Just as we aim to inspire the students we teach, we here at Private Prep are continually inspired by our clients and eager to see where their education takes them. Zach Dishinger, a Private Prep alumni, and successful business owner, is a great example of that inspiration through his drive, passion, and determination. His company, Formula Z Cosmetics, is committed to empowering young people through self-expression and inclusivity. We spoke to him about his experiences, education, and path to entrepreneurship.
Thanks so much for being willing to speak with us, Zach! To start off, give us a brief history of you and Formula Z. How did you end up CEO of your own company by age fifteen?
I grew up in theater. The stage was my second home. As I got older, my love for acting soon turned into a passion for makeup. I felt a surge of confidence when getting ready for a show. I soon realized what I loved most about the theater was the art of transformation. When I put on makeup, being bullied for my sexual orientation and judged for my unconventional interests didn’t matter anymore. Makeup was a part of me, and I decided to stay true to myself.
When I was eleven or twelve, I’d take my mom’s bronzers and lipsticks. She’d find me in the kitchen attempting to make cosmetics, mixing bronzers and lipsticks to create the perfect shades and textures. I knew makeup was my calling and at fifteen years old, after a ton of research and development, I launched Formula Z Cosmetics.
In your opinion, what does it mean to “love yourself”? How would you encourage young people to love themselves?
I feel proud that my brand is part of a cultural-revolution committed to being a leading voice in the fight for equality and equal representation. I want to make sure that everyone feels like they belong. Too many makeup brands give off the “you’re not pretty enough” vibes… It’s time to change that! You don’t have to look like anyone else, you can look like you. YOU are your own pretty!
The world doesn’t need another lipstick. The world needs a brand that helps people be themselves. From the beginning, it was important for me to have a strong point of difference rooted in the ethos of the brand. Formula Z is about transforming beauty to help others stay true to who they are, to be unconditionally accepting, and to step out of their comfort zones.
No matter what anyone tells you, just be you. You may not be accepted right away, but there are millions of people who will celebrate you for who you are.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. What advice would you share with other young entrepreneurs?
Every day will bring its challenges, that never changes. The key thing for me and other young entrepreneurs is to focus on balancing school with work and being especially productive in downtime or when not in class. Lunch at school is conference call time for me and when school gets out, my day is just starting up again. Taking time for yourself is really important especially if your mind is always running! I also plan on attending college and am going through the usual senior year stuff right now!
So, what’s next for you and Formula Z?
Education is extremely important to me. Private Prep helped me achieve my goals as a student by balancing school and SAT/ACT Prep with outside extracurriculars. Next, I plan on going to college and majoring in business and with a minor in cinematography or broadcast journalism. I also would like to earn my MBA. As for Formula Z, we are launching amazing new products soon. Truly revolutionary and cool but that’s about all I can say right now. So stay tuned!