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Super Business Girl

1611 Kentsfield
Detroit, Michigan

Asia Newson

By Amanda Lewan
November 22, 2013

Asia Newson has been dubbed "Detroit’s Youngest Entrepreneur." The ten-year-old candle maker has sharp speaking skills and the ability to sell to anyone. Her enthusiasm and personality is contagious, lighting a fire in your soul.
She’ll approach you in Detroit with her famous greeting: "Excuse me sir. Hi, how are you?" Polite and charming, this ten-year-old girl carries herself as if she were an adult. 
"I’ve learned how to interact with people. I’ll go right up and talk to anyone," says Asia. "Mostly, I’ve learned how to be brave."
Indeed, Asia has approached everyone from local business owners to artists, including the likes of Dan Gilbert and Flavor Flav. She says they’ve both given her words of encouragement. She calls her candle company Super Business Girl and runs it out of her home in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood with the support of her family.
"Super Business Girl is a company I started at five years old," says Asia. "I teach young people how to make things on their own so they don’t have to ask their parents for money."
Asia’s dad, Michael Newson, serves as president, and her mom, Latasha Thomas, assists as vice president. Her dad was one of her very first supporters. At five years old Asia wanted to start making and selling candles after watching her father do it. Soon he was teaching and encouraging Asia how to make her own candles and grow her business. She has now been doing this for half of her life.
"Asia told me she wanted to do this at an early age. She just knew she wanted to do this," her father says. "I just believed in her, listened to her, and helped guide her in that direction."
Her father takes her shopping for unique containers for the candles, some large and made out of glass, others small about the size of a fist. They’ll pick out the containers, make the wax together, and then Michael carries around the candles while Asia sells them to people in Detroit.
Eventually, Asia would like to open her own store downtown, but first she’s working on growing a staff of kid entrepreneurs. Right now she has a handful of friends and volunteers she trains to help make and sell her candles.  She also receives marketing and business support from members of Bamboo Detroit, a co-working space downtown. Asia had walked up to one of the founders, David Anderson, who noticed her talent and brought her to Bamboo Detroit for support.
"We’re surrounding her with a positive community, providing her family with workspace, and also helping develop her online presence," says Anderson.
When Asia isn’t making candles or training her staff, she’s busy focusing on school at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences. She spends her free time rapping, singing, dancing, and hanging out with friends – both a super business girl, and a normal kid.
Asia has also been a guest star at recent Detroit events, including TEDx Detroit, where she told the crowd how important it is for adults to encourage and inspire young people.
Asia is no longer afraid of large groups of people, and she also says she’s learned to never give up.
"We’ve been doing this for years, and her business is really picking up now," says Michael. Bravery and determination are two skills Asia can now take with her wherever she goes. And now her story and business can inspire other kids to be brave business girls and boys, too. 

All photos by Doug Coombe. 

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