When people think of a CEO, business suits and New York City skyscrapers come to mind. Yet, many SLS students and teachers are probably unaware that a CEO walks our hallways every day.
Nicole Ayoub is a sophomore at SLS and the founder and CEO of an all-organic and natural skincare company called Truly You.
Before she became a CEO, though, Nicole was a twelve-year-old girl who suffered from eczema. Whenever she and her friends went to cosmetic stores, Nicole frequently experienced skin reactions because of the chemicals in the samples they tried. Once she realized that others suffered from eczema too, she decided to create her own company to provide all-natural skincare products as an alternative to the chemical-filled products that line the shelves of popular stores.
Ayoub makes all of her products in her home, with a dedicated “headquarters” in her basement.
“Each ingredient is organic and natural,” Ayoub shares. “Something I really like to emphasize is the fact that there’s really no more than seven ingredients [in each product]. . . So that is something that really combats having skin reactions – making sure the formula is really simplistic and only has the ingredients that are most needed.”
After Ayoub founded Truly You, her mother helped teach her about business and finance.
“When I first started out with the company, I knew absolutely nothing about finances and business. And my mom, who works in wealth management . . . taught me what an invoice was. She taught me the difference between wholesale and retail. She taught me the difference between profit and cost. So she was a really big mentor for me,” Ayoub comments.
When Ayoub first started Truly You, she only produced body scrubs. Yet, her company has grown significantly since then, as she now produces six different product lines, including face masks, lip balms, and bug spray. She even had the opportunity to give an interview about the company on News 12 CT in May 2018.
However, running Truly You has not been easy. Ayoub describes losing confidence after adults underestimated her. She doubted her abilities to run a successful business as a teenager. But Ayoub decided to persevere and prove those adults wrong.
Now, her products are sold in stores across Fairfield County. During the summer and on holidays, Ayoub sells her products at fairs and markets. She also sells at the annual St. Luke’s Holiday Boutique, and donates 50% of the profit from this event to Kids Helping Kids, a local Stamford charity. Going forward, one of Ayoub’s goals is to increase online purchases from her website, www.truly-you.com.
Truly You has also taught Nicole invaluable life lessons about leadership and hard work.
“Truly You has really taught me about taking matters into your own hands,” Nicole shares. “So rather than waiting for another person to come up with organic and natural products, why not be that person who creates a business? Why not be that leader in your community who does that and helps others, not just yourself?”
Through Truly You, Nicole has used her own skin sensitivities to help others who suffer from the same problem. She has taken one of her passions and used her creativity and determination to build a business which will undoubtedly continue to thrive in the future.