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The Bazaar's Youngest Vendor: Zandra Cunningham

The Bazaar's Youngest Vendor: Zandra Cunningham

As many of you know, every second Saturday the Rochester Brainery hosts a craft show called the Brainery Bazaar. This past Bazaar featured vendors from the Buffalo, NY craft show, the Jack Craft Fair. We took notice of one vendor, a young girl named Zandra Cunningham. As such a young entrepreneur in charge of a successful business, we fell in love with her immediately. We sat down with her during the show to find out more about her, what made her start, and how she balances her craft and her schooling. 

And it all started with lip balm.

When Zandra, now 16, was nine years old her make up collection consisted of lip balm and not much else. After going through countless tubes her father said enough was enough, that he wasn’t buying her any more. He then said jokingly, “make your own.” And that is exactly what Zandra did. Zandra and her mother started researching exactly how to make lip balm and that is where Zandra Beauty was born. "I really wanted to create products that girls like me could use. I would always shop for mall products that looked cool and smelled good but they had bad ingredients so my skin would be left dry, itchy or would flare up. I wanted to make a product that was equally as cool looking, had awesome scents options but that was just was good for you." All of Zandra's products are plant-based and all-natural! (We're a huge fan of the Lemon Tea Tree Hand/Body Lotion here at the Brainery!) We asked which one of her products she's really favoring and "hands down, the Big Balms!" Specifically the mint one! 

Zandra enrolled in a program at Buffalo State University called Kids Biz, a program for young entrepreneurs. She learned her basics of business here and went on to meet with packaging designers and the like to help create her brand. “They asked me questions like what my bedroom looked like and what I wanted people to get out of the packaging. I’ll keep packaging if I think it’s cool, and I want people to do that with mine.” Her products feature fun, bright colors and positive affirmations. Zandra, a self-identified positive human, wants her products to motivate others. At the start of her business, Zandra would do a ton of shows. But now that her brand is growing, she spends more time in her studio creating her products. She mostly does shows around the holiday's, but still travels around Western New York for shows! 

I asked what advice she would give to other young people with business ideas. “Have fun.” She really emphasized the need to enjoy yourself and your product. But that it will also be hard work. You have to push yourself and not get discouraged, she said. Zandra balanced school and her business very well, but she said it was difficult. To help her manage her schedule, she'll be homeschooled to help her balance of business and education!

You can find Zandra's products in stores around Buffalo like Buffalo Adore, Renew Bath and Body, and others. She's even sold in New Jersey and out on the west coast in California! Zandra even teaches classes out in Buffalo and will do private parties as well! Her private parties even include a tour of her production studio where all the magic happens. How cool is that?

We were so thankful to have such an inspiring young woman come to our Bazaar. 
For more about Zandra and her products, check out her website!

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