Fourteen-year-old Sienna Jovcevski is officially the country’s youngest and most accomplished businesswoman.
The pint-sized entrepreneur has been named Australia’s junior small business champion entrepreneur at the Australian Small Business Championship Awards 2023 for her skin care products for “tweenagers,” which are taking the beauty industry by storm.
As previously featured in The Catholic Weekly, the St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove student discovered a gap in the market for pre-teen products after experiencing changes to her own skin and took things into her own hands and developed Tweeny Skin.
Today she offers a range of products including face wash, deep cleaning and purifying serums, eye pads and face masks with teenage customers in Australia, New Zealand, the US, South Korea, and Dubai.
Presented at a glittering ceremony at Star City Casino in front of more than a thousand people on 29 April, the year nine student is one of the youngest to take out a title in what is billed as the nation’s premier small business awards program.
As well as taking out the young entrepreneur of the year award, she was a finalist for the online business category.
Ms Jovcevski said while it still hasn’t sunk in, she feels “so blessed and grateful” to have won.
“I just can’t believe it. I didn’t think I had a chance of winning as there were so many talented young people nominated,” she beamed.
“When my dad told me it was my name called out, I just sat there in shock.
“Getting up in front of a thousand people to accept the award from Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton without an acceptance speech was pretty daunting and scary.
“Although now that I’ve had the chance to think about it, the award has motivated me to work even harder.
“And it’s made me realise that even though I am only young, what I am doing is working and it has given me the confidence to keep going.
“My parents have been so supportive, and I would just like to thank them, and my whole family for always believing in me.”
Following in her mother Sonja’s footsteps, who worked in the beauty industry for 25 years, Ms Jovcevski experimented with some ingredients with a particular focus on turmeric when she was just 11 and says “the rest is history”.
Now struggling to keep up with demand, she has enlisted help from her older brothers to help deliver the packages from her parents’ Hurstville garage-turned-miniature-warehouse to the local post office where she is on first name basis.
Sienna said balancing schoolwork with growing a business has taught her many things including the importance of being well organised.
“I started this when I was just 11, so school wasn’t as hectic as it is now,” she smiled.
“I’m in year nine, have a lot of homework and I do dancing four afternoons a week so I have to plan my time carefully.
“It really did start with my own skin. I had tried so many products, but nothing was working for me because they were either too harsh or too gentle.
“That sparked the idea and I decided to make my own range.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and I have learnt a lot about myself and the business world and my ultimate goal now is to have Tweeny Skin selling in retail stores.”
Awards founder and managing director Steve Loe said the Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2023 were established to serve as an opportunity to showcase small business on the national stage, recognising the commitment and vision its owners embody.
“After 25 years holding these awards, I am still in awe of what small business can achieve, and know how important it is to highlight the significant contribution it makes to the Australian economy,” he said.
St Ursula’s Principal Mary Leask said it is “fantastic to see Sienna’s courage and hard work recognised through the business awards”.
“Our college community is very proud of Sienna, who has continued to excel in her schoolwork while also building a successful business from the ground up—no easy feat,” she said.
“Sienna’s story so far demonstrates that you’re never too young to follow your passion and make your mark on the world.
“Her success is a great example of what happens when creativity and critical thinking are put into action and how the sky’s the limit when we take risks and have a go.”