A Sparkling Entrepreneur at Age 10
January 2021 Issue
by Michele Roldán-Shaw
Photography (right) by Janice Wilson
Product Photography by Lasheena Moss
At age 10, Kalimah Elizabeth Moss may not have terms like “aspirational” or “economic empowerment” in her vocabulary, but she’s already living them. Her company, Lizzie’s Lip Pop, LLC, is a glittering success (she even has a customer in Africa!) and her achievements have motived other young people to follow their dreams, too.
“I started my business during quarantine because it was boring and there was nothing to do,” said Kalimah, whose nickname, Lizzie, was bestowed at birth by her grandmother and now lends itself to her company. “I also hate sticky lip gloss from out the store, so I made my own. If kids tell me I can’t do it, I’ll still do it. Ever since I started my business, my brother started his own business and so did my cousin.”
Her brother, 13-year-old Dylan, now sells his tie-dye creations through Da Sock Drip, LLC, while their cousin has marketed lip glosses of her own. (Despite being in direct competition, there are no hard feelings; they actually buy each other’s products.) Kalimah is well aware that she’s an inspiration. Yet when she first had the idea to start a lip gloss business, her mom didn’t feel she was ready.
“I didn’t think it would go far in a small town, and I was trying to protect her feelings,” said LaSheena Burton, who is a lip gloss girl herself and appreciates how she can wear her daughter’s products under a face mask without it sticking. “I said, ‘Are you sure? It’s a lot of work.’
She said, ‘Yes mommy, this is what I want to do.’ So we started ordering all the stuff on Amazon, and it just blossomed from there. Kalimah is very determined, and she works hard at everything she does. She wants to go global; she wants it all.”
Kalimah manufactures all her products by hand and sells them online, or in pop-up shops. She has Facebook and Instagram pages, a web commercial, and she’s been on the news. Her dream is to open her own shop, maybe a nail salon since she wants to be a nail artist, but she’ll also put some of her lip gloss in there “in case people want to buy it.” Currently the Lizzie’s Lip Pop line includes body scrubs, lip scrubs, leather key chains she makes with her mom, custom shirts and face masks made by her grandmother, and even a kid-friendly nail polish. “Those ones you can’t be allergic to because they’re vegan,” she explained.
But her signature product remains lip gloss, which contains a secret oil and comes in a surprising array of colors and flavors. “This is the special thing about my lip gloss,” said Kalimah. “When you see the color, that’s not the color it will be on your lips. I have a banana one, but when my auntie put it on, it wasn’t yellow. I have a galaxy one that’s blue and pink mixed together and purple in the middle. I have a cupcake body scrub...the ideas just pop up in my brain.”
“She makes it sound easy but it’s not,” said LaSheena, who manages the money and facilitates safety procedures like sanitization and the use of gloves. “A news anchor from WSAV called her the “Willy Wonka of lip gloss”—that’s what I thought, too, but I didn’t want to toot my own horn! Maybe she and her brother get it from their dad because I’m the shy one. I wish I had what they have goin’ on because they’re much braver than me.”
Based on her own experience, Kalimah would like to offer some advice to all the dreamers, creators and entrepreneurs out there: “Never give up, keep trying. If people tell you that you can’t do it, do it anyway. Because it’s your idea, not theirs. Don’t wait for the opportunity—create it.”
School: South Carolina Connections Academy, a home-school program
Hobbies: basketball, ballet and hip-hop dance
How she learned to make lip gloss: Tik Tok and YouTube videos
Newest additions to the line: Nude and Strawberry Milkshake
How to order: find and follow her Facebook page, Lizzie’s Lip Pop, LLC, then message her
Another possible career: veterinarian—she loves animals and once rehabilitated a wounded bird by putting it in a box and feeding it balogna before successfully rereleasing it