At the age of 13, I decided to start my own organic skincare range. Being a competitive swimmer, my Mother really enforced the importance of skin care maintenance but I began to notice that for other girls at school, this was not the case. I started to see that girls all around me were having skin issues and that this had an effect on their self esteem. I soon understood that while girls knew skin care was important they did not know what to use other than what their doctor or Mother prescribed them- which was either anti-ageing or full of ingredients I could not even pronounce!
Determined and excited, I spent most of my summer holidays researching organic ingredients, trying to understand what they were, how they worked together, which to avoid and spending birthday money buying and analyzing products on the market. With all my new knowledge, I typed “people who make skincare” into Google and set up a meeting with a company in Country Victoria. After payment day came, due to having no contract in place, the manufacturer broke off all contact and I was left with nothing.
Having the courage to start from scratch again was tough. Being such a happy and positive girl, it was hard for me to accept that not everyone had this same outlook on life as me and became more doubtful about my idea. I knew the venture was going to be hard but I did not expect people to be so mean! Sharing your hopes and dreams is tough at any age but being told you have no credibility, skills or statistics behind you to make it work was something I found difficult to get used to.
I am lucky to have two of the most incredible parents in the world and while they have shown me a cultured and blessed life, I have had to learn the hard way how to stand on my own and make things happen. Without their guidance and introduction into the power of the mind, law of attraction and power of positive thinking, I do not think I would have been able to be the calm, mindful person I am today and understand the power my thoughts to attract what I want. Something so simple is so often overlooked but it really does work- if someone tells you otherwise, just remember that a little girl with a big dream started a skincare line from a study!
After my manufacturing dilemma and months of personal development, I wrote 650 emails to established companies, investors and public figures to help me build or collaborate on a youth range. I got maybe 15 replies. Many of these only came because I called their offices and assistants every day for a week and more than 50% of the replies were telling me that my idea would fail or better yet, was not worth pursuing.
I was lucky however, that my persistence and passion, got me support from Australian Buyers Advocate, Nicole Jacobs, who is now my mentor. Nicole gave me the courage to keep pursuing my dream despite people not understanding my true vision to which I realized was my biggest advantage! No one is going to target a skincare range at teenagers better than a teenager! I dismissed the collaboration idea and started on my own!
I had gone through countless names before I settled on Bahama Belle and the mermaid skin identity. Growing up practically a child of the ocean angels, I felt it was the thing I could project most honestly because I connect so easily to it. I immediately thought of the number one destination on my bucket list, the Bahamas. To no surprise, a few weeks after, the Universe granted me with a set of mermaid affirmation cards. I put two and two together and there was Bahama Belle, the beauty of the Bahamas. I want to deliver the magic, radiance and clarity of ocean kissed skin to girls everywhere and empower them to believe the worth in their individual and natural beauty.
People have been quick to judge me and question how someone so young could have such ambition and drive but that is just who I am. I am an old soul and always felt that from a young age as I always connected to people that were older than me. My Mum made it clear that when I started my business, it would be a sacrifice and if I wanted it to succeed, I could not do if half heartedly. Sometimes people did not understand my drive and sort of punished me for being so dedicated to my business but I soon understood the freedom that you unlock when you become unaffected by others, praise or abuse.
Bahama Belle has definitely taught me that if you are not confident or believe in yourself, no one else can have belief in you either. I truly believe that you are only limited by two things: your thoughts and how hard you are willing to work. Everyone has more capabilities within them than they imagine and can do anything they choose.
Your mind has an incredible power and the thoughts you think really do impact what comes to you. You have a choice if you want to control your mind or if it controls you. Understand this and use your mind to create your life because life is as limitless as you want it to be. Choose love, be fearless and make your dream a reality!
Love and a mermaid hug,
**Image credit: Sacha Kalis, AKA Bahamas girl
Rebecca Rusinovic is a 17-year-old student, entrepreneur and founder of Bahama Belle Skincare. Embracing her love for the ocean, self empowerment and skincare, she encourages young girls to be the best versions of themselves by taking care and loving the skin they’re in!