Margo offers more than lip service

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Honestly Margo recently celebrated its second birthday.
Margo Gianos wears a T-shirt with one of her favorite sayings
Honestly Margo balms are made of natural ingredients.
Margo Gianos shows off a display at gift market.

Margo offers more than lip service

By Linda Miller

Margo Gianos launched her line of all-natural lip balms two years ago and already her products are sold in more than 30 stores in seven states.

She recently added body balms to the Honestly Margo lineup and continues to promote her brand not just locally but at wholesale gift markets in Dallas and Atlanta.

Gianos, though, is not your typical entrepreneur. Running a successful business is just one aspect of her busy schedule. She’s 14, an 8th grader at Casady, an A student and is active in sports, both through school and outside.

Lip balm isn’t her first attempt at entrepreneurship. Even at a younger age, she had plenty of ideas. While still in elementary school she wanted a website to sell her art. Maybe she could whip up bookmarks or kitty collars. She did make and sell cat and dog toys.

But it was lip balm and those juicy flavors that grabbed attention. She researched natural ingredients and concocted the moisturizing balm in her kitchen, filling empty Chapstick tubes and selling it to her friends. They loved it and wanted more.

Could this be a real business?

With her mother Irene’s encouragement and knowledge of beauty products – she’s a successful lifestyle blogger — Honestly Margo was launched with the 12-year-old pitching her balm to local retailers. Both lip and body balms come in six flavors. Lip balms sell for less than $10. The balms are now manufactured in the U.S.

She was featured in the Washington Post and Honestly Margo was included on “Good Morning America’s” Deals and Steals last year.

Ion recently caught up with this energetic and inspirational Oklahoma City teen.

Ion: How difficult was it for you early on, as a 12-year-old, to approach retailers with your product?

Margo: When I first started Honestly Margo, I was very nervous approaching businesses. I felt awkward and shy. As time passed and I practiced more, I have become more confident and well spoken.

Ion: You recently added body balms to the collection. Any other products in the works?

Margo: Right now there is nothing in the works, but you never know what other products we might decide to come out with in the future.

Ion: Besides Honestly Margo, what are your other interests?

Margo: I love to play soccer and field hockey. I love to hang out with all of my friends. I also work very hard in school and maintain my grades. After all my work is done, I love to watch TV. I watch “Castle,” “The Bachelor,” “NCIS” and “Pretty Little Liars.” I still have more though. HAHA!

Ion: What’s it like juggling school, life as a teenager and a business?

Margo: Sometimes juggling all of my school work can be difficult, especially this year since my classes are harder. When I come home from school I do my homework then my Honestly Margo work. I still have time to watch TV, Snapchat with my friends, FaceTime people and play sports. It’s all about being efficient and prioritizing. During some of my breaks at school, I will try to get done some of my work then. If I want to go out with my friends on Friday nights or the weekend, I make sure my Honestly Margo work is done before I go. It can get crazy, but I don’t mind it!

Ion: After the success of Honestly Margo, do you see a future for yourself in the beauty business? Or do you have other aspirations?

Margo: I see myself owning a business when I grow up. I see myself not working for anyone but myself.

Ion: What advice would you share with other young entrepreneurs?

Margo: I want all young entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and to never put yourself down. People are going to say no, you just have to move past those and keep working hard. Reach for the stars because you can do anything. If you work hard, you can accomplish anything!

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