The 12-year-old mini-mogul who is launching her own skincare line for tweens… And girls can't get enough of it
19:44 GMT, 10 July 2012
19:44 GMT, 10 July 2012
At just 12 years old, Willa Doss, now a
'rock star' to her friends, plans to take on the pre-adoslescent beauty
world in what she says is a big gap in the market.
The pint-size entrepreneur, who launched her own skin-care line in March, has already had her 17 debut products picked up by Target, J.Crew and the pharmacy Clyde’s in New York City.
Priced within reach of the baby-sitting set, her namesake all-natural products start at $1.75 for the cucumber mask and finish at $15 for Face the Day, a tinted sunscreen.
Mini-mogul: Conceived with the help of her mother, Christy Prunier (left), Willa Skincare products was born after Willa Doss (right) realised that most cosmetic companies are geared toward older women
With upbeat and fun names like Be Brilliant
body lotion, the products avoid overbearing scents, and the sleek packaging deliberately contrasts
clichd images of Disney and Hello Kitty.
Conceived with the help of her mother, Christy Prunier, Willa Skincare products was born after the sixth grader realised that most cosmetic companies are geared toward an older crowd; their formulas can be too heavy, irritating, and heavily perfumed for young girls.
So she set out to create an acne spot treatment, foaming face wash, tinted moisturisers and a sleepover travel bag, which are all SPF heavy, specifically for young skin.
Alongside input from chemists, dermatologists and makeup artists, Willa co-designed the purple-hued packaging with her mother, and gave her suggestions for the development of the Willa Skincare web site.
All-natural products: Will Skincare includes products like tinted face moisturiser (left), acne spot treatment, foaming face wash (right) specifically for young skin
Fresh-faced and wholesome: Willa and her mother won't introduce cosmetics to the brand, but do include face wipes (left) and lip balm (right)
Willa’s then asked her friends to
participate in numerous focus groups discussing, and dissecting, why
their tween demographic has previously slipped through the cracks.
Skin-care companies like Johnson &
Johnson and Clearasil may have well-established lines for babies and
teens, but pre-adolescents have long been neglected.
So Willa set out to make fun products that weren’t too childish.
Her mother explained to the New York Post: 'This is the Apple generation – they’re very design-driven.
'We wanted the products to be affordable, but aspirational.'
Beauty tween: Willa has big plans for the company, with many more products in the works
Both Willa and her mother say they want the line to remain 'fresh-faced and wholesome', so they have no plans to introduce cosmetics to the brand.
'There’s something refreshing about 12-year-old girls who actually want to look like they’re 12 years old,” said Ms Prunier.
With this, Willa waves off any notion of being a mini-mogul: 'I’m just a kid!' she exclaimed.
However her friends, and Target, which is committed to growing the brand from 300 of its stores to full distribution over the next few years, clearly think otherwise.
'It’s so cool for someone our age to have her own line,' said her longtime friend, 12-year-old Shanna of the Upper West Side in Manhattan.
'I mean, she has her own business at 12!'