Teenage founder of multi-million dollar lip balm brand lends support to girl fighting school ChapStick ban

After 11-year-old Grace Karaffa challenged her school's ban on ChapStick, making her case before the county school board and organizing a petition drive, the Virginia fifth-grader received support from an unlikely source -- a teenage entrepreneur who created her own lip balm brand when she was 10 years old.

Lily Sandler, the 16-year-old Atlanta co-founder of BLAMtastic lip balm, which sells at major retailers like Walmart, sent 300 tubes of the fruit-flavored balm to Grace as well as 700 to her school, Stuarts Draft Elementary School in Augusta County, Va.

Sandler, who created the balm along with her younger sister, Melanie, when they were 10 and 9 years old, also joined in signing Grace's petition calling for an end to her school's ban on ChapStick.

"I felt like I really wanted to support her in her actions," Sandler, a high school junior, told FoxNews.com. "It's amazing she's taken such an initiative role to bring about change in her school."

Sandler said she was "irked" when she read that the girl's school prohibited the use of ChapStick, citing health concerns.

In a statement to FoxNews.com, the Augusta County Schools superintendent's office said the ChapStick rule was based on input from local health care experts.

"Health officials were concerned that the sharing of items like Chapstick, lip gloss and other lip balm products among elementary-aged students might well have been contributing to a serious infectious disease outbreak," the statement read. "The school division chose to control the use of these products not because of a concern that they are inherently dangerous, but out of a concern that they may have been a means for the transmission of disease."

The statement, sent last week, also said the lip balm regulation would be reviewed.

The explanation given by August County Schools wasn't good enough for Grace, who has long suffered from chapped and bleeding lips. Since the second grade, Grace was refused ChapStick by teachers when her lips bled in class, forcing her to go into the bathroom and wet them with a paper towel to relieve the discomfort, her family said.

When Grace started the fifth-grade last month, she decided she'd approach the matter in a way most 11-year-olds would not -- delivering a carefully outlined speech before the school board in support of overturning the ban.

Following her speech, Grace was cross-examined, her father said -- with one board member asking the girl if using ChapStick at school might be seen as a distraction.

"She said, 'I think it would be more distracting to have bleeding lips while I'm doing my work,'" her father said. "That ended that line of questioning."

Grace also started a petition drive on notebook paper, which was signed by fellow classmates, including her Girl Scout troop.

Her father, David Karaffa, told FoxNews.com Monday that Grace's case to end the ban is still under review. In the meantime, Grace was invited by Pfizer, the manufacturer of ChapStick, to tour their research facility in Richmond, Va., and "see how they make up all their flavors," Karaffa said.

But perhaps the most validating and supportive force for Grace thus far came from a girl she'd never met.

On Thursday, Lily Sandler shipped 300 tubes of her BLAMtastic lip balm to the Karaffa household, with a letter of support for Grace's cause.

"Grace was ecstatic," Karaffa said. "It meant a lot to her and she was very appreciative."

"She tried and it loved it," he said. "She was running around the neighborhood to her friends’ houses, giving out lip balms left and right."

The idea for Lily and her sister's lip balm was conceived in 2007 when their mother, Renee Sandler, read an article in the Wall Street Journal that said only 12 CEOs leading the Fortune 500 were women.

"She was shocked by that," Lily Sandler told FoxNews.com. "She showed it [the article] to my sister and me and asked, 'Girls, what do you think of this?'"

Renee challenged then 10-year-old Lily and 9-year-old Melanie to start a business of their own as "an exercise in empowerment," Lily said.

Days later, when Lily was packing for camp, she had a slip of the tongue when she asked her mother, "Where's my lip blam?"

BLAMtastic lip balm was then born. The girls began researching lip treatments already on the market and used their kitchen stove to create an all-natural lip balm that provides SPF and is free of petroleum and parabens.

"It’s the best on the market if you ask me," Lily said of the balm, which is largely made up of kid-friendly flavors like "OMG" -- Oh My Grape -- and Orange Soda.

In 2010, the company's revenues were $150,000. By 2013, Blamtastic had become a multimillion dollar company.

Lily said she never imagined their home-made business, which first served friends and neighbors, would later blossom into a multi-award winning consumer products company selling at some of the nation's largest retailers, like Walmart.

"It just snow balled into this business we never expected," she said. "I owe all of this to my mom, honestly."