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Youth Spotlight: Inland Empire Native, Tanai Smith, Launches Organic Lip Balm

Tanai Smithholding up her Crown Me Lip Balm. (Photo Credit: Tana Phelice)

Tanai Smithholding up her Crown Me Lip Balm. (Photo Credit: Tana Phelice)

By Naomi K. Bonman

Back in the day, as kids growing up, we were taught to do good in school, go to college, and then get a good job. However, those times have drastically changed. As more Generation X adults and Millennials are becoming more successful in their entrepreneurial endeavors and jumping ship from their corporate and day jobs, they are instilling in their children at a young age to claim their destinies and to make their side hustles work for them now verses later so that they will be well-off by the time they reach adulthood.

This is the case for 11-year-old Tanai Smith, daughter of San Bernardino native, author, and playwright T’ana Phelice. Smith will be launching her Crown Me Lip Balm on Monday, October 16. She was inspired to make Crown Me Lip Balm after she had made three ingredients for lip balms in her own spare time, so she decided why not make it into a profitable business.

“I researched how to make people’s skin feel smooth in a healthy way,” Smith stated on what made her decide to make an organic lip balm company over just any lip balm.

She has always been creative and has been heavily into arts and crafts. For her birthday this past August, her parents threw her an arts and crafts party.

“I see myself owning my own arts and crats store when I’m older,” she explains. “I want my Crown Me business inside my future store. I also want to play my clarinet.”

There is nothing better than when our youth are determined about what they want to do after childhood and are working diligently in achieving those tasks to ensure that their futures will be bright. This is also the aftermath of great parenting.

Smith stated that her parents are both her inspirations in achieving greatness. One of the most memorable lessons that they have taught her about entrepreneurship is that sometimes you must adjust to changes and make sacrifices.

For those interested in purchasing Crown Me Lip Balm, please visit www.tanaphelice.com/crownme and be sure to keep up with the Crown Me brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CrownMeOrganicStuff.

Omnitrans Announces 2nd Annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Saturday, October 14, Omnitrans will hold its 2nd Annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC) featuring cash prizes for artists, refreshments, live music, and promotional giveaways.

“We are building on the success of our 2016 contest which attracted 15 contestants and over 100 spectators,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “We love to see the transit center serve as a community gathering place along with being a regional transportation hub.  We invite the community out to experience both the transit center and the talents of local artists.”

The transit center, which opened in September 2015, is located at the southwest corner of Rialto Avenue and E Street in downtown San Bernardino. Over 5,000 passengers pass through the SBTC each weekday, making connections with 14 Omnitrans bus routes including the sbX green line.  The multimodal hub also provides connections to routes operated by Mountain Transit, Victor Valley Transit Authority and Pass Transit. Metrolink service will be extended to the site later this year. Riverside Transit Agency will offer a connection in January 2018.

The theme for the 2017 sidewalk chalk art contest is “Connecting our Community.” Prizes of $300, $150 and $100 will be awarded for first, second and third place in the adult category. All children 13 and under who participate will receive a prize. Omnitrans will provide live music, promotional goodies and refreshments for all in attendance.

A LEED Gold facility, SBTC offers an indoor, climate-controlled lobby with public restrooms, drinking fountains, and customer service desk, plus shaded outdoor waiting areas and digital bus arrival signs. Some of the “green” features include solar rooftop panels, sustainable greenery, high tech heating and cooling systems and water-saving drinking fountains. 

For more information, please visit www.omnitrans.org.

This 17-Year Old Black Entrepreneur’s Beauty Brand is Worth Almost $500K — And She Has More Than 40 Different Products!

Zandra Cunningham, the founder and CEO of Zandra’s Beauty, an all-natural skincare line, started her company when she was just 9-years old. Now, at age 17, her Buffalo, New York-based company has more than 40 products and is worth almost $500,000.

Zandra decided to start her own company after he kept buying skincare products that would leave her skin dry and itchy. “I made it my mission to make products that smelled good and kept my skin soft without irritating it. I wanted to give girls a natural alternative to all those commercial products with yucky unhealthy ingredients,” she say.

But it wan’t easy starting a company in an already competitive industry.

A tough beginning: Zandra started making her own lip balm in the family’s home kitchen. It wasn’t as easy as she thought. She had to learn how to create formulas and use the right ingredients.

Her first attempt to sell her products at fairs and markets did not produce the results she wanted; People did not take her seriously because of her age. Even her parents were skeptical about whether their daughter was serious or just had a hobby.

Proving them wrong: Instead of accepting defeat, Zandra focused her frustration at proving them wrong.

Because of her determination and persistence, her company’s products are now in stores across America, including Paper Source and Whole Foods. Even her parents are working for the company and supporting her all the way.

Her beauty products include a line of balms for lips, cuticles, knees, and elbows, hair and body products, lotions, deodorants, and much more.

Learn more about Zandra’s Beauty by visiting their web site at www.zandrabeauty.com or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zandrabeauty