From Cancer Patient to Beauty Entrepreneur


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unnamedBack in 2008, Gabrielle Flank was diagnosed with Leukemia. Two and a half years later, she went into remission and became completely cancer-free. For some, that would be enough, but for Gabrielle? She had bigger dreams in mind. In 2014, the 17-year-old started The Frosting Company, totally natural and delectable beauty products . Between that, school, and just living life, she even arranges celebrity hospital visits for children (hey, Nick Jonas). Talk about someone who’s well-rounded and has got it all going on.

You were diagnosed with Leukemia back in 2008 and are now in remission. How did this prompt you to create a bath/beauty line?

After my diagnosis my skin became very sensitive. My sister Brittney and I became aware of all of the harsh chemicals in beauty products. We wanted to create a line of products that we felt safe using.

 
Your company is centered around the use of natural and organic products. Why is this important to you?

I am a very health conscious person. Our body absorbs a percentage of what we put onto our skin. We wanted to create a line that not only smelled great but was great for your skin and body as well. Our line of products are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, and soy.

The name of your business is the Frosting Company and your branding involves a lot of pink. Why did you choose this name/vibe?

The word “frosting” truly makes people smile. We named our company The Frosting Company because our body butter looks just like frosting! The vibe of our company is positive and uplifting and we have incorporated that into all aspects of our business.

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In your free time, you arrange visits with celebrities for children in the hospital—certainly, an ambitious task given how influential and busy celebrities are. How did this start and how have you been able to grow the program since?

While undergoing my chemotherapy treatments I would have to spend extensive amounts of time in the hospital. During that time there wasn’t much for me to do but watch TV, movies or listen to music. My sister and I knew we wanted  help to brighten the spirits of other ill children. Since the children admitted can not leave the hospital we would bring the people they watched and admired to them. The best part about our program is when we get to see a child who hasn’t smiled in weeks smile and laugh, or when we are able to receive calls and notes from the parents tellings us how their child was finally able to act like kids again. The joy from being able to brighten up a child’s day even just for a few minutes is honestly indescribable. We have even had celebrities tell us how meeting the children have inspired them as well. I couldn’t be more more grateful and proud that we are able to help have a positive impact and bring a smile to such deserving children’s faces.

 
On your company website and social media, you have chosen to refrain from mentioning your young age. Why is that?

We do embrace the fact that I am still in high school but in the scheme of things age is just a number. I’ve had many life experiences and I don’t believe in letting a number define who I am.

Your company has already expanded beyond bath/beauty into hair bows, gift baskets and a rep program called Frosting Belles. What are some of your future goals and aspiration for the future of your company?

Our Frosting Belles play an important role in forming a community not only as brand ambassadors but as people that share the same passion for all natural bath & beauty products. Everyone in the program has a zest for life, positive attitude, and strong family/friend values. Our Frosting Belle community is comprised of individuals from all over the country and are of all ages and demographics. Some of them are even Smart Girls!

Some of my future goals and aspirations for my company are to expand our product line. I would eventually like to have retail stores across the country informing people about the importance and benefits of using of all natural products. I would also like to expand our philanthropic efforts and continue to raise awareness for childhood cancer and other life threatening illness.

 
Why is it important that you also help kids who are now battling cancer? What has been some of your favorite experiences doing this?
I find it so important to help kids currently battling cancer because I understand what they are going through. I am able to relate to them. There is an automatic connection, a bond, a friendship that can not be easily put into words. The main thing that I tell people is that you can turn anything negative into a positive.

 
Let’s talk about time management. Between school, volunteer work, your company, and generally living life, you’re pretty busy! How do you break up your time?
I have a planner that I write all my events and thing to do in. I like to plan out my weeks in advance to make sure that I give the appropriate amount of time need to accomplish each thing. I find that when I write everything out it also helps to remember everything that is going on.

 
What do you hope your story will teach other people?

I hope that my story will inspire others take any situation in life and make it into a positive one.  Life is a amazing journey and it is what you make of it, so make the most out of it. I hope to also convey an appreciate for life and that all dreams in life are attainable with hard work and determination.

What do you think it means to be a Smart Girl?

I think being a Smart Girl means that you can you embrace everything life gives you. Smart Girls know that nothing can stand between them and reaching their goals. You can achieve all of your life ambitions. No dream or ambition is too big to achieve. Set a goal and accomplish it.

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Quincy Bulin

Editor in Chief of Spire & Co. Regular consumer of breakfast tacos and podcasts. I lived all around the north until I realized that all along, I was meant to be in the south.