Sterling McDavid is an influencer and social entrepreneur known primarily for her keen eye for design and fashion, passion for philanthropy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Upon returning from an eye-opening trip to Vietnam with UNICEF, Sterling made the decision to leave her career on Wall Street to focus her energies on helping those in need. Inspired by how much one solar panel can provide a single community, McDavid created The Starling Project, a line of sophisticated home candles that not only light the homes of their users, but provide a sustainable, long-term solution that provides solar energy to families in need through the company’s partnership with UNICEF. Sterling serves as a member of the UNICEF New York Board of Directors and is also a Chair of UNICEF Next Generation in New York. In 2016, Sterling received the UNICEF Champion for Children award at the annual Children’s First Gala for her dedication to helping children globally. She also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.

Prior to launching The Starling Project and Sterling McDavid LLC, Sterling worked at an architecture/design firm in Paris, France where she refined her design skills, which ultimately aided in the development of The Starling Project’s highly curated candle collection and led to the formation of Sterling McDavid LLC, an interior design and redevelopment firm based in New York. Sterling also spends quite a bit of her time in the fashion world. She has proudly hosted events and done collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Michele Watches and multiple other brands.

Sterling has been featured in numerous publications including Forbes, The NY Post, The New York Times, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE and Downtown Magazine NYC. Sterling began writing on The Sterling Standard as a creative outlet to share her design, style, travel, career and other thoughts. For more information or if you’d like to suggest a topic for a post, please email

The Starling Project


The Starling Project provides development of solar power systems in countries such as Chad by supporting UNICEF through the sale of hand-poured candles made in Brooklyn, NY.

The World Energy Outlook 2016 shows nearly 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity, and more than 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (two-thirds of the population) live without electricity.

We believe all people have a right to a safe, healthy life. Sustainable, long-term solar power provides light, safety, health, education and so much more.