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TEDxDetroit Speakers Share Words of Wisdom and Inspiration

September 28, 2018

‘Kidpreneur,’ founder of The Lip Bar and more among speakers at 10th annual event.

By Taylor Morris

More than 30 diverse speakers including business leaders, entrepreneurs and students shared inspiring, motivational messages that drew upon their personal and professional lives at the 10th annual TEDxDetroit on Sept. 27 at the Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit.

One of the speakers was Alina Morse, a 13-year-old “kidpreneur” from West Bloomfield. She was only 7 years old when she came up with the idea for her company Zollipops after going to the bank with her dad. A bank teller offered her a sucker, which Alina wanted to accept, but her father explained how candy is bad for the teeth. Alina then came up with the idea of healthy candy that helps the teeth.

Today, Zollipops is multimillion-dollar company that sells different candy products such as Zaffi Taffy and Zolli Drops, which help limit the acidity in the customer’s mouth, as well as make teeth stronger. The products can be found at Kroger, Walmart, Amazon and Whole Foods.

Alina explained that she couldn’t have been more excited to share her story at the TEDxDetroit event.

“It was so much fun. I was really passionate about what I was speaking about,” she said.

Alina MorseTaylor Morris / SEEN

Alina Morse, a 13-year-old “kidpreneur,” came up with the idea for Zollipops after she went to the bank with her dad when she was 7 years old.

Other featured speakers at the TEDxDetroit conference included Jenny McCuiston, and her husband, Chris, founders of Goldfish Swim School. During their presentation, they gave a few lessons that they learned when building their business.

“Do what you’re passionate about” and “You don’t need to know it all,” are just a few that they listed.

Also speaking was Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of the Detroit-based The Lip Bar. Her talk’s themes were beauty standards and self-love.

“For years, women were taught that our value was directly linked to our looks, our ability to get married, our ability to have children,” she said. “And even today now that women are starting businesses, taking office, taking over the world essentially, we are still relegated to this idea that beauty and our looks are most important.”

She finished her speech by saying, “When you go home today, look at yourself in the mirror. See all of you, look at all of your greatness you embody, accept it and love it. And finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn’t look like you.”

Melissa ButlerTaylor Morris / SEEN

Melissa Butler is the founder of Detroit-based The Lip Bar.

In addition to the motivational speakers, a handful of different performers such as magician Stuart MacDonald, wheelchair ballroom dancer Cheryl Angelelli and her partner Tamerlan Gadirov, and the crew from Theatre Bizarre showcased their talent at TEDxDetroit.

Find out more about the speakers and event at tedxdetroit.com.


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