The Beautiful Willa
words | Taylor Guthrie
Seventeen-year-old Willa started her skincare line at the young age of 11 with her mother. “It all started when I asked my mom, why isn’t there anything for me? My mom had developed skin cancer in her twenties and the doctors kept telling her that what you see now is a result of what you did or didn’t do when you were younger. A lasting amount of the damage that happens to your skin happens before you’re 18. Because of all my mom learned from her skin cancer experience, it was really important to her that I took good care of my skin. When I got to that age when I started taking initiative to care for my skin, I asked my mom why isn’t there anything for me. At the time, department stores sold nothing targeted for our age group. I viewed that as some sort of injustice because this is really, really important; however, there wasn’t anything out there that was safe or effective or really made just for me. “As teens,” Willa explains, “our skin is going through crazy changes, so it’s extremely important to a) use safe and effective products and b) know what’s in our products.” That’s the mentality from where Willa, the company, was born. The products are not only about providing girls with clean skin care, but also teaching them about how important it is to be mindful of what ingredients are in their products and being an advocate for taking care of themselves.
Although the skin care line began selling in retail stores, Willa and her mother decided to empower teens to sell directly. Young women, along with their mothers, can now sell the skin care products using the Willa app, a personalized website, or during fun get-togethers. It is a great way to earn some extra money, in addition to learning about real-world skills such as marketing, selling and financial literacy. The mother-daughter teams can feel good about representing a skin care line made with high standards and healthy ingredients. It is also comforting knowing Willa products are never tested on animals. Willa and her mother are thrilled young women can share Willa’s mission celebrating clean, confident beauty.
In addition to working with her company, she is also facing junior year in high school. “It’s definitely stressful and in the beginning I struggled with it and finding that balance of time management between school, work and friends and family. It got to a point where I also found myself overworking and I wouldn’t be getting enough sleep or exercise.” Willa began to successfully change her schedule to achieve more balance. She adds, “I have an end of the day meeting with my mom to talk about things that are going on with the company, but our real work is delegated to the weekend because that’s just when I have more time.” Having basically grown up with the company, she and I really care about the company so much. I’ve basically grown up with it so it means a lot to me but at the same time school is also a huge priority.”
With her family’s help, Willa has been able to make her dreams a reality. ‘They’re really really supportive and I’m so grateful for that. I have a ten-year-old little sister Julia who’s gotten to the age where she wants to start her own business. My family has supported me every step of the way and I’ve also developed a really strong relationship with my mom because of it. Now, it’s not just a mother-daughter type of thing, but it’s also we’re working together all the time. We run a business together so we are able to go on trips and share new experiences that have brought us a lot closer.”
Willa continues to embody her favorite quote from Mother Theresa, “Do small things with great love.” Even with her busy schedule, Willa continues to give back. She also recently launched a program based on the book Success for Teens developed by the SUCCESS foundation. “It’s basically an online group of girls whose moms can join as well. We are all reading this book, Success for Teens together. We will read a chapter each month and then reconvene at the end of the month on Facebook live to discuss the chapter. I absolutely love it because I personally have learned so much. After my mom and I read a chapter, we’ll talk about the lessons presented in the chapter and try to find little stories from our own life to include in our lessons for the Facebook live. We not only learn a lot about each other, but we also learn to self-analyze and improve who we are.” Willa was recently honored by asking to speak at her high school during an Anti-Bullying presentation at her high school. She was honored to share her experiences with her classmates. She is truly an extremely kind and caring person whose large success is met with an even larger heart.
Recently, the Willa’s skin care company became a part of the Origami Owl family of brands. They are working together to develop and launch a new product line called Willing Beauty, a company committed to healthy, effective, no-brainer beauty. Willa and her mother, Christy, are pleased as they continue in their mission to share skincare expertise because they know when women feel proud in their skin, their futures flourish; beautiful on the inside and out.
Face the Day; spf 30 tinted moisturizer - “Girls hate wearing sunscreen because it’s white and sticky and gross. So we created ours with a universal skin tint to offset the white from the zinc and it goes on with a velvety texture, so it isn’t sticky.”
Skinny Mini; lipgloss - “The way we designed our packaging for these glosses was so that they’d slip easily into your pocket for easy carrying.”
Skin Elixir - “It’s changed my life. It’s formulated with seven essential oils that work together to not only reduce the effects of acne but to moisturize your skin. It’s incredible!”