beauty

Meet the 14-year-old entrepreneur whose skin products are taking over the country.

At 14 years old, Melbourne student Izzi (Isabella) Dymalovski has already achieved more than many of us will in our entire careers.

Luv Ur Skin, the natural skin care line she developed (through founding Luv Ur Self) is growing from strength to strength and is currently stocked in over 420 Priceline stores nationally.

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

Rewind six years and it was a comment from Izzi’s mother that spurned the then eight year old on to close a gaping hole in the beauty market – skin care for tweens and young girls.

“I used to do a lot of dance concerts and I wasn’t allowed to use any of my mum’s skincare products to take my makeup off because she said they were too chemical-y. So a few arguments later, she said, ‘Why don’t you go and do your own stuff?’ I don’t think she assumed I’d go off and do it,” Izzi laughs.

“Before [Luv Ur Skin], if you look at cosmetics in skin care (even now) there are products for babies zero to six and then it goes straight to teenagers who are 15 to 16 plus. There’s no in between,” Izzi explains.

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

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Her mother, who works in biotech, put her onto a few chemists who helped the Melbourne-based student come up with the natural bases and formulas for “the products that I wanted myself”: face wash ($10.99), body wash ($12.99), moisturiser ($12.99) and lip balm ($4.99).

Slowly, slowly, Izzi’s products went from a personal experiment to an actual business. The brand now also stocks more skin products, bright glow-in-the-dark nail polish and wash towels.

“When I was nine or 10 I realised other people were interested in the products. There was a buzz around school, people wanted to test them. Girls would come up to me and say ‘Where can I get more from?’”

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

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She went straight home to her parents to develop a business strategy. Earlier this year, a very “nervous and excited” Izzi appeared on popular Channel 10 TV show Shark Tank, speaking confidently in front of the business savvy judges to spruik Luv Ur Skin.

None of the judges would offer her any investment because “they all said I was too young but they all offered to mentor me,” Izzi explains.

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

Shark Steve Baxter said to her at the time: “If you were 18 years old and just finished grade 12, I would offer you an investment in a heartbeat, because you are very impressive. The problem is that you’ve got four exceptionally important years ahead of you.”

If anything, the experience has only made Izzi’s business – and her resolve – stronger.

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“When the episode aired, that was absolutely crazy, our website crashed within 30 seconds of the pitch because we had that many people trying to get on at the one time. Yeah, we sold a lot of product during that time!” She explains.

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

Rather than deter her, Izzi used her experience on the show to bolster her business.

“Andrew Banks [One of Shark Tank’s Sharks] put us through to Gillian Franklin who created Heat Group which is the biggest distributor in Australia (they do Covergirl and Ulta 3) and she’s given us a lot of good advice,” explains Izzi.

Since being sold in Priceline stores around Australia, the business has seen an increase in sales. But rather than rejoicing in how far the skin care line, created originally just for Izzi, has come, she’s focusing on how this latest milestone positions her business globally.

“To try and get into the overseas market they won’t even think about it unless you’ve got a homegrown store or chain with you, so that’s definitely helped with trying to get into the international market. We’re currently working on China and different parts of Asia and Europe. We have a few contacts there that can hopefully help us out,” Izzi explains. (Post continues after gallery.)

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The biggest challenge for the teenager, without a doubt, has been getting rooms full of adults in business attire to take her seriously.

“Being a kid and walking into meetings and trying to command the attention of the room as a nine and 10 year old – that was difficult. To get them to take me seriously has been a learning experience and it’s happened over time,” she says.

“I do a lot of public speaking and debating at school so that helps.”

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The positive response from customers – of all ages, not just the target market of tweens – has been an encouraging sign for Izzi.

Say Cheese! Its a hard job smiling all day, but someone has to do it ????????

A photo posted by Luv Ur Skin (@luv_urskin) on

“We have an email you can contact us on through on our website and I never really expected anything out of that but after Shark Tank, and even before it, we were getting all these messages from people saying ‘I love your product, I’m so inspired by your story, good luck with everything’ and stuff like that, and I was like, oh my god this is so cute!”

Unsurprisingly, Luv Ur Skin has expanded from a family affair to a couple of employees on social media, and a few others to help with “strategy and campaigns and stuff like that”.

While most of her peers are handing their resumes in at cafes and burger joints, Izzi’s building a global empire.

But despite her clear maturity and business prowess, the 14-year-old answers the age-old “What do you want to do when you finish school” question like a regular teenager:

“I have no idea yet.”

Watch this space.

Image: Instagram/@luv_urskin

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