At just 18 years old, Zandra Cunningham was able to secure a deal with Target to get her products sold in their stores. The brand has been her passion project since she was nine years old and she’s been able to create over 50 products. It all started because her father didn’t want to buy her favorite lip balm. In retaliation, she set out to create her own! Thus her vegan, eco-friendly baby was born!
She writes on her website, “With the assistance of my family, my newfound appreciation for entrepreneurship, and focus, I started my business.” Cunningham first called the business “Azariah’s Innocence” just a few days before her 10th birthday. She started out with just two products lip balm and whipped shea butter that was sold at her local farmers market. But now, she’s been able to grow her business into somewhat of an empire.
She also hosts a workshop for women in STEM. Madame Noire says these workshops give “health and wellness advice, dance performances, teen business presentations and discussions on topics like bullying, safety, and mental health- all at no cost to the girls.”
Her parents were also a big part of the process too. The Buffalo News’ Samantha Christmann writes, “Cunningham’s father, James, once a vice president at a collections agency.” He was great at getting a hold of people and was able to get buyers at major corporations. “Zandra Beauty was able to garner interest from Zulily, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, but had to put some things on hold in order to catch up after the Target deal,” Christmann writes.
Her mother’s state of mind played a part too. She always strived to ” to steer her children according to their passions and let them try everything,” Christmann writes. “Rather than wait until college, her mom’s motto has always been, “We’re gonna find your thing now,”
Now the company is worth $500,000, according to The Buffalo News.