The Sask. youngster takes over the family kitchen and turns his ‘obsession with bath bombs’ into a booming business
INDIAN HEAD, Sask.—Ronan Wylie Heslip could sell ice to polar bears.
At age 10, he has the sales ability of a professional.
“I was so impressed with this young man,” said customer Cheryl Huber of Katepwa, Sask.
Huber walked away with several bath bombs from Ronan Wylie’s Wonders Bath Bomb Emporium, as well as hope for the future of youth entrepreneurship.
“To see a Grade 5 student thinking outside the box like this was amazing,” said Huber, who was attending Indian Head’s annual Harvest Hoedown craft sale.
“I just wanted him to keep on talking.”
At the age of nine, Heslip decided to turn his self-declared “obsession with bath bombs” into a business. His aunt was helping host a farmers market in the nearby town of Montmartre, Sask., and suggested to Heslip that a booth selling bath bombs would probably do well in the kids/ area.
“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity,” said Heslip.
With his mother, Tara Brown-Heslip, as his helper and purchasing officer, Heslip turned the family kitchen into a bath-bomb production centre. YouTube videos assisted in the creation of basic bombs, while Heslip added his own twists, such as lavender essential oils to create Good Night bombs and honey and skim milk powder to make Honey Milk Melts — both of which turned out to be bestsellers.
His first foray into business resulted in a sellout and $428 in his pocket.
“I used the money to invest back into my business,” said Heslip.
His latest creation, Baling Bombs, have taken his business to new heights. With sparkle ball earrings embedded inside these large bath bombs, Heslip charges $15 each and typically sells out of them quickly.
“We just kind of made that idea up,” said Heslip, explaining that he had observed toys inside bath bombs at the local drug store and thought a pair of earrings would be even better.
Heslip spends a week or two before each market making 10 to 15 batches of bath bombs, which produces 100 to 150 individual items. While mixing and molding the baking soda-based bath bombs is a fun job, the packaging has become a highlight of the business for Heslip.
“My favourite ones to package were the ones we sealed with plastic because I used a blow dryer to wrap them, but now we use tissue paper and that’s one of my most favourite.”
Ronan Wylie’s Wonders also has a give-back product called Broncs Bombs. These small bath bombs are designed to sooth muscles, in addition to supporting the local high school football team, on which Ronan’s older brother is a player.
“I was just thinking one day, I should donate 20 percent to the football team parents’ association and they can do what they want with the money,” said Heslip, adding that after his first craft sale selling Broncs Bombs, he was able to donate $24 to the team.
Now that Heslip’s profits have reached a sizable level, he plans to buy a camera for himself and Christmas presents for his family.
“When I’m at craft sales, I see so much stuff that is perfect for my mom, grandma and grandpa and my family so I sometimes buy it, like the wine cork made out of bullets and wood that I bought at the last market.”
Profits are one driving force for the 10-year-old entrepreneur, but not the most important.
“I actually really like the selling part of it because I really enjoy being with people and telling them all about my bath bombs.”