Keep Your Cool

What Makes Them Different

Teens are looking for higher-quality products than their predecessors, and they've got the dollars to pay for them. Philippe Tordjman, the 32-year-old owner of Philou, a San Francisco hair salon that he launched in 1997 with his tools and one assistant, has developed a line of hair-care products by the same name. They're designed to attract teens with their fun scents and packaging. "Nowadays, teens go crazy with their hair," says the French native.

Remember that teens want options, Singer adds. Most of the successful designers have several lines for buyers to choose from. "On our site, we give girls alternatives," Singer says. "We don't say 'If you don't buy this product, you won't be beautiful.' "

Girls are just there to sit pretty, huh? Try reading Where Are The Riot Grrls and see how females are tearing up the business world.

Although most of the fashion and beauty companies are located on the coasts, technology today allows you to reach other markets, Haynes points out. "I've been selling online to people in towns with populations of 100,000 or less," he says. "They don't have a Bloomingdale's or a hip shop where they can buy these kinds of products, so they seek us out on the Web. We also look to sell our products in small neighborhood stores, places where girls shop on their way home from school."

Entrepreneurs who are reluctant to enter the teen market because of its supposed age limitations aren't seeing the big picture, according to Singer. "All the high-end designers are showing an influence from the juniors market," she says. "Older women are trying out fun clothing decorated with rhinestones and embroideries, especially if they have teenage daughters." Adds Haynes: "There's a girl in every woman."

Past adolescence yourself? Check out these sites to find out what teens today are thinking and buying.

  • Worth Global Style Network, a site filled with research on the fashion and beauty market

Pamela Rohland, a writer from Bernville, Pennsylvania, and the owner of four felines, finds cat hair an indispensable wardrobe accessory.

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This article was originally published in the August 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Keep Your Cool.

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