After a full day of classES, Jasmine Lawrence hustles to work.
Not the typical job most 16-year-olds have. Lawrence is president and CEO of EDEN BodyWorks, an all-natural haircare and beauty products line based in Williamstown, New Jersey. With more than 30 products and four full-time employees, her 3-year-old business is booming, generating nearly $400,000 in revenues last year. Lawrence projects that EDEN BodyWorks will surpass the million-dollar mark in 2008, in part because of a new product as well as lucrative distribution deals in the pipeline.
EDEN is a result of Lawrenceâ€™s pluck and ingenuity. At age 11, she lost almost all her hair because of a harsh chemical relaxer. Although embarrassed and traumatized, Lawrence became driven to find all-natural, healthier haircare options.
The teen jump-started her business after attending a youth business summer camp. My parents told me to go for it,” says Lawrence, who was 13 at the time. Using $2,000 from her parents, Lawrence purchased business cards, labels, and ingredients. The startup made Lawrence a finalist for beâ€™s 2006 teenpreneur award. The products are sold in area salons and beauty supply stores, or via the Internet. In November 2007, the high school junior inked distribution agreements to place EDEN products in Wal-Mart as well as a handful of Whole Foods Market stores.
“Sometimes it is hard to sacrifice the things I would do normally,” admits Lawrence, who enjoys shooting hoops and hanging out with friends when sheâ€™s not running her business. “But I try not to schedule myself too tight.”
Lawrenceâ€™s parents are her most ardent supporters and helpers. While Lawrence handles appearances, pricing, and researching for products, her mother April oversees the companyâ€™s operations, deals, and marketing.
Lawrence plans to attend college and major in computer engineering and business administration. “I plan to be very active with EDEN even if I am far away,” says Lawrence, realizing that handling coursework and running a company will be a juggling act. “Itâ€™s my business and I want to see it grow right along with me.”
EDEN BodyWorks; P.O. Box 876, Williamstown, NJ 08094; 856-513-0726;