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Start Your Business Success Stories

How My Sister and I Built a Multimillion Dollar Brand Before Graduating High School

How My Sister and I Built a Multimillion Dollar Brand Before Graduating High School Credit: Da Bomb Bath Fizzers

When my sister Isabel and I decided to sell our homemade bath bombs at a local art fair four years ago, we had no clue that our fun project would turn into a booming business (literally).

We've always loved using bath bombs, but when a bomb would finish dissolving, we'd feel like something was missing. So, we decided to channel this issue when creating our own products.

Toys, charms, messages and jewelry are just a few of the items you'll find inside of our bath bombs. The names, fragrances and surprises in the bombs all coordinate. Our Cake Bomb, for example, smells like almond buttercream. It's white with sprinkles on top, and it contains a cake-themed surprise, like a toy cupcake or a metal charm in the shape of a cake donut.

When we decided to try to sell our products at the fair, we were nervous and worried that no one would buy them. But as soon as we started setting them out, people began crowding around and asking to buy them. Everyone loved the fact that there were surprises inside. We sold out by the end of the day, and it was a two-day fair.

But despite our success, we still didn't think of Da Bomb as anything other than a hobby.

When the art fair rolled around the following year, we decided to participate again. At one point, a local salon owner asked us if he could sell our products in his salons. We suddenly realized our hobby had the potential to become a real business. Not only did he place an order, he quickly placed a reorder. Then a second local retailer requested our bath bombs. And then another and another. Everyone reported strong sales, and we were soon selling in dozens of gift stores in our region. About nine months later, a major retailer contacted us and asked us to be in all 1,800 of their stores.

Fast-forward to today, and our products are now in seven thousand stores and counting. We've also had the opportunity to partner with online retailer, zulily, which has given us exposure to a new customer base and helped to grow our business. We're somehow managing to juggle school and friends, while heading up a company that has created over 150 jobs in our community. With everyone's help, we're now making and selling 500,000 bath bombs a month.

Our journey comprised of failed batches and experimental trials before we were able to develop one that worked every time. We keep our recipe as simple as possible, using only four or five ingredients. We give them catchy names like the Cherry Bomb and the lavender-scented "F" Bomb – a top seller, much to our parents' hesitant amusement. We're also working on several new bath bomb concepts, as well as some exciting line extensions for 2018.

All our products are handmade in our production space, and proceeds from the sale of our Earth Bomb go to organizations that clean up the world's oceans. We've donated tens of thousands of dollars so far.

People always say: "You're really young to own your own business! How the heck did you do it?"

You are never too young (or too old) to accomplish something. We've put in a lot of hard work to get where we are, but it can be broken down into several thousand smaller bits of work. And those bits add up. So just go for it.

About the author: Sisterpreneurs Caroline (15) and Isabel (16) Bercaw are the teenage co-founders of Da Bomb Bath Fizzers. Their fun, fragrant line of bath bombs each have a surprise inside. All their products are handmade in the USA using just a few simple ingredients, and they're available in retail stores across the country and at dabombfizzers.com.

Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.