Updated: Oct 20
Have you ever purchased skincare products from a store owned and operated by three children? No? You’ve got to try Skin District Store, a Cleveland-area skin-and-body-care boutique.
Skin District Store creates all-natural products customized precisely for you.
“Your skin is not universal!” said Riley Aaron, co-owner and Vice Chair, age 8.
“Yeah. You shouldn't be using universal products," said Myah'Lynn Aaron, co-owner and
Administration Leader, age 10.
“You need to use something specifically for you with everything your body needs, even down to the smell," said Deborah Aaron, CEO, and Mom.
Raveah, Co-Owner and Receptionist, age 6, could not be reached for comment.
Deborah and Neicya Aaron (Moms and CEO, CFO, respectively) started Skin District Store two years ago to teach financial responsibility to their daughters. Deborah came from a marketing background, while Neicya is a cosmetologist, often formulating the products. "We started something similar to a lemonade stand, and before we knew it, it started to get big," said Deborah.
"Through our WBC membership, we have unlimited access to one-on-one coaching sessions... Knowing that we have somebody we can reach out to at any time to ask questions about capital and business loans and business credit has been so beneficial."
With products such as Goldeion Girl Turmeric Bars (named for another Aaron sibling), Aunt Debbie’s Diaper Rash Powder, Sleepy Stones, and self-care coloring books, the business grew quickly from e-commerce and pop-up shops to a retail store at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor.
Despite starting during the COVID pandemic, Skin District Store was able to build a strong foundation at a time when other businesses struggled. "COVID pushed me to go into full-time working for the kids because it wasn't safe to constantly come back home to them, not knowing what I might have picked up at work. We were also able to get funding because of COVID, and we found a space for much cheaper than usual, so we were able to find some good in a terrible situation," Deborah said.
The Aarons found tremendous success quickly, but they needed help to grow. "ECDI and the Women's Business Center (WBC) have been amazing for us. We always feel like we have somebody we can reach out to ask questions that Google can't answer. Through our WBC membership, we have unlimited access to one-on-one coaching sessions with our business advisor, Diego. He helped us with branding and accounting. Knowing that we have somebody we can reach out to at any time to ask questions about capital and business loans and business credit has been so beneficial. We know how to market, and we know how to catch people's attention with great TikTok videos, but to have someone to help us with the business end is incredible," said Deborah.
The WBC recommended the Aarons apply for ECDI’s Set Up Shop program, a retail incubator with a 12-week training program provided by the WBC, loan-readiness preparation, and a low-risk opportunity to test their retail concept with other entrepreneurs.
They were accepted and joined other small business owners to open their joint storefront: The Corner Shop Collective. The storefront provided some advantages over Skin District
Store's mall location. "The Corner Shop Collective has been so good for us because it's a space where you can actually watch us create your products in real-time. We bounce ideas back and forth with the other businesses, and even collaborate on products. This environment has helped the girls learn networking, keeping our bridges strong," said Deborah.
Soon, the Aarons hope to expand to a salon and spa. "Our customers tell us they rely on our products for their skin, hair, beauty, and self-care regimens, so this is the next step," said Deborah.
“I don't know many kids that can do what our kids do. We’re so proud of them,” Deborah said.
“What makes me proud is when we don't give up when we're trying to reach a goal or intention,” Riley said.
“I'm proud that I get to spend time with my family in the store, and I get to tell my friends I own a business,” said Myah’Lynn.