At the age of 16, Tina Wells launched her first business, focusing on her desire to help businesses understand how teenagers like her felt about their respective products and services.
Her passion for fashion and pop culture led her to start writing product reviews for a teen-targeted newspaper called The New Girl Times, where she worked as a product review editor. Through her job, she had the chance to test products from various companies, and even pitched great clients like Apple, Kroger, and The Oprah Winfrey Network and landed them
According to her, the writing gig led to more independent work for those companies, which enabled her to launch a market research company within a few years – with the support of her “clients.” Today, her business continues to focus on teens and young adults.
Wells is the CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, an award-winning agency dedicated to bridging the gap between teens and businesses trying to reach them. She has developed a worldwide network of over 9,000 teen consultants who have helped to develop innovative marketing strategies for numerous beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle clients, such as Maidenform, SonyBMG, and PBS.
However, building a seven-figure enterprise was not easy. According to Wells, she experienced symptoms of burnout due to her inability to balance her work life. “I was experiencing so much anxiety, panic, hair loss, stomach pains—you name it,” She told Ebony. “It was clear something was going on, and I really needed to pause and get it sorted out.”
She is the author of six books, including the bestselling tween fiction series, Mackenzie Blue, and the marketing handbook, Chasing Youth Culture, and Getting it Right.
She’s also a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows, and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute, as well as the academic director of Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World program.
Additionally, she is a member of the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council, and has several awards and recognitions – including Billboard Magazine’s 30 Under 30, Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30, and Essence Magazine’s 40 Under 40.
For potential entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Wells says it is not enough to be competitive or innovative, the real key is to have balance.
“Entrepreneurs have to carefully plan ahead but know when to take risks,” she told Diversity Women. “We have to approach our profession with a lot of flexibility and open-mindedness but still take our work seriously.”