Scarlett Bella Song is a 13-year-old dancer, actress, model, social media influencer – and, most recently, a jewelry designer and entrepreneur!
Scarlett is an artistic individual; she likes to create and perform. She goes through life observing things through her own lens, and she takes inspiration from the world around her. She has expressed herself through dancing, acting, and art throughout her life. Recently, she applied her creativity to co-design a 15-piece jewelry collection. She recently discovered that she enjoys translating her ideas, feelings, and values into tangible beauty that she can share with the world.
Scarlett also takes her education very seriously. She’s college-bound and aspires to launch multiple successful businesses and cultivate a personal brand. She recognizes that it takes a combination of business acumen, talent, dedication, and vision to be successful, so she’s committed to growing her skills and realizing her potential in various facets (dance, design, business, etc.).
Ultimately, Scarlett aspires to leave a legacy and sustainable businesses behind for new voices to catapult to the next level. StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Scarlett to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
My entrepreneurial flair vaguely revealed itself when I was five or six years old. Like many of my peers, I wanted to sell lemonade, wash cars, hold garage sales, and sell hand-me-downs on eBay. At the time, my interests were commonplace and probably didn’t really signify a true entrepreneurial spirit. However, once I saw my entertainment idols building personal brands and sustainable businesses (fashion, fragrances, makeup, etc.), it clicked in my mind that I could become both an entertainer and entrepreneur. In my mind, the two were becoming inextricably linked.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
I’ve been training to realize my full potential as a student and dancer for most of my life. I was always on a path towards a future destination.
A typical day in my life consists of school, followed by hours of training in a dance studio.
My day still consists of these staples – but now my day is longer as I explore new talents, interests, and business ventures.
As an entrepreneur/creative, what is it that motivates and drives you?
I have an inherent need to express myself creatively, and I’m still finding new vehicles to do so. Most recently, I took up photography as an elective at school, and my teacher encouraged me to pursue it more seriously going forward.
While I enjoy sharing my love for fashion and entertainment on social media, my underlying motivation for building my social media platform is to propel my sense of purpose: to spread kindness, empowerment, and collaboration throughout the teen community. The jewelry I helped design reflects these sentiments and physically manifests the energy I wish to send out into the world.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur/creative and explain why.
One word to describe my life is freedom.
I feel like I’m my authentic self when I can create based on my personal story. I’ve always done this through dance and recently started doing this through photography and jewelry design.
My aspiration is for my creations to fuel viable business ventures.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
(1) I felt disconnected during quarantine, and I wanted to create a vehicle to connect to others and create a supportive community.
(2) I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, and I seized it. I realized I might never get an opportunity like it ever again.
(3) I want to take on projects that demonstrate that we can achieve results in a humanitarian way.
We were in the midst of the pandemic, and I had been on Zoom school at home for over a year. I was feeling disconnected and yearned to connect more closely with my friends. I realized that I was not alone in my feelings, and I wanted to send messages of love and empowerment into the world.
The form these messages took were 15 pieces of jewelry that comprise the Annie X Scarlett teen jewelry collection. I hope that each person who wears a piece from the collection feels like they received a heartfelt hug from us. I want them to feel the love and deep meaning infused into each piece. Hopefully, the jewelry will unite us and help create an inclusive community where we uplift and support each other.
The most authentic way to become an entrepreneur is to find an unmet need in the marketplace and develop products/services to best meet that needs in a meaningful and enduring way. I felt the need to connect to others during the pandemic and set out on my first entrepreneurial venture to meet that need.
Ultimately, all of my future business endeavors will begin with a sense of purpose that reflects my values.
Do you think you can make this business successful?
We just launched our collection, so our success right now is just making it through all the loops we encountered over nine months to bring the collection to market. Now, we reset the bar to measure actual success in terms of sales, recouping our investment, and making a profit.
I hope the collection is a success because I have so many creative ideas flowing in my mind, and I would like to double – down and pursue another entrepreneurial venture.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
I am still learning what it takes to operate a successful business, but some essential elements I learned include:
A. You need to both understand your market and find a gap in that space that you can fill.
B. You need to scope out the competition, understand what they are selling, and find a meaningful way to distinguish yourself from them. Otherwise, if your product looks the same as all others without any meaningful distinction (and you can’t make them cheaper and sell them for less than your competitors), you will face a brutal battle for your customer’s share of wallet.
C. You need to do your research and set your price point appropriately.
D. You need to design products or services with strong appeal to your target market to increase your chances of success.
E. Finally, I firmly believe that you need to engender your customer’s trust. Therefore, as a small business owner, I believe it is essential to build your brand because it will set expectations and make promises to your customers.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
Challenge 1: My personal challenge is that my target customers are predominately my peers on social media. My peers and I started at the same place years ago, and it is a challenge to change the relationship into a business-customer relationship. I need to figure out how to overcome the underlying one-sided competitiveness so we can support each other in our endeavors.
Challenge 2: I had to learn everything from scratch. It was rewarding, but it was a truly immersive endeavor while balancing school and dance training.
Challenge 3: It was a struggle to pair down all of our initial ideas to create a clear path forward!
What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses and creatives all over the world?
I hope small businesses band together and harness their collective power to encourage customers to shop from small businesses and creatives. If we are fractured with infighting, we miss out on the opportunities to shift customer mindsets and change their shopping habits to support small businesses.