When AJ Smith was just 2 years old she would watch her mom intently put on makeup which is typical for many toddlers. She wanted to wear makeup like her mom but given her age, her parents tried to think of a way for her to developmentally explore and be age-appropriate. Her dad compromised by saying she could wear lip gloss and have her nails painted.

Her parents who are both teachers looked at this as a teaching moment, so along with her twin brother Jax and the help of her parents they started making their own natural lip gloss. To AJ it is just fun to make, but her parents know it involves much more than that.

They soon started having friends ask about the project and the feedback they got back was very positive, they were encouraged to share it with others and they did. Fast forward to now where they have a licensed product called "Beautifly" and AJ is the picture on every product. When it came to the branding of the product AJ's mom Angela said that representation was very important, now other little girls will see someone who looks like them.

Angela said to WCCO-CBS: 

It’s definitely so much more than lip gloss, it’s about creativity, self-expression, and building her self-confidence. We try to show parents, how do you teach your child to be creative, how do you promote self-expression and that’s what Beautifly stands for, so that’s what we’re all about.

 

Right now they have lip gloss in a variety of colors and shoe charms. Aj's surprise Box which contains a couple of lip glosses, candy, a small toy, and also a kid's t-shirt with Aj's picture on it. They hope to have the products out at Farmer's Markets and festivals but right now the products are available online at Beautifly by AJ website. * Make sure to tune into the MIX108 Morning show with Jeanne and Ian this Friday, April 29 at 8:15 am as Jeanne and Ian interview AJ and her mom Angela!

13 Things You Never Knew That Were Invented in Minnesota

There are a handful of things that most Minnesotans know were invented in the state, like SPAM or Post-It notes, but did you know grocery bags with handles is a Minnesota invention? Let's take a look at some other little known Minnesota inventions.

Did you know these celebrities were born in Minnesota?