Spend time on Instagram researching what would be best for your company and your customers by looking at real people and thinking about what they would want from their skin care company.
Destiny Helligar is the 14-year old founder of Afterlite Body Care in Los Angeles, California. She’s an Honor Roll student who has received numerous Presidential Awards at Jordan Middle School, from which she recently graduated. At the age of five, while watching movies with her family, she became fascinated with how things were done in films. By the age of nine, she had decided to become a director, and Ava Duvernay, had become her role model. Destiny applied and was accepted into the Young Storytellers Program (YSP). Using one-on-one mentorship, YSP teaches low-income students how to write original stories and see them brought to life. Destiny wrote a play called “Forgetful Sister.” Disney actors starred in the production. The following year she participated in YSP again and made a short film entitled “School’s Out.” Screenings of both projects were held at Walt Disney Studios.
Her experience at YSP made Destiny realize that she needed to produce a professional short film. She decided to start a business to help raise money. However, she had no idea where to start. Then it occurred to her that she should make something to address her family’s sensitive skin issues. She decided to try making soap – experimenting with the melt & pour method at first. But she wanted to come up with an organic, holistic product. So Destiny watched hours of YouTube videos and read numerous books on the art of soap crafting. She began practicing and adding her own creative touches to the recipes to make the soaps unique, using family members as product testers. Eventually she found a formula that worked, and started her company Afterlite Body Care in February 2017. The company now offers over 50 products.
A couple of months ago, Destiny and her good friend, Ava, started writing the script for a short film called “VR Dreams.” It will be a horror movie, co-produced by their parents and family friends, Parents Choice Award winner Dorez Douglas and two-time Academy Award winner Willie Burton. To visit Afterlite Body Care’s shop, go to: www.afterlitebodycare.com
Where did the idea for Afterlite Body Care come from?
Everyone in my family has sensitive skin so I started making all natural and organic products for my family, and then I started making all natural and organic products to sell to other people.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day would include, checking how much raw materials I have and seeing what I need to order, updating my website, making more products, and researching how I can make my company better. I make my day productive by using enough time to work on my company without over exerting myself.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by researching different skin issues that people have and creating a recipe that I think would be best for them. I would then give a sample product to a friend or family member that has that same issue to make sure I am putting the best products I can out there.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the more skin care less makeup trend that people have been getting into. I like it because it puts emphasis on how important healthy skin is.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit of mine that I think helps make me more productive, is that I spend sometime on Instagram researching what would be best for my company and my customers, by looking at real people and thinking about what they would want from their skin care company.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I first started my company I spent more time creating products then I did marketing my company, so I would tell my younger self to balance out the amount of time that I spent making products and marketing.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That family and friends don’t have to buy your products to decide whether or not your company is successful.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Consistently talking about my products two real people instead of just advertising online.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Setting a goal and always following through.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of my failures is putting up a website and assuming that people are automatically going to buy just because I have a website, I have overcome this by marketing in other ways and on other platforms.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you don’t have much time to consistently make products and ship them out you could sell products through a drop shipping company that way you would only have two market and you wouldn’t have to create products or ship them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I have recently spent was getting a booth at a trade show where I was able to network and sell my products to a different group of people.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use a website called the soap calculator which I use two correctly change the size of the batches of soap that I make.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is a good book because it helps with anxiety and it helps you see the world better which is a good mindset to have when you are a new business owner.
What is your favorite quote?
If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything – Alexander Hamilton
• Always put out great products
• Always save time for your personal life
• Always take customer satisfaction seriously
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.