My Dad Didn't Want to Give Me Money to Buy Makeup... Now I'm the CEO of My Own Makeup Company
9/23/2015, 1:36 p.m.
14-year-old Zandra Azariah Cunningham is the president and CEO of Zandra Beauty, which sells "fun, fresh and natural" bath and body care products. Based in Buffalo, New York, this teen entrepreneur has found huge success making her own products by hand.
She says it all started when she was 10 years old. She asked her Dad to buy her some makeup, and he told her "no" because she was using it up too fast. He then suggested that she make her own, and she did just that!
Now fast forward 4 years. Not only is she running her own successful company, but she tours the country teaching other kids about business and entrepreneurship!
In an interview with Black Enterprise, she comments, "I have always been in love with wearing make up and painting my nails for as long as I can remember. Since I wasn’t allowed to wear lipstick, I fell in love with lip balm. Once my mom realized I was serious she ordered more supplies and started helping me make it. Soon my friends and church family were asking if they could buy it."
She adds, "Once I learned how to make the perfect lip balm, my parent enrolled me into a local kids business program. That program taught me the basics of setting up and starting a real business. We would sell at the farmers markets. My first real sale was a trade for strawberries. I left the park that day with $82 and I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur."
Advice for other kids
Zandra says, "You’re never too young. You need a network of like-minded people, some start up money and your grand idea. There are tons of free resources out there for kids to learn about business. If you can learn snap chat and how to play video games, then you can research how to make your idea come to life."
"Don’t accept no for an answer but seek wise help from people you trust," she adds.
On giving back
Not only does Zandra support a charity that helps other girls like her, she is planning to teach entrepreneurship in Africa one day.
She comments, "I give 10% of profits to a girl’s education charity called Girls Education Collaborative. I am passionate about making a difference for girls across the globe. I help them build a community to better educate the girls. I can’t wait to go to Tanzania to teach a soap making or sugar scrub class."
What an amazing kid!
For more details about Zandra's company, visit www.zandrabeauty.com or call toll-free (855) 5-ZANDRA.