The smell of success is sweet with strong undertones of watermelon, cotton candy and cherry for sibling entrepreneurs Mallory Iyana and Madison Star, the co-owners of Angels and Tomboys.
Founded in 2016, the Angels and Tomboys brand is focused on providing products for teen and tween girls that are gentle on their skin and not as overwhelming as the scents on the adult market.
After two years of selling their line of handmade, vegan-friendly body lotions and sprays on the web, the teen duo opened a brick-and-mortar store with their mother Viara Iyadunni on May 19.
Located on 3078 Summer Ave. in Binghampton, the store is open Monday through Thursday 12 to 6 p.m., Friday 12 to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Before appearing on Season 8 of the reality show “Shark Tank,” the girls and their mother sold Angels and Tomboys through social media promotion, grassroots marketing, word of mouth and their backpacks at school. After the show, the brand garnered more success with the help of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Daymond John, founder and CEO of apparel company FUBU.
Opening a physical store is a goal that 14-year-old Mallory said she, her sister and their mother have had for a long time.
“We knew one day we would open a store,” she said as she waved at customers and friends. “There are other plans that we have for this space and our brand like parties and pajamas. This is the beginning of something bigger.”
Mallory said she and her family will eventually expand Angels and Tomboys to other large markets such as Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.
The girls chose Memphis for their initial store opening because of a long history of support from residents in the city. They said they want to interact with the community and provide innovative products and services, as well as community classes, workshops and events, while empowering girls in Memphis.
Additionally, with the help of a location-based grant from Community LIFT, a long-vacant building now serves as an example of what local businesses can do to help neighborhoods.
Iyadunni said Angels and Tomboys shows how “we can transform, renovate and bring community engagement, economic stability, jobs and fresh ideas to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.”
Iyadunni and her daughters want to see Memphis grow and they want to encourage and inspire others.
“It’s just great to see this store come together and to know that I’m paving the way for other teen entrepreneurs,” Mallory said. “I feel like girls my age and younger are looking at me as an example.”
The paraben-free products use ingredients such as aloe and shea butter and incorporate fun names for the various scents like Cherry Star Glam, Frozen Hot Chocolate and Watermelon Funk.
The new store has black and white painted walls and floor, a green counter and a bevy of colorful cartoon characters designed by the innovative sisters who believe that when you smell good, you feel good.
The kid-friendly atmosphere also features various desserts and beverages and allows girls to come into Angels and Tomboys and create their own personalized bath and body products.
Madison, 12, said it’s great to experience watching the company grow and see the store come to fruition from idea to opening day.
The character designs for the bottles were originally characterized food items that have now been rebranded to represent real girls. Mallory said that by doing this, the brand has more potential for some other ideas she has with her sister and mom, including a play about their rise in success that will premier soon.
Madison was mum on some other ideas they have, but said she is excited about the future.
“We want our store and our brand to be an experience,” she said. “Being a young entrepreneur in Memphis feels good because people skip over the talent in this city. There is a lot here. Plus, a lot of kids don’t believe in themselves and that they can do stuff like this.”
Madison said she wants to encourage girls to “do you.”
“Don’t follow trends, be yourself,” she said as she headed back to the store counter. “Be a leader.”
Madison and Mallory have also started Girlhood Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to combating bullying and encouraging self-esteem and self-respect.
The girls said they have been encouraged by their mother and aunt as strong women role models and that through Girlhood Academy, they want to show other girls that you can do anything.
With a theme of self-love flowing through their store and their nonprofit, the girls said they want to empower their peers, particularly those who are underserved, to show them how much potential they have.
(Learn more about Angels and Tomboys at angelsandtomboys.com.”)