Maya Penn (born February 10, 2000) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, animator, artist, and the CEO of her eco-friendly fashion company Maya's Ideas.
Penn was born and raised in Atlanta. She started her company in 2008 at the age of 8. That company is Maya’s Ideas—a sustainable fashion brand Penn started by upcycling old clothing and recycled materials to make tops, hats, scarves and neck warmers. Maya’s Ideas uses organic, recycled and vintage materials to create clothing and accessories.
The interest in fashion design came from Penn’s artistic talents, but it was her love for nature that spurred her research into the fashion industry’s immense environmental impact. “In 2008, eco-fashion was nowhere near a mainstream topic, so I wanted to create a better alternative,” she remembers.
Maya’s Ideas took off, and Penn was no longer selling to just friends and family. She leveraged the power of the internet to take the business global, selling her handmade wares on Etsy and later in her online store, which she designed and built herself.
As Maya’s Ideas began to gain more traction, Penn found her life transforming. At age 11, she appeared in a 2011 Forbes article about grade-school entrepreneurs—the first of many interviews she’d give.
In 2011 she also launched a nonprofit, Maya’s Ideas 4 The Planet, through which she began donating 10–20% of her Maya’s Ideas profits to charities and environmental organizations.
Maya is also a three-time TED speaker, and has spoken for a number of well-known brands. She has vast professional experience doing keynotes, panels, hosting, remote talks, workshops, and so much more. Penn is also an animator and artist, drawing cartoon characters from an early age.
Maya has received a commendation from President Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. Maya was awarded the 2016 Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award, as well as honored at the SCLC Drum Major for Justice Awards (past honorees include Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, John Lewis and more). She has been hand chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her youngest Supersoul 100 entrepreneur, change maker, and thought leader. She has been one of the youngest leaders in sustainability and environmental justice for 12 years, starting at the age of just 8 years old.
According to mayasideas.com & success.com