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Building a Successful Gen Z Brand


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Shout-out to all you Gen Z leaders! 20-year-old entrepreneur Kiki Quesada joins us today to break down misconceptions about Gen Z and share her success story.

When the pandemic left her with a nearly empty schedule, Quesada started creating handmade lip glosses from home. Her brand, Kikiz Cosmeticz, took off, and now she has a TikTok following of 1.7 million and a business that generated close to half a million dollars in sales this past year! 

Check out this episode to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur and finding success at a young age.

misconceptions about gen z

There’s a lot of hullabaloo out there about Gen Z’s work ethic, with many claiming that Gen Zers are lazy and don’t want to work. Like many Gen Zers, Quesada disproves this myth by putting in dedicated time and effort to create a booming cosmetics business from scratch.

Quesada understands the myth from an outsider’s perspective, but she points out that priorities change from generation to generation, and that Gen Zers question the standard route set before them. “I wanted to take a different route and make my time worth it, 'cause what you do with your life, that's what you're gonna be doing for the rest of your life. So why not do something that you love? So I feel like we always try to find different ways to enjoy our work and express our passion, and that could be misconceived.”

the combined powers of innovation and community support

Quesada’s business venture started with the cosmetics she made for family and friends after seeing small businesses on TikTok dramatically grow their followings during the pandemic. When the cosmetics were a hit with her family and friends, she started building the business and making TikTok videos to promote and educate others about her products.

Two key factors in the growth of Kikiz Cosmeticz were Kiki’s innovation and the support of her family and friends. She expanded into creating themed bundles, and she focuses now on developing new ideas for those collections, like the recent Zodiac-themed bundles. 

As the business grew, Quesada turned to her support network for help, like many successful leaders before her. Her parents helped her by providing informal marketing research. They also ensured Quesada had an appropriate workspace by buying and building her desk in a day. Quesada gives credit to her parents and the teamwork that helped make her venture such a success.

quesada's secrets for success

Quesada figured out her demographics quickly, finding success in using social media to market her products to ages 10-13 on TikTok and 18-24 on YouTube. “I do believe that it's all about who you're targeting. And that's why I focus [on] my brand. I focus on the colors. I focus on pinks and purples and vibrant colors that would attract a younger audience because I am young.”

Another factor in Quesada’s success is her determination to always remember what she wanted when she started this journey. “You always have to stay humble and understand that this is what you want. So it's just one step at a time. And oftentimes it's like you can't depend on motivation because you're not always gonna be motivated.” 

On those days, she reminds herself not to take for granted the fact that she has achieved what she wanted. Self-care is an important strategy to help her stay the course, and she has learned that a dedicated routine for both work and self-care helps her manage stress and overwhelm. 

Don’t miss the rest of our conversation with this amazing young woman! And for those of you dreaming of creating your own business, Quesada’s advice is to “always go for it. There is enough room at the table. [...] Just go for it and be consistent.”

In Motivational Mondays, we get to chat with many change-making leaders, including successful entrepreneurs. Check out our episode with Paige Dungan to learn how you can become a fearless entrepreneur!

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [1:15] Quesada’s response to negative stereotypes about Gen Z
  • [2:37] How Quesada started Kikiz Cosmeticz
  • [4:36] The importance of standing out as a brand
  • [5:48] Why entrepreneurs need a strong support network
  • [7:01] Quesada’s conscious choice to leave college and start a career
  • [11:24] Kikiz Cosmeticz’s astounding revenue and success
  • [13:29] The importance of self-care, especially for business owners
  • [15:31] Quesada’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
  • [16:45] Quesada’s approach to marketing toward her target audience
  • [17:59] How Quesada stays motivated

Tune into the Members Only episode to learn more about Kikiz Cosmeticz’s brand values and Quesada’s plans to grow the company further.