Teenage entrepreneur, Zandra Cunningham, of Zandra Beauty is a prime example of how hearing the simple word “no” can drive you to success! She took this, along with her passion of lip balm, at full speed and hasn’t looked back since. Come visit Zandra at Buffalo Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 20th where you can dive into Zandra’s world of beauty and success. She was nice enough to answer some questions about herself as a maker, her product, and advice for future makers.
- Tell us about yourself and how you got started as an inventor/maker?
I am Zandra, I started my maker journey at 9 years old. I was obsessed with lip gloss and lip balm and my dad’s refusal to buy me more forced me to experiment with making my own. I literally spent all my free time trying to make lip balm. Eventually, my mom started to help me and we ordered a lip balm kit off the internet. After making a few successful batches I started sharing them and later realized I could make money selling the lip balm when a woman gave me a $1 for hers. Once I turned my hobby into a full functioning business I enrolled in several formulation classes to learn how to make other skin care products. I joined indie maker groups, traveled to conferences and seminars until I felt ready to launch a full natural skin care line. Which today is called Zandra.
- What is the first thing a new inventor/maker should consider?
Safety! Learn as much as you can before you build, make or create.
- Are you selling products? What sorts of licensing/patents do you have in place?
I am selling natural skin care hand made by myself and my team right here in Buffalo, NY. I own trademark rights to my name and logo, which is my signature.
- What has been your greatest success in business?
I have to say my greatest success has been building a brand that inspires, empowers and educates girls. The more successful I become, the more people I reach. The more people I reach, the more girls I can help. That’s my mission.
- What advice would you offer fellow inventors/makers who are in the beginning stages of development?
Don’t stop! Find the help, resources, and support you need. It won’t always be easy but if you remember your “why” and stay focused on your mission, you will continue to push through. It’s totally worth it, I promise.