I absolutely love this article from The Grio:
Leanna Archer started a line of natural hair and body care products when she was nine years old. Her mother would make a hair pomade using natural ingredients from Haiti and a secret recipe passed down from her great-grandmother. After getting multiple compliments on her hair, Leanna gave her friends a few samples of the pomade and from there the orders started pouring in.
After researching how to start a business online, Leanna convinced her parents it was time to start selling a line of hair and body products. After starting the business in her basement, Archer’s parents eventually quit their full-time jobs to help her mix, package and send out the products to customers.
Archer’s line includes shampoos, conditioners, lotions and more, infused with avocado, hibiscus and other natural oils. All of Archer’s products are available online. She also gives other youth the opportunity to venture into business by offering Leanna’s Inc. “Kid Rep.” spots all over the country to young people seeking to sell and distribute her products.
Now 16, Leanna earns an annual revenue of more than $100,000 per year.
Leanna Archer is making history … as a young entrepreneur, public speaker and philanthropist. Archer has taken her experiences on the road, speaking to youth all over the country, and has been profiled in Forbes, Success Magazine, Ebony and other publications. She has been named on Inc. magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of top young entrepreneurs.
What’s next for Leanna?
Archer continues to research and develop new products for her line. In addition to her business, she continues to run the Leanna Archer Foundation, an organization she founded in 2008 dedicated to providing meals, education and a safe environment for children in Haiti.
In her own words …
“The most important thing a parent can do is stick by their kid and support their dreams 100 percent… Dreams are wild, but they’re wild enough to come true,” Archer said during a CNN interview.
A little-known fact about Leanna Archer …
At 13, Archer became the youngest teen CEO to ring the opening bell for the NASDAQ stock market in 2008.
Q: What’s next in this chapter of your life?
A: I hope to expand my customer base worldwide and eventually have Leanna’s Hair Products sold in retail stores everywhere!
Q: What’s a fact about you that many people don’t know?
A: Many people don’t know that although I travel the world giving speeches, and do tons of interviews, I have always been deathly afraid of public speaking!
Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” -David Frost
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: Everyone inspires me in one way or another. I’m inspired by my family, friends, or even people I meet on a daily basis, and last but never least my customers. They built me from the ground up. They are the ones who keep me going and I’m grateful to each and every one.
Q: Who are/were your mentors?
A: I would have to say that my Great-Grandmother, Lea Romane, was my mentor from the start. She was also the creator of the original product and the reason I became the person I am today!
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams?
A: Just to remember that every success story begins with a dream. Whether you’re and entrepreneur or an athlete etc. don’t be afraid to dream. Embrace it! You’re the writer of your own story. The outcome is in your hands. Have dreams, keep them alive, and you’ve already taken the first step towards success!