16 Year-Old CEO & Sauce Boss! Interview w/ Tyla-Simone Crayton
Tyla-Simone Crayton is a 16 year old, CEO sensation! Her company Sienna sauce has won awards, sold thousands of bottles, and serves as an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. To add to her successes, she recently took home $10,000 in New Voices + Target Accelerators Pitch Competition! Her commitment to sales and service certainly make her stand out from the rest!
Tyla-Simone thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, we’ll get right to it!
What first sparked the idea for your business?
When I was 8 years old my favorite wing place closed and I tried to recreate their sauce but I ended up coming up with something even better!
That’s incredibly cool, you took a problem and solved it even if it was just for you. And after you realized you had something there…..
How did you go from an idea to something real?
For years I begged my mom to bottle it and when we moved to Houston my mom let me take my creation, bottle it, and share it with the world.
Well your mom definitely deserves an A+ for that. Your sauce has been a hit, but most importantly you’ve been able to see the fruits of your labor. Starting with a fun concoction at home and building a full-fledged company out of it. Now that it’s here...
What's been the best and most difficult part of running your business?
The best part has been inspiring the youth that entrepreneurship is an option showing that there is another way to be successful. The most difficult part has been making those connections to build the right relationships to get into stores. Like HEB, Target , and Whole Foods.
I love that you use your platform and business to inspire other young people interested in entrepreneurship, especially young women. And I’m sure navigating the right pathways and perfecting your pitch to get in stores is no easy feat, but anyone who’s ever heard from you can tell right away that you’ve done the work and spent the time to build your business.
It’s so hard to think about the fact that you’re 16 years old. So in addition to being a CEO you’re also a student.
How do you balance your business with school?
I balance business and school by prioritizing and using time management. Taking it day by day, and taking every day by storm.
Short and sweet, I love it. Sometimes it really is that simple, figure out what requires your time at each particular moment and give it your all until the next thing comes.
It’s clear that you are incredibly special from your work ethic and creativity to business sense and public speaking, but I’d love to know..
What do you feel makes your business special?
My business is special because we are not only a healthy sauce, but we are also a great tasting sauce. The ingredients in the sauce make the sauce so versatile that you can use it on anything and for anything. Also, the way my business and my team is invested in our customers and supporters. I love to give back by volunteering our time and allowing our customers to invest in our company with the campaign that we are running right now until June on republic.co/siennasauce!
I’ve got to get some of this sauce! Running your business has certainly made you a master communicator and great with demonstrating the value you bring, but I’m sure there’s so much more. So...
What lessons has entrepreneurship taught you?
Entrepreneurship has taught me how to deal with change. The only thing that is constant in life is change. In entrepreneurship every day is a new challenge and a new hurdle. It has taught me to never get comfortable and to stay motivated no matter what.
I completely agree and I am especially drawn to this idea of never getting comfortable. There are always new goals to set, new occasions to rise to and it is so vital to learn how to adapt to change. Those hurdles are a large part of adaptation and with that comes some tough moments.
What or who keeps you going on the hard days?
My mom, my family, and my customers keep me going knowing that I have created something that can impact their families for generations to come and become a household name while creating generational wealth and legacy for my family.
You’ve got your support system and a passion for creating an impactful future, I can see why you’ve been able to achieve so much so young. Congratulations on all of your successes and the many more to come.
To finish off, I always like to ask...
Why do you believe we need more girls starting businesses?
We need more girls to start their own businesses to shake the ground we walk on. To inspire, innovate, and create change for years to come. Because when one of us changes the world we make a path for all the girls behind us to come. That’s why community is so important and we must lift each other up together so we can all make it to the top together!
Thank you so much Tyla-Simone for for sharing your story with us! You all can connect with Tyla-Simone and Sienna Sauce using the links below. Find Sienna Sauce on instagram or at their website, and if you're looking for sauce you know where to go!
Connect with Sienna Sauce!
Stay happy, healthy, and innovative!