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Taylor Sanders, founder of Snake Magic Skin Care, sells her products at a pop-up at the Columbia Mall in Columbia, Maryland on Feb. 19. | TAYLOR SANDERS/COURTESY

After using mainstream skin care products that irritated her skin, Taylor Sanders decided to experiment with creating her own skin care items.

“I wanted to be able to have body scrubs but it’d be good for my skin,” said Sanders, a 2021 art history alumna. “It kind of moved me into this clean skin care realm and then and that’s kind of where I developed Snake Magic.”

Sanders founded Snake Magic Skin Care in 2020 while working at Sephora during her junior year at Temple University. Sanders’ brand provides plant-based skin care items like bath bombs and body scrubs that work well for people with sensitive skin because they have simple formulas with natural ingredients. She currently sells her items on Snake Magic’s website and distributes them through mail to customers.

Starting her business was exciting but it became difficult to balance her schoolwork while running the business by herself. But she didn’t give up because she enjoyed the challenge, Sanders said.

“I’m not a person who likes to do only one thing, so I feel like entrepreneurship, it’s always keeping me on my toes,” Sanders said.

Sanders initially made her products by hand for herself while living with her parents during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and sold them to other Temple students through social media, she said.

Sanders originally made body scrubs and expanded operations to include bath bombs using ingredients like tea tree oil and lavender, she said.

Carey encouraged Sanders to enter the competition so she could network with investors and test her business skills in the real world by writing business pitches and giving presentations to the judges, he said.

She began taking her business more seriously in 2021 when Dwight Carey, an associate business professor, encouraged her to enter the annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a university competition which provides free workshops and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs who compete against each other for a cash prize, she said.

Though Sanders didn’t advance past the first round, she received feedback from Carey and met with investors who taught her that she could grow her business into something more than selling her products through Instagram, she said.

“Even if a student does not win money, there’s always a good chance that they will be approached by someone after the results are announced and that someone will give them their business card,” Carey said.

Carey discussed Snake Magic with Sanders in and out of class and hopes she can continue creating more products in the future, he said.

In Nov. 2019, Sanders connected with Jaya Bolden, a 2019 communication studies and entrepreneurship alumna and CEO of Crowning Queens, a program that helps young women become business leaders, at a National Council of Negro Women at Temple, and followed each other on social media.

Sanders contacted Bolden to ask for tips on starting her skin care line and worked with Bolden to brand her products and refine her marketing strategies, including creating a social media presence on Instagram, where she marketed her products, Bolden said.

Bolden still talks to Sander every month to discuss Sanders’ future goals for her business, Bolden said.

“I’m kind of solidifying what she has next and making sure that she is confident in what she’s about to release or put out, that next move that she’s about to make,” Bolden said.

Sanders hopes to one day sell her products in stores like Target and Sephora and make her brand more inclusive by adding LGBTQ Black women in her next marketing campaign and hiring other women to her marketing team, she said.

“I don’t feel like we’re often shown that often, especially, as an entrepreneur, so I just think that would be an amazing opportunity,” Sanders added.

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