TYSONS, Va. (DC NEWS NOW) — Twelve-year-old Alejandro Buxton is the first kid entrepreneur to hold a lease space in Tysons Corner Center.
Buxton created his candle company “Smell of Love Candles” from his basement during the pandemic. Since September 2020, his business has grown online — and now, he will have his first brick and mortar store in the mall.
“To be able to showcase our candles inside Tysons Corner is amazing. My mom grew up in this mall, this is where our family still shops today, and to be able to bring our candles here feels surreal,” said Buxton.
Buxton opened his store on September 1. He tells DC News Now that although it’s only been a week, his sales have already skyrocketed — and he is now being known as a “local celebrity.”
“Everybody stops by to take pictures with me!,” said Buxton.
Tysons Corner Center says this is an historic moment for the mall.
“Tysons Corner Center is thrilled to support entrepreneurs like Alejandro and his Smell of Love Candles business with this special opportunity to showcase their brand in one of the nation’s most popular shopping destinations,” says Jesse Benites, general manager of Tysons Corner Center. “This is especially exciting for us since it is the first time the center has a kid entrepreneur brand lease space at our property. He will certainly inspire many budding kid entrepreneurs to follow their passion and believe where it might take them.”
The “kidpreneur” goes to school in the morning, then comes home to make more candles, or visit his kiosk to help with sales.
Buxton creates a variety of scents, and also sells his younger sister’s soaps and sugar scrubs. Buxton says he is raising money for three things: to save money to attend his dream school of Duke University, buy books, and to donate a portion of his profits to those in need.
Shoppers can find the Smell of Love Candles kiosk between Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic on the second floor of the Tysons Corner Center.