Zandra Azariah Cunningham is the 15-year-old entrepreneur from Buffalo, NY, that developed her own line of bath and body products, called Zandra Beauty, which are sold online and at local shops in the Buffalo area. After her dad refused to give her money for make-up, Cunningham was inspired to make one herself. She joined the Kids Biz Small Business Development Center program at Buffalo State College during the spring of 2010.
Subsequently, with support from her parents, she started her own health and beauty line at the age of ten with the goal of making products that smelled good and kept her skin soft without irritation. She started making lip balm which has been her obsession since she was nine. Thereafter, she proceeded in making natural bath and body products. It is impressive that she is the brain behind this inspirational brand that produces beauty products not only made from natural ingredients, but are also branded with motivational quotes. It is no surprise that this mini beauty mogul already has over 4 years of business experience under her belt. Indeed, Zandra has been able to turn her father’s “no” and a favorite hobby into a successful business venture.
Zandra is the youngest to graduate from the all adult class of the Minority and Women Entrepreneurial Program at the University At Buffalo; the proud Junior Ambassador of The Women in the Spotlight Goinglobal movement, local Day of the Girl Ambassador and she teaches classes on Teenpreneurship and natural body product creation/education. She has received several awards for her entrepreneurial, community and academic accomplishments.
Today, Zandra continues to sell health and beauty products, and speaks to other young women about confidence, success, and running one’s own business. Her advice to teenagers who are interested in starting a company is that they should to have a plan, be around like-minded people who support them in what they do and they should just be prepared, because it takes a lot of hard work and determination to achieve success. For Cunningham, inspiring young people (adults inclusive) and making her own money are the biggest rewards of her business. Indeed, Cunningham says she hopes her work will continue to “inspire youth to take action and make things happen for themselves and their communities.” As an agent of change, Zandra donates 10% of all net profits to support girls’ education.