No. Smithfield teens launch eco-friendly skin care company

No. Smithfield teens launch eco-friendly skin care company

Kristianna and Kate Lapierre, juniors at North Smithfield High School, are in the process of launching Twin Skin, an eco-friendly skin care company that offers lip balms made with all natural ingredients.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – When Kate and Kristianna Lapierre look at a tube of lip balm, they don’t just see something to place on your skin.

The twin sisters and juniors at North Smithfield High School see a business opportunity and are following up with their vision in a newly-launched venture they’re calling Twin Skin.

The company offers eco-friendly skin care products made from all natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil and essential oils. While they’re currently focused on creating lip balms available in flavors like cranberry and peppermint, the sisters said they hope to expand their products and offer a full line of lip scrubs, body scrubs, face masks and soaps.

The venture started last year when Kate developed the business plan as part of an assignment for an entrepreneurship class. In 2018, she submitted the plan to the Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a statewide business competition that allows high school students to compete for $12,000 in scholarship funds. Though the idea didn’t place, the seed was planted, and the sisters started to develop the product at home, experimenting with different lip balm flavors and testing them out with friends. All natural skin care products, they explained, are popular with their classmates, but tend to sell for higher prices than you’d find on a drug store shelf.

“Most of the time, they’re very expensive and three times the price of what you’d get in stores,” said Kate.

At $3 apiece, Twin Skin lip balms are affordable and come with the added bonus of eco-friendly packaging. While most lip balms are cased in plastic, the sisters use a slightly larger tube of biodegradable cardboard when creating their product. The choice was in response to the recent movement to reduce plastics in straws and shopping bags, though the sisters noted the trend has yet to fully hit the beauty industry.

“In stores, there’s nothing like them,” said Kristianna.

In April, they submitted their idea for a second time to the Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, this time placing in the top five and qualifying for the final round of competition this Saturday, May 18. This weekend, they’ll head to the New England Institute of Technology to pitch the idea before a panel of judges that includes local CEOs and founders of start-up companies.

Regardless of what happens at the competition, the Lapierres hope to expand their reach and are in the process of registering their business with the town. So far, their customers have been limited to classmates and teachers at NSHS, but they plan to sell at artisan fairs this summer and would eventually like to see their products on the shelves of local stores.

“I feel like we’ve always wanted to start a business,” said Kristianna. “We always had these different ideas, but they never really took off.”

The sisters, 16, are the daughters of Gary and Katrina Lapierre of North Smithfield. Kate hopes to go on to study entrepreneurship after her graduation in 2020, and Kristianna plans to study political science.