Leanna Archer was nine years old when friends, neighbors, and community members started asking what she used in her hair and she started bottling up her grandmother’s homemade hair pomade and giving it out to people. Quickly, she realized that this could be turned into a profitable business and by the time she was eleven or twelve years old she had a strong customer base. The recipe for this pomade came from her great-grandmother and uses only natural ingredients from Haiti, where Leanna’s family is from. Leanna is now eighteen years old, her business brings in more than $100,000 in revenue each year, her father is one of her main employees (yes, when it comes to business, he works for her), and she’s even started a foundation to help people living in poverty in Haiti. She has customers from eighty different countries, quite possibly because her all-natural hair care products entered the market at the same time that people grew more conscious about what kind of ingredients were used in their beauty products.
What’s incredibly inspiring about Leanna’s business is that she has stuck with it for so long, nine years now. Children don’t often stay with something that they start at a young age, and it’s incredible to see that she’s been able to continue this business through to legal adulthood. She is the same age as me, and her success shows that it is possible to achieve something big at a younger age than people expect. Leanna is headed to college, but isn’t going for business, she’s going for political science with hopes to run for office someday, showing people that it’s possible to wear many different hats in the world.
In an interview for NPR Leanna advises all young people to stick with an idea, regardless of whether or not it’s what you’re meant to do, because it could end up leading you to what you’re supposed to do, as her hair care business led her to Haiti, which in turn inspired her to get involved in politics.