Story of Maya Penn: The Young Fashion Mogul

by Nonso Nwagbo

At just 20, Maya Penn has already established herself as one of America’s youngest leaders. The award-winning young entrepreneur is the CEO of Maya’s Ideas, a renowned fashion company.

Penn founded her company at the age of just 8. As an environmentalist, she is most concerned about the effects of negligible human actions on nature. That is why she ensures that all her products are eco-friendly, minimizing environmental harm to the barest minimum.

Beyond being a young CEO, Maya Penn is also a designer, animator, philanthropist, and artist. She is also a seasoned speaker, having been a guest at highly esteemed events on more than two occasions.


On February 10, 2010, Maya Penn was born to John and Deidre Penn in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America. She is the only child of her parents.

Even before she was enrolled in school, Maya had already shown great interest in artwork and animations. She started drawing with crayons when she was 3, and that was just the beginning of a greatly decorated career.


Desiring to harness their daughter’s potential fully, Maya’s parents resorted to home-school her. Of course, her exploits have proven that it was a decision they will now be proud of.

At home, Maya Penn’s father exposed her to technology at a tender age. At just 4, she could already dismantle a computer system and couple it back accurately. From there, her interest in hardware and software grew stronger and stronger.

Maya went on to learn programming languages like HTML, Java, and Python and did so all by herself. Those skills were later helpful as she kicked off her enterprise in entrepreneurship.


Maya Penn is renowned for her entrepreneurial and leadership exploits. As a multi-talented kidpreneur, she got engaged in many activities that would later see her win multiple awards.

Her fashion company, Maya’s Ideas, is a website that sells eco-friendly clothes and accessories. Before she built her brand, she had been selling on Etsy. As of 2012, Penn generated as much as $30,000 through Maya’s Ideas.

Beyond her fashion line, Penn is also a great animator and artist. Her first animation series, Malicious Dishes, was launched at one of her TED talks about Computer viruses. She also has another series about bees and their environmental effects, called “The Pollinators.

Apart from digital animation, Penn also had two children’s illustration books she drew herself. As a seasoned young public speaker, Penn has been hosted on TEDTalks on two official occasions.

Her speaking session at the TEDWomen event in San Francisco was streamed live on She has also been featured in numerous podcasts, magazines, radio, and television programs.

Maya’s Outstanding Achievements

At just ten years of age, Maya had already been featured in Forbes Magazine. She made history under the Obama administration in 2016 when she produced the first-ever animated digital report to Congress. 

Read Jahkil Jackson: Founder of Project I Am

Maya Penn’s latest TEDWomen talk ranks among the top 15 TEDWomen ever. In 2013, Penn emerged as the winner of the Black Enterprise Teenprenuer of The Year Award.

You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World

Maya S Penn (Author)


Everyone discusses the entrepreneur, animator, eco-designer, and girls’ rights activist Maya Penn. Her TEDWomen Talk has been viewed over 1,200,000 million times (and is among the top 15 TEDWomen Talks of all time). This amazing teenager has written an inspirational handbook for teens and young adults to help them discover their passions and maximize their full potential for a creative, successful life. Maya Penn is a remarkable teen entrepreneur who has given three TED Talks, created her eco-friendly fashion line, developed animated films, and appeared on The View with Whoopi Goldberg. She has even been name-checked by bestselling authors Gabrielle Bernstein, Steve Harvey, and Eve Ensler. All while still in middle school! Although Maya is extraordinary in many ways, and her success is a testament to her creativity, passion, and fearlessness–these are traits that can be cultivated in all of us. In You Got This! Maya shares her incredible journey to becoming an artist, designer, philanthropist, and business owner. She provides a creative blueprint for teens and young adults, along with the tools she used to build an authentic, exciting, and connected life, and offers creative prompts for cultivating success. So let your creativity and passion flow freely and watch as your world transforms–it all starts with you!

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