In March of 2013 I was hired to provide camera ready makeup services for a commercial shoot in Sandy Springs, Georgia. What I thought would be a typical “day on the job” was actually one of the most inspirational professional encounters I have had to date. I am honored to introduce you to BLAMtastic®, a company that sprouted from a mother’s desire to empower her young daughters…
In 2007, when Renee Sandler read that only 12 women were leading Fortune 500 companies she immediately thought of her own two daughters, Lily and Melanie, who were just 9 and 10 years old at the time. She didn’t want her daughters to be dependent on any one company for their livelihood, especially one that might limit them because of their gender. Frustrated by the low representation of female executives in the business world, Renee challenged her daughters to create a business idea of their own. Shortly thereafter BLAMtastic® was born as Lily was looking for her lip balm and mistakenly asked, “Mom, where’s my lip BLAM?”
After checking out the competition, Lily and Melanie realized that they could make higher quality lip balms in their own kitchen. The girls enlisted the help of friends and neighbors to test their yummy flavored lip balms and provide feedback allowing them to perfect their product, a lip balm made for kids, by kids. BLAMtastic® Lucious Lip Balm for kids was launched by selling the product to friends, neighbors and at school fairs with flavors such Cherry Nila, Strawberry Shade, Wow Watermelon and O.M.G. Oh my grape. Lily and Melanie decided to pursue distribution with retailers and eventually got the opportunity to pitch their lip balms to the largest retailer in the world, Walmart.
From the very beginning, the desire for change was a core value of the Sandler family and the birth of BLAMtastic®. The desire for change not only catapulted this kid-originated, home-based business into a multi-million dollar company but also revealed a higher purpose along the way. The Sandler girls created THE BLAMTASTIC LEGACY FOUNDATION in an effort to share their knowledge and experience with other young people, inspiring them to reach for their dreams. Through these efforts, Lily and Melanie have learned much about their peers and young people with entrepreneurial visions of their own:
- 42% of kids have an idea that they think could change the world.
- 77% of kids want to be their own boss and 72% want to start a business of their own. When they share this information with adults they are not taken seriously.
- 80% of college graduates cannot find traditional employment in their field of study.
- Loan approval rates for women entrepreneurs are up to 50% lower than that of male entrepreneurs.
- Due to limited financing options for female entrepreneurs they are forced to start their businesses with 1/4 of the capital of their male counterparts.
Today BLAMtastic® is a multi-million dollar company with more than 25 products in their portfolio including the original BLAMtastic® Lucious Lip Balm for kids, BLAMBLOCK SPF Lip Balm, Booty BLAM® Diaper Rash Relief Spray, BLAMtastic®Skins and coming soon, Adult Booty Spray. BLAMtastic®’s popular natural based American made products are available across the United States in retailers include Walmart, Toys R US, Learning Express, Baby Depot and Dunham’s. BLAMtastic® products are also distributed in South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and soon throughout South America. The Sandler family has been named one of the 10 most impressive families in America by Disney’s babble.com.
BLAMtastic® CORE VALUES:
- Keep our manufacturing and services local to keep our neighbors employed. Made in America and PROUD!
- Keep it simple – Seek natural and botanical ingredients for our products.
- Use the best quality ingredients on the market.
- Be kind to the earth by applying sustainability measures wherever possible.
- Offer unique products that improve upon formulation, function or fun.
- Pay it Forward every chance you get.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Lily Sandler at the corporate offices for BLAMtastic® and chat with her about her success as a teen entrepreneur. I was inspired by Lily’s dedication to the core values of her company as well as her competitive spirit that was able to dismiss those who doubted her ability to fulfill her dream. Lily is a well-spoken young lady that emanates passion and authenticity for empowering women in today’s workforce. Her knowledge and understanding of the corporate culture, specifically the importance and value of a talented corporate team demonstrated traits of a successful leader well beyond her years. As we wrapped up our interview, the following quote from Eleanor Roosevelt came to mind:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
To learn more about Lily Sandler and the details of our interview, visit my blog post: Meet Lily Sandler, Teen Entrepreneur