Entrepreneur Spotlight: The Aarons of Skin District

The Aarons are the definition of a tight-knit family. Deborah and her wife Neicya and their four children do everything together—from school to play to work. After making a mint selling handmade lip balm at their lemonade stand during a Juneteenth celebration, Deborah and Neicya asked daughters 7-year-old Raveah, 8-year-old Riley and 10-year-old Myah what they wanted to do with the money they earned.

“They wanted to get ice cream and start a business, in that order,” says Deborah.

From there, Skin District Store, an all-natural, artisanal self-care product line, was born. While the business is backed by Neicya’s experience as a licensed esthetician and cosmetologist and Deborah’s branding and marketing credentials, their moms make it clear that the sisters run the show.

A variety of Skin District’s offerings.

“This is 100 percent a kid-owned business,” Deborah explains.

Skin District specializes in soaps, scrubs, masks and more and uses natural ingredients like charcoal, shea butter, turmeric, oatmeal and others to create chemical-free formulas for self-care from hair to toe.

Beyond ready-made balms, creams and cleansers, Skin District also offers customized soaps and other personalized products. The trio is still too young to manage the hot processing alone, but they package products and prep orders. And their moms have helped them become experts on the ingredients they use, the healing properties each contain and how they work within the products. Not only that, but the girls also administer on-site skin analyses, identify issues, discuss sensitives and determine healing goals, helping their customers find individualized skin care regimens.

Her daughters’ enthusiasm for their business has impressed, but not surprised, Deborah. She believes there is a place for everyone in entrepreneurship. Rather than conform to specific roles or business practices, Deborah and Neicya encouraged each of their children to lean into their strengths and passions, allowing the brand to evolve organically and ensuring the girls were on board, every step of the way.

Along with being co-owners, the sisters also have designated titles and job functions based on their personal preferences and interests.

“Riley is our outgoing Vice Chair who’s developing her sales skills,” says Deborah. “Raveah became the Skin District Store Receptionist, working the cash register and handling customers’ purchases. And Myah, who’s rather shy, is most comfortable leading our administrations.”


“This is 100 percent a kid-owned business.”


The young business owners and their moms are active in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Skin District’s brick-and-mortar store is in the Corner Shop Collective, a retail incubator space in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood. Run by the Economic & Community Development Institute with funding from the Cleveland Foundation, the collaborative space enables local product-based small businesses to test their concept in a retail store environment without the barrier of costly overhead expenses. The owners of the pop-up shops work together and learn how to operate their respective storefronts successfully.

Additionally, the Aarons have taken advantage of JumpStart’s services and workshops, including events and educational offerings. Deborah and Neicya also participated in the Small Business Impact Program on their family’s behalf.

“We would go to the classes during the day and then come home and teach the girls what we learned in the evening,” Deb explains.

The goal is to have the girls take on more responsibility as they grow older, evolving and growing Skin District into the brand they want it to be. The information we learned in the Impact Program will help them make business decisions, create products and curate ingredients in the future.

Riley presenting at the Impact Program Showcase.

Riley even kicked off their 10-minute pitch at the Small Business Impact Program showcase event this spring, and while Skin District didn’t walk away with the top prize, Deb says the lessons they learned were invaluable.

“The in-depth work we did in class identifying our ideal customer was so eye-opening,” she says. “Thinking through our customer’s journey helped us with marketing and time management.”

Rather than spending time creating content for social media platforms that weren’t generating leads, Deborah says they used their new insight to redirect their efforts to channels that do reach their potential clients.

Next up, the Aarons family is looking to expand into a location where they can offer salon and spa services, soap-making workshops and their signature self-care products.

Skin District’s fourth anniversary was not lost on the young entrepreneurs. True to form and deeply proud of their business, the girls reminded their moms of the occasion and wanted to celebrate with ice cream.