Bauer Business Focus

Teenage Entrepreneur From Houston Makes Lip Balm For A Good Cause

For every lip balm sold, 14-year-old Julia Sora donates one to kids with cancer.

Julia Sora, 14, founded her company Zeal Cares to help kids suffering from cancer with their skin.


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When she was nine years old, Julia Sora discovered that she wanted to help people in need after participating in the Montessori Model United Nations program.

"Back then I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do and how I wanted to help," Sora said. Then she heard about the struggles of her friend's mother with breast cancer.

"In addition to the nausea, she also complained about the dry skin," she said. "So I decided that I wanted to create an effective product to help children that were going through similar struggles as her."

Sora went to work in the family kitchen, mixing ingredients like shea butter, argan oil and beeswax to make organic lip balm in different flavors.

Zeal Cares was born, and today the 14-year-old entrepreneur balances school, sports and work for her small business.

"I'd say it's really hard," she said. "But thanks to all my friends and family and supporters, it's been doable."

For every lip balm purchased, Zeal Cares gives one for free to a child undergoing cancer therapy.

"A lot of times during the treatment, they get really dry skin," Sora said. "So that's why I include ingredients like shea butter and argan oil in my lip balm to help moisturize their skin."

She hopes to grow her business much bigger.

"The major lip balm brands are making over $140 million every year," she said. "And if I could be a major player, then I could be a reliable source to fund pediatric cancer research, because as I get to speak with more people in the cancer community I'm realizing just how underfunded it is, and so eventually I want to make a difference."

Most recently, Soras was one of 60 young entrepreneurs chosen for NPR’s How I Built This summit with Guy Raz.

Click on the audio above to listen to the interview.

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