business people

Hanalei Swan – a 13-year-old 6-digit entrepreneur

Photo of Hanalei from the Media Kit of

Successful women come in all shapes and sizes. I was thrilled to come across a video interview with Hanalei Swan, a 13-year-old designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and public speaker, empowering children, men, and women all around the world to believe in themselves and pursue their dream career here and now.

Hanalei elevated her fashion design hobby to the level of a six-figure ethical fashion business by the age of 13. This girl is an example that a person of all ages can achieve much if you let them develop far beyond anyone’s expectations of them. And it makes so much sense: kids think big. Always.

Most kids are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was asked “What do I want to be now?”

In my opinion, her parents’ initiative to help her pursue her dreams at the time they arose and homeschool her was genius. As a little girl, I wanted to become a fashion designer, too. For years I would create designs and cut them out making a big mess everywhere I showed up. But I also wanted to become an actress, journalist or a romantic story writer. In other words, I deeply believed I was special and had superpowers I hadn’t yet discovered, and that I deserved the world. (Un)luckily for everyone, the educational system proved me otherwise and put me in my place in line with everyone else, enriching me with the gift of anxiety and self-doubt along the way.

Obraz Foundry Co z Pixabay

I thought I had superpowers; Hanalei Swan took action

I love that Hanalei built her fashion brand on ethical foundations. Young energy can truly change the world. Especially if we consider that she’s still a child, she can be carefree without realizing. She has nothing to worry about yet and her parents are her safety cushion, therefore she is able to take more risks. Since she has been so successful, she can be more willing to reach out to people, and people are more willing to help her because she’s young and really smart for her age.

Body positivity and confidence

Her youth is her strength, along with her many fresh observations. She realizes many brands are only able to sell products if they create a need for them. The need is based on building new areas of self-consciousness, which can only be touched up with the advertised product.

Obraz Alexas_Fotos z Pixabay

I believe the majority of us is susceptible to this kind of self-belief infiltration. The intensity of it varies between people and periods of our development. Personally, I don’t care now when my friends blabber that it’s the last call for preventative botox injections for me. I must admit though, I did wear my hair down for 3 years of high school every single day when my classmate said my cheekbones stood out too sharply when I had my hair tied in a bun.

I also enjoy observing how self-aware young women are nowadays. When asked about her most desired features for her future boyfriend, she quickly names a great personality and mindset. It’s pretty awesome for a 13-year-old to be this insightful about her relationship needs (never having been in one). It also gives me a gut feeling this type of emotional maturity will save her from a lot of trouble and heartbreak later in life.

Hanalei Swan: master of storytelling

Hanalei is definitely highly intelligent. She has mastered controlling the conversation. It’s impossible to baffle her with an unusual question – she lives for new challenges and experiments. She’s a great storyteller, too. Her story is compelling and cohesive on all levels. She gives us a peek into how it all started and how it developed along with her various childhood experiences. What makes her invincible is a great business model based on empathy and ethics.

Photo by from Pexels

My takeaway

Hanalei’s example is a fantastic reinforcement of a thought I’ve had for a while now, that children are truly equally capable as adults (if not more!), just with a little less experience dealing with certain obstacles. The latter is where a smart parent should step in, offering support and mentorship.

Hanalei is growing up to be a fearless, powerful, self-confident human being full of empathy, optimism, respect for others, and sense of self-agency which is so lacking in the current generations! It deeply impressed me how consciously she spoke about the power of her actions when the interviewer described her first sales. She interjected insisting that she not only sold them but also created them herself – she controlled the process. I am full of admiration for what Hanalei and her parents have achieved.

Also, check out Hanalei’s mom’s Ted Talk on her branding business. Pretty cool stuff.

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