What would you do if you were a pre-teen and your parents refused to buy you your favourite lip balm? Or worse, your skin reacted to the body butters that were supposed to leave it soft and silky smooth? Would you sulk, get mad, complain or share your “stingy parent struggles” on Facebook?

Well, for Zandra Azariah Cunningham, her reaction was to put in a lot of hard work and make her own darn lip balm and sheer body butters that didn’t leave her skin itchy and flaky. Zandra then sold her products at local farmers markets, before she was 10 years old!

With the help of her family, she started her business, Azariah’s Innocence. Fast forward a couple of years, and then a few more and Zandra is now a well-seasoned 17-year-old entrepreneur from Buffalo, NY who is making waves. This spring (September) Zandra introduced her award-winning artisan skincare product line to the New Whole Foods Market Store in Buffalo New York.

The store will stock an assortment of Zandra products including, but not limited to:

  • Hair & body soufflé,
  • sugar scrubs,
  • artisan soap bars, and
  • hand & body lotions.

Lessons from Zandra

Zandra’s success teaches us that one is never too old or too young to become an entrepreneur. Furthermore, it reveals that often in the midst of a sticky situation (or problem), there lies opportunity. As a young woman, Zandra targets other young girls who are tired of chemically bombarded commercial products. She chose to venture into something that she is passionate about and finds stimulating.

Staying true to her passion to empower girls, Zandra’s company donates up to 10% of every purchase to supporting the education of girls across the globe.

Something that sets her further apart from other young entrepreneurs is that Zandra grew her business by networking, working with labs, farmer’s markets and her own family. She used her network of family and friends to develop her business at the markets, proving just how important it is to connect. Networking can never be understated.

If you are interested in growing your entrepreneurial dreams and networking with like-minded women, then you should join and actively participate in High School Entrepreneurs Society.