Imagine being a full-time entrepreneur while you are still at school. Meet Lucas Lane, 14, the youngest ever Aussie to pitch on Shark Tank and owner of Glossy Boys. What started as a simple desire to wear black nail polish has evolved into a powerful movement challenging industry norms and promoting self-expression. Here, he talks to Lifestyle News about his incredible journey - and how he one day hopes to rival Opi.
Q: Tell me a little about Glossy Boys?
A: When I set out to buy a simple black nail polish at the age of 12, I headed over to a giant pink pharmacy. I felt a bit lost; nothing seemed quite tailored to me, you know?
Navigating the shelves, I finally located the nail polish section, but it was an overwhelming sight. I impulsively grabbed the first black bottle I laid eyes on, only to be intercepted by my mum, who luckily let me know 'That's a base coat.'
I mean, why did it have to be so complicated?
After grabbing the nail polish I was looking for, I returned home ready to paint my nails. To my dismay, the polish took ages to dry,
I couldn’t put my finger on why it just wasn’t working for me - my mum then added “it's just always been this way”. Determined to improve the buying experience and the quality of the product, I recognised that there were way too many steps involved.
Why couldn't it be as simple as painting it straight on, you know? This marked the start of a year-long quest that ultimately led to the creation of the Glossy Boys gel polish pen.
It's similar to what people receive in salons, boasting exceptional strength and rapid drying.
I can skate, drum, or engage in any activity without fear of smudging, whilst offering a brilliant colour and glossy finish that endures for an impressively long time.
Q: You created the brand when you were 12. What inspired you to do that?
A: It all began with a need for a nail polish shopping experience that simply didn’t exist.
I always envisioned what the ideal way to shop for nail polish would pan out and one day I just turned to my mum and said “Mum I want this to happen”. Once I put my thoughts on paper, it became apparent – why couldn't it be like this?
My initial pitch took place at the skate shop, unprepared, all I had with me was my passion for the product I had created. I happened to be wearing a prototype, and the owner of the shop started asking me all sorts of questions.
My mum nudged me, urging, 'You've got to practice your pitch, go ahead.' It wasn't the smoothest delivery, to be honest.
However, from that point forward, I became known as the 'guy with the nail polish' whenever I visited, and that felt pretty cool. I've encountered so many fantastic, supportive moments like that, where someone's curiosity, kindness, or encouragement propelled me more than they probably realised.
Q: What is your mission with Glossy Boys?
A: I envision Glossy Boys as the OPI equivalent for men's nail polish, a brand that boldly celebrates male self-expression.
Our mission is to make sure guys feel acknowledged and valued. While I'm fully aware that women also enjoy using Glossy Boys – after all, colours don't have a gender – my goal is to recreate that sense of visibility and inclusion that I yearned for when purchasing nail polish.
If I can achieve that and help other guys feel the same way, then I consider it a success.
My journey with Glossy Boys allows me to engage in a variety of meaningful initiatives.
As a 'Polished Man' ambassador, I'm proud to support important causes. I'm also passionate about backing LGBTQ non-profits like 'The Rainbow Shoelace Project,' led by the incredible Abbie, who is similar in age.
Abbie and I often discuss the changes we hope to inspire and bring about in the world.
Q: What an amazing journey you have had since appearing on Shark Tank! What was it like appearing at just 13 years of age?
A: My adventure with Shark Tank was the start of incredible opportunities. I ventured straight from the Tank into developing a new product range for my business (watch this space my dudes!) whilst embarking into Tedx.
The TEDx experience was nothing short of monumental, catapulting me into a phase of life that was entirely unexpected—becoming an inspirational figure for fellow young entrepreneurs.
Balancing the exhilaration with the challenges, I find immense joy in not only pursuing my dreams but also in motivating others to do the same.
Shark Tank was truly a mind-blowing experience. The reality, however, proved even more demanding than one can imagine; the set was massive.
I vividly recall the set builders, who showed me the graffiti wall they had built, getting super pumped and excited for my pitch - it was infectious.
It wasn’t until the music began to play, a wave of nerves washed over me. Standing there, under the gaze of the Sharks, I felt as though I might become their next meal!
Then, as the music ceased, a mental switch flipped, and I confidently introduced myself: “Hi my name is Lucas Lane, I’m 13 from Perth, Western Australia and this is my Company Glossy Boys…”
Q: Were you surprised when you secured deals with three sharks?
A: As we entered SharkTank, armed with a well-thought-out strategy and plenty of research on the Sharks, I was reasonably confident we'd leave with a deal.
Little did I expect that three Sharks would be on board! I honestly think it all started when Jane suggested 'Lucas, you should be up here one day,' to which I enthusiastically responded, 'Hell yeah! Youngest Shark on Shark Tank!' "
Q: How are you coping with Year 9 while scaling up your business?
A: Oh that’s a hard one! Staying disciplined with my online schooling can be quite tough. When it comes to subjects like science and maths, I have to pluck up some serious concentration.
Luckily, a lot of subjects I study crossover with real life so I feel quite prepared in that aspect. I spend a couple of days each week at IDEA Academy in the city, and let me tell you, the programs there are nothing short of awesome.
It's fantastic because I get to collaborate with fellow students who are also tackling online coursework. Being alone with all this coursework can feel pretty isolating.
Thankfully, my parents are strong advocates for quality education, and they go above and beyond to ensure that I strike a balance between my studies and my passion for music and other interests
Q: Anything else you would like to share with us?
A: Entrepreneurs are catalysts for change, and the impact can be thrilling.
I receive incredible messages from mums who can now proudly present their kids with evidence that "nail polish isn't just for girls." How cool is that?
I'm on a mission to make life easier for mums, and my fellow Gen Z members and I are in the process of revamping outdated and worn-out beliefs.
The future is something I eagerly anticipate; it's as shiny as freshly applied, glossy, nail polish and filled with rad humans!