At 17, Madison Poole is already a successful entrepreneur. The Baltimore teen owns and operates Prince M Cosmetics, an online retailer with all-natural products and shades like Color Me Coral and Purple Fusion, which she helped to create with the assistance of a chemist she found on the Internet.
Since the tender age of 13, Madison has worked to build her brand. After attending the recent Baltimore Times Access to Capital 2.0 Small Business Workshop, Madison’s mother says her daughter has always been interested in makeup, hair and nails and has spent countless hours watching YouTube videos honing her craft.
Ultimately, Madison launched Princess Nail Polish, a subsidiary to her Princess M Cosmetics, which consists of a matte polish, quick dry topcoat, basecoat strengthener and 31 of what she calls fun, funky and natural non-toxic vegan nail polishes. She also launched her lip collection with 12 matte liquid lipsticks, five matte lipsticks and five lip- glosses.
“I was amazed at how much she knew at such a young age,” Madison’s mother, LaShanna Brown said of her daughter. “I said, ‘this is not my journey, it’s not my path.’ I could only guide her and who am I to stop her purpose.”
Madison says she is still learning, and that is one reason she attended the Access to Capital 2.0 Small Business Workshop, a free financial education workshop that included bankers, credit specialists, alternative financing lenders and small business nonprofit resources during the nearly four-hour event.
“It was important to attend Access to Capital to learn more about business loans and funding,” Madison said, adding that she wanted to find information that would be a good fit for her business and to network with other businesses. “I didn’t know about and possibly working with one of the lenders to expand my business.”
Originally from Harlem, New York, Madison says watching YouTube and paying close attention to her parents inspired her to become an entrepreneur. She says her parents owned their own businesses and YouTube helped to inspire her because of the various creative ways the website displayed doing business.
“[Also], I started because I was interested in the beauty industry and my mother believed that I should set myself apart from other stylists,” Madison said.
Her Madison M Cosmetics offers various handbags including “The Weekender” makeup bag, “The Simplistic” makeup bag, and the “Chic” makeup bag.
She also offers Aubrey-Matte Liquid Lipstick as well as Bethany, Raynel, Sydney, Milan, D’Erra, Pia, Rosa and other matte liquid lipsticks. Madison M Cosmetics also offers several nail polishes, including Royalty, Sweet Serenity, Bubble Gum, Peach Perfect and “Teal My Heart Away.”
Like other ventures, the online business does have its share of challenges, Madison said.
“I think my biggest challenge is getting people to understand that I am serious about my business and this is something I want to do,” she said. “I think because I started when I was so young people don’t think I am serious or they see it as a hobby.”
However, Madison has proven she is a mainstay and she even has this advice to offer to others.
“Remember who you are as a person and not let what others think about you or your business effect your outcome,” she said. “Also, that if you don’t believe in yourself no one [else] will. I think staying focused and believing in myself has helped me to become successful. Knowing that sometimes it will be hard, but it will [eventually] get better has helped a lot.”