If you have an idea for a business, these teenpreneurs say start now. Sisters Brea and Halle Holmes had trouble finding beauty products for girls their age, so they decided to create Sweet Dream Girlz and sell their own. Now, they’ve expanded their business to include shoes & clothes and share how they went from dreamers to do-ers.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
Halle: My sister and I usually have spa nights so we went to a local store to get beauty products just like we always do. We were 10 and 16 at the time and we wanted something that didn’t smell like an older age. We both had sensitive skin as well, so we couldn’t really tolerate the paraben and talc and harsh chemicals they put in most beauty products, so we came out with nothing and I said to Brea,
why don’t we start our own?
Brea: Being a little bit older than her, I told Halie that it’s probably a good thing for us to start our own. We wanted to fill that void so girls could get stuff that was age appropriate.
Where did you get the name Sweet Dream Girlz?
Halle: My sister actually was listening to Sweet Dreamz by Beyonce, which shows how long ago that was, and we thought oh, sweet dreams – Sweet Dream Girlz.
How much help did you have from adults to make the business happen?
Bria: We had help from our parents and still get help from our parents. We do a lot of designing of our own sneakers and apparel. Our dad works with AutoCAD so he’ll help us put our designs on there to send to a manufacturer. Our mom helps us with the business aspect, so we’ll go to her and consult with her on ideas. Everybody in the family is a team. Everyone has something to offer.
What are your favorite product(s) in the beauty line?
Brea: I like all our beauty products, but my favorite scent would have to be the sugar scrub called Sugar Melt Down – it smells like Jolly Ranchers- so good you want to eat it.
Halle: One of my favorites has to be the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I like it in the Body frosting (which is our lotion) because I like the smell of chocolate chip cookies and I like cookies a lot.
How hard is it to run a business and go to school and do any of the other activities that you do? How do you manage to do everything?
Brea: I did a lot of extra curricular activities since high school – the dance team at school while taking dance classes, track and field, choir & a lot of other activities after school. So when we first started the business it was just another thing added to my plate but I was already used to juggling a bunch of different things. Having a business, you need to have a little more extra attention because that’s a serious thing. I didn’t really think it was too difficult. Every once and again we’ll get real overwhelmed, but we know how to pull through.
Halle: I have Girl Scouts, band, acting classes, chorus and softball so adding that is kind of adding something to my plate, but I like putting a little more effort into the business because that’s a big responsibility.
We come up with the names and we want it to all to match. All of our body products are named after food and all of our sneakers are as well. We want to keep it cute, fun & sweet.
Where do you all find your inspiration?
Halle: Sometimes we get ideas from our friends. They are young girls too, so we want to keep them involved and to learn more from our market. So we ask them what you think about this? What set should we do? Why style of clothing would you like to see more? Sometimes we just put our heads together and create something or we might see something on the Internet try to make it for our market.
How long did it take from the idea to when you finally had your products read to launch?
It was about a year, actually. We did a lot of Googling and researching trends. It took a while for us to get products, find people to help create the labels that we wanted, getting the right bottles to appeal to customers, finding the manufacturer that will help us get the product and scent we needed and make sure that it is all natural, because that is a big thing for us.
Why did you decide to expand into clothing?
Halle: We expanded – with our apparel, our accessories, our shoes, and even our spa diva program- because we noticed there were some things missing for teen and tween girls. You can go to any mall and you will see like the same kinds of styles and prints in every store. So we wanted to give something new & fresh for girls – something cute, fun, & unique that they haven’t seen before.
What’s the Spa Diva Program:
Halle: When we went to events, girls would come up to our table and say oh, I wanted to start a business, too, but I didn’t know how to start. So Spa Diva is a direct buy program for girls, similar to Avon. It teaches girls how to run their own business, manage money, have appointments, have spa parties and go give the events. They’ll earn money either to get more products for the business or have a little extra spending change. It teaches them to actually own their own business and be able to run it.
What is the best part of running a business?
Halle: We get to inspire girls our age to say, oh I’m not too young to be doing something and following my dreams.
Brea: When I was younger there weren’t too many choices on what to buy. I’m happy to be able to give something different to girls at that age, looking for the right clothes that weren’t too grown up and too young. I’m happy that we can change that a little bit and give girls options.
What else would you like to do, as you get older?
Brea: I want to do costume work in the US and oversees in international movies as well. I’m leaning how to do costume work and I’m learning different languages, too: I speak Spanish and I’m leaning Korean and Japanese as well.
Halle: I have a couple colleges in mind that I want to go to. Times flies though. I want to try film directing, so I want to major in media production. I’m also taking acting classes, so hopefully I’ll be acting in a movie or TV show or maybe in just a commercial.
Brea: macaroni and cheese
Brea: G Dragon (a Korean artist)
Halle: the band Arctic Monkeys – kind of indie and rock
Halle: I like short films
Halle: The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Who inspires you?
Halle: Tyra Banks because she is a go-getter. Se doesn’t just stay in one place, She likes to go after a dream she has and just goes through it.
Brea: My mom. She is the most multi tasking, all knowing person of the family. My parents actually have owned multi businesses before. They had a nail shop, coffee shop, so I’ve seen them do different stuff, all of these businesses. My mom is the person I go to when I have problems and just everyday life and the business, I just love her. She inspires me.
What advice or words of encouragement would you share with aspiring teenprenuers?
Halle: My word of encouragement is not to give up, especially at a young age, when we have a lot of things going on and we’re finding ourselves. In the business world, people can come up with the same ideas, so you have to be able to see it though because if someone creates that job, from that idea that you had, you’ll be like, oh I wish I did, oh I could have done. So I say, just go for it.
Brea: The best advice I could give would be just to keep going forward on your dream. There’s going to be a lot of people who may say that’s not going to work or what makes you different? There may be some self doubt when people ask you questions but you have to be confident in the product and the idea that you’re making because that’s what makes the business unique. You have to not let everything and what everybody says bother you.