This 10-Year-Old 'Kidpreneur' Invented the Only Candy to Be Served at This Year's White House Easter Egg Roll
There will only be one type of candy served at this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll and it was invented by a 7-year-old.
The candy is zollipops. Its inventor, Alina Morse, now 10, came up with the idea to create a lollipop that’s actually good for your teeth three years ago.
“I love candy but I always knew it was bad for my teeth so that’s why I created zollipops,” Alina, a 5th grade student from Wolverine Lake, Michigan, tells PEOPLE.
As any good inventor knows, coming up with a concept is just the beginning. So, with help from her dad, Tom, Alina began the research phase of developing her product.
“I researched what had been done before to see if we could make it better or create something completely new,” Alina explains. “And I talked to my dental hygienist to find some good ingredients.”
The ingredients she settled on (xylitol and erythritol) help to reduce the risk of tooth decay and neutralize acid found in the mouth after a meal. Once Alina had a first batch of her product, she tested it with the toughest judges out there: other kids.
“I had my friends test the first batch and a lot more after that because kids are the main customers,” she says.
After settling on the perfect formula, Alina invested $7,500 of her savings from her grandparents to start the company her 5-year-old sister named “Zollipops” in 2014. Business has been booming ever since.
“Our business is doing really good right now,” she says. “Our company sales were up 378 percent year over year and we expect to triple in our sales this year.”
Business has been so good that Alina has committed 10 percent of company profits to bringing oral health education to schools. She says she balances her work on the “family business” and being a regular kid by splitting her after-school time into thirds.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit tricky but I spend one-third of my time on playing with my sister and dance class, one-third on homework and the last third on business,” she explains.
Last year, Zollidrops – and its inventor – were invited to the White House Easter Egg Roll by First Lady Michelle Obama and they’ll return this Monday as the event’s only candy.
“Being invited last year was an incredible honor and it’s even more amazing to be invited back this year,” Alina says. “I’m most excited to meet lots of people and see kids enjoying Zollipops.”