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17-Year-Old Surprises Her Parents by Building $500K Cosmetics Brand

By Victor Trammell

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A black female teenager based in Buffalo, New York has achieved an amazing accomplishment that most small business people have a hard time doing themselves.

Very recently, profiled a young lady named Zandra Cunningham. Zandra, 17, is what you would call an established teenpreneur. She literally started her own business when she was just nine years of age. Zandra is the owner of Zandra’s Beauty, a company that carries an all-natural skin care line.


Zandra’s compelling story was profiled on Good Morning America on the show’s “Feel Good Friday” segment. She said the initial inspiration to start Zandra’s Beauty came from hearing her father James Cunningham say that he refused to buy her a certain beauty product again.

“[I told her], ‘I’m not buying you any more lip balm. You should probably consider making your own,'” James said in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America. This tough love approach to spending discipline and financial independence led Zandra to get consultation from her mother Tamara Cunningham about how to make lip balm.

“I came acoss the Kid’s Biz program with the Small Business Administration at Buffalo State College. And after that moment, we went from Zandra the 10-year-old with a hobby to Zandra becoming a brand,” Tamara told Good Morning America in her exclusive interview.

Today, Zandra’s Beauty carries 40 products in its lineup, such as balms for lips, cuticles, knees, elbows, hair care products, body products, lotions, deodorants, and more. The different brands that are under the Zandra Beauty umbrella are sold at stores all across the United States, including Whole Foods and Paper Source and online at AMAZON.COM.

Also, Zandra’s company has already been valued at $500,000, according to

“I made it my mission to make products that smelled good and kept my skin soft without irritating it. I wanted to give girls a natural alternative to all those commercial products with yucky unhealthy ingredients,” Zandra said in a statement on her company’s website.

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