EAST ORANGE, NJ - 13-year-old Aaliyah Kamalei is a budding kidprenuer and founder/CEO of Nature’s Pout – all-natural lip and body care products. She started Nature’s Pout after undertaking a research project for her High Aptitude Program (HAP) class in seventh grade: an independent study on dangerous household chemicals. Aaliyah’s research uncovered an alarming truth - many of the cosmetics that are commonly available contain toxins and carcinogenic ingredients.
As a young teen who was beginning to develop an interest in make-up, Aaliyah grew concerned by her findings, especially given her familial history of cancer. In September 2013, Aaliyah’s father passed away from Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood plasma, and her mother recently recovered from a rare form of Breast Cancer. Other members of her family have also been diagnosed with diseases such as colon, uterine, breast and ovarian cancers. Deciding that she did not want to increase her risk of contracting such horrible and frightening illnesses, Aaliyah set out to create pure and wholesome cosmetics for herself.
She began by using the internet to research different ingredients, both helpful and harmful. With a list of healthy and natural substances to make her own lip balms out of, Aaliyah took to her mom’s kitchen to experiment and refine her formula. After creating a few prototype Lip Balms, Lip Jellies and Lip Scrubs, Aaliyah showed off her creations at one of her aunt’s tea parties. It was there that she met East Orange artist Linda Street, who’s message of “Dope Chicks Do Dope Stuff” encouraged Aaliyah to take her idea further. Linda also helped Aaliyah enter the East Orange Music Arts and Culture Festival (MACFest), where she sold her natural lip care products for the first time.
From MACFest, Aaliyah has appeared at many other festivals around New Jersey, including the East Orange Meet, Move & Mingle Health Festival and the NJPAC Kwanzaa Festival. She has also expanded her line of products to include Body Scrubs, Gift Packages and handmade cosmetics cases that her aunt makes.
Although she is very busy as a young business woman, Aaliyah still makes plenty of time for school, extracurriculars, and her friends. Currently an eighth grader in West Orange, Aaliyah is in four Honors classes, including a high school level math class. In addition, she is part of her school STEM club, and has participated in projects such as building LEGO robotics and a Rube Goldberg Machine contest. Interested in engineering, Aaliyah has attended the NJIT Pre College Summer Program for the past three years. She also loves to cook and can often be found whipping up a batch of brownies, mac and cheese, or her favorite cream biscuits from scratch!
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