I love it when I see an Indie stretching to take full advantage of her God-given talents and gifts to have fun and make a living. When I think of all that my friend Jamila White is doing, I sometimes think she must be the first cloned human. Not only is she the "E-Commerce Diva" and owner of her own e-commerce consulting company, but she also owns j.blossom, a line of bath and body products featuring labels with affirmations for little girls. My daughter, Vanessa, loves the Strawberry Banana Smoothie bubble bath, which says: "Short or tall, thick or thin, I love the skin that I am in." Jamila is a member of the Indie Beauty Network. Here's a bit about her, in her own words.
The inspiration for my business is:
Little brown girls who never get to see themselves featured on ANYTHING. Combined with the images in the media of Black women and girls, I didn't like the message the world seemed to be sending about what it means to be brown and female, too much emphasis on booty-shaking, and only one kind of beauty deemed as acceptable (light skin, straight hair, small nose and lips). I wanted not only little brown girls but all girls to know that they are perfect exactly the way they are. That's why every bottle has an affirmation on it, and the ingredients help build self-esteem.
What's not to love? In late December 2006, I opened my j.blossom retail space in Baltimore, Maryland. On January 10, 2007, I celebrated 10 years of full-time entrepreneurship, during which time I've run 3 businesses. The single greatest joy is freedom — not just freedom *from*, but freedom *to*. As an Indie, every day, I pursue whatever brings me joy without having to ask for anyone else's approval.
My biggest business challenge:
Too many ideas, too little time! Prioritizing my projects and tasks is a challenge. As is keeping my office orderly. I'm very visual so I tend to spread things out all over the place. Neatness was never my strong point! (I'm working on that.)
SMILE! Seeing their faces at my recent Grand Opening event really made all the challenges of bringing my products to market worthwhile. The moms love the lotion, but the hands-down favorite for the girls is the lip balm — it makes them feel very grown up!
j.blossom is open from 12 to 5 on Saturdays, and by appointment at 1000 E. Patapsco Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21225. Call (888) 5-Jblossom or (888-552-5677).