No means not right now — When I was younger I used to sell at weekly Farmer’s Market. I was excited when people would come to my booth. After I gave my pitch, sometimes people would not buy anything. It was hard to not make the sale, but sometimes they would come back hours later and pick up a few things.
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heath Wilson.
In 2014, Heath Wilson, at the age of four, rented a booth for 20 dollars at his school’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Fair selling his handcrafted hand sanitizer. Fast-forward six years later, this young visionary, through his hand sanitizer and other wellness products, helped people across the nation achieve their wellness goals. Today, Heath is striving to change the game in the wellness industry with his products that are good or the body, mind, and soul.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?
I’m ten-years-old, so I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I can tell you this much — I’m blessed. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to experience new things, and I learned early on to give to others that are less fortunate. I remember donating books to children who didn’t have books at home.
Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you growing up? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
If it wasn’t for Clairbourn School, I’m not sure if I would be running a business today. Clairbourn provided me with a platform to think big, be an Entrepreneur, and bring my idea to life.
How do you define “Making A Difference”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Making a Difference means helping a situation. When the world shutdown last year we donated some of our profits to No Kid Hungry to help feed children who normally get their meals from schools. It was important to do my part and help my peers during a difficult time.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. You are currently leading an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
At Heathmade, we are striving to change the game in the wellness industry. We believe the recipe for wellness is so simple a kid can make it. It is dynamic but not complicated, magical — not standardized. We want people to know that a good wellness routine should leave you optimistic and complete.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
I have always been curious about the world around me. My parents noticed it, and so did my preschool teachers. I find so much joy in discovering plants and how they can nourish the mind, body, and soul.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
All of the signs were there that I should start a business. I completed a week-long potions lab, and I knew we had a DIY hand sanitizer recipe at home that we never made. It seemed like a good product to sell at the Entrepreneurial Fair. When my school’s Principal said the product was great and asked where I was marketing it, I knew I was on to something good.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
Honestly, I was a curious kid, so I followed my curiosity wherever it would take me. At the time, I was extremely curious about nature and I loved to mix things. I was lucky to have the Entrepreneurial Fair as a platform to create a sales plan, mix & batch prototypes as well as test and validate my idea.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
There’s always something interesting happening at Heathmade, but I will never forget the time I was eating out on Cinco de Mayo when a lady recognized me and pulled out a bottled of my hand sanitizer. I was surprised and excited! We ended up taking a picture together.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
A few years ago, we were working on innovation in our lab; we had a disaster. I was so excited to mix up something new; however, when I picked up a bottle, I didn’t realize the cap was not screwed on properly. The bottle contents spilled everywhere — the tabletop, floor and it also contaminated raw materials. We spent a couple of hours cleaning up the mess. That mistake taught me a lot about production efficiencies and to make sure bottle caps are nice and tight before and after every use!
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
I have been lucky to have a few mentors and cheerleaders along the way, but my biggest supporters are my parents. Working in the food & beverage manufacturing industry, they were able to help me get started. In fact, when my dad shared my plan to make and sell hand sanitizer for my school’s Entrepreneurial Fair with his Suppliers, they were excited for me, so they donated lots of raw materials and bottles for me to get started. I will never forget their generosity.
Without saying specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
I’m always grateful to hear stories about parents and kids who after learning about my experience start thinking more seriously about turning their passion projects into businesses.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
First, everyone should know the recipe for wellness is so simple a kid can make it. We don’t need complex ingredients and processes to take care of ourselves.
Second, recognize kids everywhere are doing amazing things. We have big ideas and we can change the world too!
Lastly, we need more curiosity in the world! Keep asking questions and see where they lead you.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of the interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?
- It’s not about being perfect — when you handcraft products, no two patches are perfectly the same, but they have the same about love and good intentions inside.
- Work hard and patience — Being an Entrepreneur requires hard work and patience. The right breaks and opportunities are on the way.
- No means not right now — When I was younger I used to sell at weekly Farmer’s Market. I was excited when people would come to my booth. After I gave my pitch, sometimes people would not buy anything. It was hard to not make the sale, but sometimes they would come back hours later and pick up a few things.
- Try, try, try and never give up — Give up now and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
- Be a person of integrity — Early on my mother taught me the value of integrity. It’s important to always do the right thing; it builds character.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
I encourage other young people to get involved in something — the environment or society because they can make a difference, and it’s rewarding to make a positive impact.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would have loved to have lunch with Jackie Robinson. We have two things in common — a love for baseball, and we have the same middle name, which is Roosevelt. Above all, Jackie Robinson did so much for the game and people of color.
How can our readers follow you online?
Your readers can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @HeathmadeLA.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!