Episode 9: Zandra and Tamara Cunningham

Teenage Beauty Maven Zandra & Momager Tamara Cunningham on Building a Business

When her dad said “no” to buying her lip balm, 9-year-old Zandra Cunningham said “yes.” She decided to make her own lip balm instead, and eight years later at the age of 17, she was named 2017’s Small Business Award Young Entrepreneur of the Year for her company Zandra Beauty. Zandra is now 19, and her beauty brand is a leading plant-based social good company that inspires young women around the globe and earned over $1 million in revenue in 2018.

None of this would have been possible without Zandra’s mom, Tamara, the “driving force” behind Zandra’s success. Tamara has also started her own venture called “Raising a Mogul Society,” a mastermind group for those interested in raising entrepreneurial young adults. How do they do it? Find out on this episode of SheVentures.


Key Moments

  • 3:36 From having fun mother-daughter time to starting a serious business venture, Tamara discusses when she knew her daughter had a passion and not just a casual hobby.
  • 7:40 How Zandra decided to branch out into skin care: “It was a struggle for me to find a product that looked really good and smelled really pretty … and still was made without harmful ingredients.”
  • 13:16 Arguing with a manager is never fun, but what if that manager happens to be your mom? Learn how Zandra and Tamara deal with disagreements.
  • 19:02 “Leave nothing left to talk about.” Zandra talks about dispelling doubt fueled by her age by showing the world that she knows exactly what she’s talking about.
  • 21:25 Learn how a beauty product goes from conception to distribution.
  • 28:17 “We have an advantage right now. We have all this access to education, all this access to a community and other girls are literally fighting for basic rights.” Listen to Zandra talk about how she got into charitable work at such a young age.
  • 32:27 At age 12, Zandra became the youngest person ever to win Etsy’s Open Call: Golden Purchase Order. Find out how she did it, and how it catapulted her business to where it is today.
  • 37:05 Tamara talks about the hurdles she faced early on as a mom of a pre-teen entrepreneur while still working in a corporate job herself.
  • 43:30 — What does the future hold for Zandra Beauty, and would Zandra sell her company tomorrow?

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