The Drew Barrymore Show featured a 13-year-old business owner and entrepreneur during a Nov. 1 segment. Alejandro Buxton, the CEO and founder of Smell of Love Candles, was invited for Black Entrepreneurs Day. The event was introduced in 2020 by FUBU founder Daymond John to promote Black-owned businesses.
“It was the most amazing experience that I have had in my life,” Buxton told FFXnow following his appearance on the show. “In preparing for the show, every emotion that you could feel…happy, nervous, shy, excited; I was overwhelmed and was feeling everything.”
The 13-year-old added that he did not know what to expect but that both Barrymore and John, who co-hosted the episode, made him feel comfortable on stage.
“I didn’t know how it would go and then once I got on the show and when I got on stage, Drew was so nice and Daymond as well so they made me feel really comfortable,” he said. “Daymond gave me really good advice and I’m really grateful to Drew and her staff for everything they gave me on the show.”
Buxton received a $10,000 check from the human resources company TriNet. He plans on using the money to buy supplies for his business, as well as for classrooms in need.
“My mom used to be a teacher, and it’s hard to be a teacher, so we’re fulfilling teacher wish-lists,” he said.
The CEO was inspired by his mother’s love of candles to start his business. She had to throw out those she owned as it triggered headaches as well as Buxton’s asthma. The 13-year-old started making his own as a solution.
“It’s just so inspiring. On behalf of all moms, thank you for being you,” Barrymore said.
Smell of Love Candles’ products are made using soy wax and are tested first-hand before being sold online and on local markets in Washington D.C. Buxton said he had sold over 16,000 candles by the end of 2022.
He was also able to receive first-hand advice from John, who he is a fan of from seeing him appear as an investor on the reality TV show Shark Tank. John advised him to sell directly to customers instead of working with distributors.
“If the store sells it, you don’t know who bought it, but if you sell it direct, you know who bought it,” John said. “You want to super-size everybody’s fries, and the way to do that is having this communication of growing a community like you’re doing already.”
John’s appearance on the show was a complete surprise to Buxton.
“It’s the only thing I watch almost every episode, and he’s one of my favorite sharks,” he said. “Seeing him in person and him giving me advice, that was really big.”