12-year-old son

12-Year-Old Becomes CEO Of Family Skincare Business Thanks To His Mom

When Patrice Chappelle noticed the lack of products specifically formulated for Black and brown children, she saw an open pathway to a successful small business venture. She also envisioned a way to introduce her 12-year-old son to life as an entrepreneur, then took it a step further.

According to TheGrio, Chappelle and her son, Bron Echols, are co-founders of MelanBrand Skin, a skincare brand designed specifically for melanated skin of all ages, of which Echols is CEO. 

“When he was younger, we just had a hard time finding products that were for Black and brown kids and just kids in general for their skincare,” Chappelle explained. 

“I was like, ‘This is just not right; we need something that is for children—and especially for children with melanated skin.’ So that’s how MelanBrand Skin came about.”

For her son’s 12th birthday, she gifted him $1,200 to start a business instead of a party. And the rest was history.

Echols has confidently matured into his role as CEO, taking a hands-on approach to every aspect of the business. He processes orders, oversees the brand’s social media accounts, and is involved in the day-to-day operations of the skincare products.

“Right now, we’re taking baby steps because he’s 12, and so trying to get him to understand the fundamentals of running a business and just the day-to-day operations,” Chappelle said. “As he gets older and progresses through the process of understanding how we run and operate MelanBrand Skin, it can be something [he does] when he’s of college age or getting ready to go into college and graduate [high school].”

The brand, which launched in May 2023, offers everything from a comprehensive three-step starter kit for young skin to body butters and handmade soaps. The products are also formulated to treat conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, which commonly affect darker skin tones.