Teen entrepreneur Ayla Hutchinson successful with Kindling Cracker

What were you doing when you were 14? If you were like me, you were most likely going to the shops after school to hang out with friends and spend your allowance. I certainly didn’t have my mind set on running a business.

Ayla Hutchinson, 14, has invented and patented the Kindling Cracker, made a profitable business out of it with the help of her parents, and improved the lives of countless people around the world.

The Kindling Cracker has a fairly self-explanatory name. It is a tool that cuts kindling safely without having to swing a sharp instrument past your fingers. Ayla invented it after seeing her mum injure her hand when using a tomahawk to cut kindling.

Ayla wrote to us in an email, “I was trying to think of an idea for a school science and technology project, and thought, ‘Here is a problem. How can I fix it?’”


With help from her family, Ayla then lodged patents, filed design registrations and trademarks, created a Facebook page, and designed the packaging, instructional flyers, and website for her product.

All of her efforts have been funded with the award money Ayla received along with the James & Wells’ Intellectual Property Award.

The teen entrepreneur has also received non-monetary aid from numerous professionals. Lawyers and attorneys have donated their time, and ITL, an engineering firm in New Plymouth, donated their experience with the program Solid Works, which Ayla finds difficult.

“Now the product is funding itself,” she added.

Ayla admits that being young has helped her get as far as she has. Business people are more willing to help an aspiring young inventor than they might a grown adult. All the legalities behind Kindling Cracker are handled by a family company operated by Ayla’s mum and dad.

“There is so much to owning and running a business that I never knew and I am still learning about it all. I think the best thing about owning your own business is that you are your own boss and you call the shots and make the decisions. That’s pretty cool.”

The success that this 14 year old inventor has enjoyed has come at a price.

“I did have to give up just about all of my social time over the last year which has been hard, but worth it.”

There have been other hardships too, like keeping up with schoolwork and the business, trying to raise funds, and getting manufacturers to make the Kindling Crackers correctly and on time.

Kindling Cracker is not going to splinter any time soon. Business is booming with online and physical orders pouring in. “We are talking with some very large companies about them supplying the world with my Kindling Crackers, which is amazing,” Ayla told us.

“I want to still supply as much as we can from NZ. Already people from heaps of different countries around the world like Alaska, USA, England and Australia are buying them from my website.”

Ayla mentioned that she did have a few exciting new ideas to do with this product but it’s very “hush hush” at the moment.

In terms of her career, Ayla doesn’t “know what she wants to be when she’s older,” but she says it’ll have to be something something in design. engineering, or architecture, as she loves creating.

The young entrepreneur has not completely ruled out working as an employee in the future.

“I would also like to keep my own business going and help run the family business too, so in my future I might be an employee, but I will also be my own boss.”

If you’re keen to stay safe and warm, you can buy the Kindling Cracker on their business website here.

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