Meet the New Bosses: How These Entrepreneurs Under 20 Are Changing Industries
Cunningham is the 17-year-old founder and CEO of Zandra Beauty, a line of bath and beauty products with nearly $1 million in annual revenue.
Read the full article from Entrepreneur, here.
Zandra Cunningham, 17, Founder and CEO, Zandra Beauty
Zandra Cunningham, like a lot of young girls, was obsessed with lip gloss. When she was nine years old, with the help of her mom, she started making her own lip balms using kits purchased online and the guidance of YouTube videos. She’d pass out her homemade products at her church in Buffalo, N.Y. “One day a lady gave me a dollar in exchange for the lip balm,” says Cunningham. “And I was like, Oh, I can make money off this!” She began experimenting with new formulas for all-natural skincare products, using each failure as motivation. “The first soap I made looked like crap,” she says, laughing. “But it smelled good and the lather was good, so we kept going.” She enrolled in KidBiz, a summer youth program offered by SUNY Buffalo State, to learn the basics of building a business. She eventually earned a spot at a pitch competition hosted by Etsy and secured a placement deal with gift retailer Paper Source. From there, business snowballed: Today, Zandra Beauty is sold in Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wegmans. Revenue is approaching $1 million, and a pending partnership with Target holds the promise of extreme growth. But Cunningham still wants to strengthen her foundation. “I’m starting college this fall, and people have asked me, ‘Why do you need to go to college?’ ” she says. “But there’s always something to learn.”