- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Margo Gianos is honestly original.

Like other 16-year-old teens, she’s focused on school, her athletics, social media, good television shows, her friends and her family.

But unlike most girls her age, she has her own company - one that’s really successful.

Honestly Margo produces and sells a line of all-natural lip and body balms, certified organic balms and a vapor balm.

So far, Honestly Margo’s products are sold in about 400 locations in the U.S., Canada and Australia, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/2kTTX1u ) reported.

Its products are also featured on the Grommet website, and a show about Margo and two other young, successful entrepreneurs recently appeared on The Learning Channel.

Margo, of Oklahoma City, said she’s been interested in having her own business since when she began making cat toys at home and selling them in her front yard.

“I was always coming up with different things to make and sell,” she said. “I would, not that I needed to, but because it was fun.

“I got a thrill out of it. It was exciting for me.”

Margo said she became interested in beauty products when she turned 11.

“I couldn’t wear makeup, though,” Margo said. “That is when I was like, OK; lip balm sounds like a good idea. It sounds like something that I can wear. So that’s when I decided to start trying to come up with my formula.”

So, she and her mom, Irene Gianos, got to work in the family kitchen.

On the company’s website, Margo explains that she and her mom worked together to find the best natural ingredients for the project.

After sharing the balm with her friends, Margo said they wanted more - lots more - and when her mom told her they could turn it into something special, she was all in.

“Three months later, Honestly Margo was born.”

On the website, Margo said Honestly Margo brings together two things she loves, starting her own business and beauty.

“This endeavor represents my first adventure into business, but it’s just the beginning,” she continued.

“I think my products represent girls of today. Girls are smarter than ever before, and we’re taking the things we’ve been given and mixing them together in new and better ways. Honestly Margo is about pure ingredients, but it’s also about dreaming big, and taking a chance.”

The first retailer to carry Honestly Margo’s products was Cayman’s Clothiers Inc. in Norman, a business owned by a woman entrepreneur who inspired Margo, Irene Gianos said.

“She could see a bit of that in her, that drive, and was totally on board, wanting to support her,” Irene Gianos said.

Honestly Margo’s products began getting picked up by other retailers, its growth aided by social media campaigns on various platforms. Getting products onto the Grommet website also was a huge boost, both Margo and Irene Gianos said.

The site launches undiscovered products that have a purpose and are invented by people with stories, language on the Grommet website reads.

Margo said having her products featured on the Grommet website is “a crowning jewel that shines brightly, assuring me that I am on the right path.”

Irene Gianos added the social media efforts of Honestly Margo and the company’s website also are vital in maintaining momentum.

The site features not only Honestly Margo’s products, but also introduces Margo to her customers.

“We can reach people globally,” Irene Gianos said. “It is free. It tells a better story. It is visual. Customers can see her, the product, and get a chance to know her. It paints a story.”

Honestly Margo’s products are produced in the United States, and she and her mom continue to visit regularly about the enterprise, both said.

“I am planning on expanding its retail distribution, and also coming out with new products very soon,” Margo said.

___

Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com


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