Easy, breezy, sustainable: USC alumna founds eco-friendly company

Photo courtesy of Michelle Wolzinger

Just months after graduating from USC last spring with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Michelle Wolzinger already has a startup under her belt.

Before transferring to USC from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Wolzinger was involved in a program called “Lemonade Day.” Participation in the program was required of every student to major in business administration. Its goal was to teach kids how to start their own businesses, culminating in a “Lemonade Day,” where each child would operate their own lemonade stand.

As a sophomore, Wolzinger noticed that the program did not exist at USC and took it upon herself to bring it to campus. Through the program, mentors from USC were able to visit local schools and teach kids how to start their own businesses.

“I was inspired by working with these kids [my freshman year], Wolzinger said. So when I transferred and realized that there was no Lemonade Day program, I realized that it would be the perfect opportunity to create another connection between USC and the neighboring communities.”

Upon graduating, she decided to commit to this idea, building a website in two months and gathering all of the vendors to set their products up on her website.

Her start-up, Radiant Roots, is a one-stop shop for all things related to sustainable beauty.

“I am hoping that this is [where people can] find their products that they would normally buy in the drugstores because there are so many products that are horrible for your skin and filled with toxins,” Wolzinger said. “When you use 100 percent natural skincare ingredients, they are nurturing your skin and they make your skin radiate. I’ve seen a huge difference in myself and other people who use these products and want people to make the switch to be conscious consumers, and I’m hoping Radiant Roots can be a part of that movement.”

If there’s anything a current USC student hears a lot, it’s about the Trojan Family. For Wolzinger, it’s no different. As a recent alumna, she’s had a lot of resources that have helped her along the way in launching her first business, including everything from programs like Blackstone LaunchPad, which is designed to support and mentor entrepreneurial students, to personal relationships with faculty and peers.

“Some of my professors are like mentors now, still helping me in real time,” Wolzinger said. “They’re doing everything they can to help me work towards my goals. You can’t get that at any other school; the USC family is especially supportive. The Trojan Family is just so massive and important and incredibly impactful.”

As a young entrepreneur, Wolzinger has fresh advice for Marshall students, or any students seeking to start their own business.

“Be awake,” Wolzinger said. “Be very active in your classes and your community because every single person sitting beside you is your network.”

To Wolzinger, the hardest part of entrepreneurship was simply starting out.

“A lot of people sit on ideas and don’t act on them and regret it later,” Wolzinger said. “You have unbelievable resources from USC right at your fingertips, and all you need to do is push yourself to start. Don’t do it alone, and use the advice from everyone around you to help you along the way.”