Real girl power – Teenager Rebecca Rusinovic’s 2017 story of success
Her top tip? Just do it.
2017 was a wild ride. It was…kind of a shitstorm. It seemed to bear heaps of dramas and distress and…well, good riddance 2017. Though we may look back upon it fondly in the future, we have a feeling 2018 is going to be the year. The year to take chances and risks, to go for adventures and follow our dreams! It’s going to be the year that our dreams turn into goals and those goals into plans. 2018 is going to be our year!
To really harness this energy, we decided to look into some of our top role models and see what they did in 2017 and how their strategies can get us where we need to be. Low and behold, a 16-year-old Aussie girl has stormed the path that we want to embark upon. What did she do? She saw an opportunity and seized it, and now she is a 16-year-old entrepreneur.
At age 13, Rebecca noticed a gap in the market. It’s something we all do. Surely at some point you will let out a deep sigh and think, ‘why isn’t there a market for me/us/them/that?!’ But the test of strength comes when you ask yourself how to fix that gap. When Rebecca noticed a gap in the skincare industry for teens, she began thinking right away. Healthy skin is important to teens, yet Clearasil seemed to the only one targeting this group. She knew then and there that her goal was to create a teen skincare line. It seemed too easy! There was an obvious gap and a market that she could relate to very well. The problem? Few people would take a 13-year-old seriously.
Determined and confident, Rebecca began work on a sea salt scrub. She wanted her product to reflect who she was and be a responsible product for girls’ skin and the world. She researched best practices and spent her dog walking money formulating her product. And since this isn’t a fairytale, her first batch was a bust. Luckily, a bit of failure wasn’t going to deter Rebecca. She continued at it until she found the perfect organic ingredients and a special niche that would reflect herself in her work. Rebecca based her salt scrub off of the ocean, calling it ‘skincare for mermaids’. Proud and devoted to her beach-inspired scrub, Rebecca was ready to get her product on the market.
The next step was to find a business willing to sell her skin care product. Rebecca tried and failed many times trying to find a buyer. She dedicated what was once her ‘free time’ to contacting businesses and offering samples. Her fingers were flying away on her laptop, writing well over 600 emails to potential investors, public figures, and established companies. And can you guess what happened to her inbox? She received maybe… 15 replies in total. Rebecca was told time and time again that she had no credibility, skills, or statistics for success. She was knocked down and left seemingly hopeless, but Rebecca got right back up again.
Fast forward to today. Rebecca spent the last year officially launching her line, Bahama Belle Skincare. In early 2017, she was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Pause Festival in Melbourne. Not surprisingly, she was the youngest ever keynote speaker at this technology conference at 16-years-old. Go girl power!
Three years of trial and error, of asking and being refused, the skin care line for the quintessential Australian girl has finally made it.
Rebecca stands as a successful role model, teaching us all that no matter our age or experience, we can succeed! Though giving up would have been easy (and hella cheaper), Rebecca believed in herself and believed in her dream. For several years preceding her success, Rebecca faced setback after setback. Struggle after struggle. And, assuming she’s human, freakout after freakout.
In February 2017, Rebecca gave advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“You will never have the right amount of money, the right mentor, or the right everything. You have to accept the fact that you are going to fail along the way. Just have that resilience and persistence that opens up more opportunities to you.”
It can undoubtedly be difficult to remain confident when the world seems to be kicking you down, but if Rebecca has taught us anything, it is that success doesn’t come easy. Success is hidden in the failures, in the lessons we learn along the way. Failure gives us strength and makes us resilient (even if frustration comes first). 2018 could be another tough year, but if that’s the case, let’s just hope that we can grow from it.
Do you want to check out what a teen entrepreneur created? Visit Bahama Belle Skincare at www.bahamabelleskincare.com!