an aura of “making a difference” about her. She is a student in the Young Entrepreneur Academy, an extracurricular program through the Chamber of Commerce in Grand Junction. This young entrepreneur presented her business plan last March and asked for startup funding in front of a panel of 14 investors, including the city mayor.

At age 11, she is this year’s youngest Saunders Scholar recipient in her area. Using beeswax from her family’s bees, she has created a line of lip balms with interesting flavors such as Lemon Pound Cake, Mint Mojito and Mocha, which she markets through her company, Mad Lips. Each flavor includes organic coconut oil, regional beeswax, vitamin E oil, and high-quality essential oils.

Learn more about Mad Lips

The idea was developed as she joined the YEA, a program that helps middle and high school students start and grow their own businesses.

Madelyn’s family owns four active beehives. She explains the process of making lip care products on her website: “To get the beeswax to make the lip care, the honeycomb is first harvested from the hives and put in a machine called a centrifuge. This machine separates the honey from the beeswax. The wax is then boiled down to get pure wax. It floats to the top and hardens when cool. The beeswax and other ingredients are put together and melted. It then is poured into the tubes and the labels attached.”

Madelyn recently returned from Phoenix after competing in the regional semi-finals. The Daily Sentinel “Biz Buz” quoted the officials with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Western Regional competition stating that Madelyn “returned with renewed dedication to growing her customer base and increasing the sales of her lip care products.”

Randy Mills, Grand Junction Church pastor, said, “It is an awesome achievement of one of our young people. She is an inspiration.” With her creative skills, Madalyn will likely be in the news again.

This article was also published in the July/August 2015 print edition of OUTLOOK. It was written by Rajmund Dabrowski, communication director for the Rocky Mountain Conference, with assistance from Kathy Swelstad.