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Keep Your Cool

Start your own teen clothing and accessories business.

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Hey! Did ya just hear that kaboom? That was, like, the explosion of the fashion and beauty market for teens. All these geezer designers--they're, like, 25 or 30!--are coming out with these way-cool products just for us: hair stuff, makeup, handbags, accessories, clothes . . . and, hey, we've got mucho dinero from our part-time jobs-and, like, maybe a little help from the parental plastic. Let's go shopping!

Thankfully, you don't have to talk like teens to sell to them. Nevertheless, a growing number of Gen X entrepreneurs are getting in touch with their inner teen and communicating with the junior market using the sweet language of commerce. And there are a whole lot of kids listening: By 2010, the number of teens in the United States alone will swell to 35 million, more than at any other time in history, according to Teen.com, a Web site catering to the interests of 42,000 young surfers each day. A Rand Youth poll estimated that teen girls spend $21.8 billion a year on clothes and beauty accessories. The children of the boomers are growing up, and they have been well-schooled in the joys of consumerism.

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