Yes I can....be whatever I strive to be. I am a 16 year old entrepreneur and owner of Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja', LLC. I started my business when I was eleven years old.
Here's my story. I was fortunate enough to have braces installed so I would have a million dollar smile in the future! Wouldn't you know ten days after I had my braces installed I was eating my mom's delicious barbeque turkey necks and a wire popped off my braces! My mom called Dr. Brown's office (the orthodontist that installed my braces) in Metairie, to schedule an appointment, but his office was closed in Metairie. However, his Mandeville office was open. I was in so much pain I could not wait until his Metairie office opened. My mom asked my dad to take me to Dr. Brown's office in Mandeville. My dad noticed a bead shop (which was next to Dr. Brown's office called Diva Beads). My dad asked me if I wanted to look around in the bead shop. I said yes. I was amazed to see so many different types of beads, gemstones, crystals, pearls, etc. The store owner indicated that I could take classes to learn how to make jewelry. I took 25-30 beading classes to learn how to perfect my jewelry making talent. I had my first jewelry show on 11/01/08 where I earned $1,107.00. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to start my own business and the rest is history!!!!!!
The Times-Picayune (May 28,2009 7 Sept. 10, 2009 Community News Section)
The Louisiana Weekly (June 8-June 14, 2009 front page)
Speaking Engagement for the Healthy Start Program (June 15, 2009)
Eastern New Orleans Newsletter (June 29, 2009 & Oct 5, 2009)
Gambit (June 30, 2009)
SPCA Newsletter (Sept 17, 2009)
City Business 2009 Innovator of the Year Honoree
The Green Business Report Volume XX (Dec. 9, 2009)
Los Angeles Sentinel (Dec. 31-Jan. 2010)
Cox Cable TV Interview (Jan. 2010)
Scholastic News (Feb. 1, 2010)
Proclamation from the City of New Orleans (Feb. 25, 2010)
2010 Guardian Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Award Program Finalist
Network of Business Women (April 2, 2010)
Data News Weekly (May 29-June 4, 2010)
2010 Pre-Teen America Scholarship & Recognition Program Semi-Finalist
2010 Asante Award Honoree
Awarded two wedding contracts where I designed jewelry for a total of 19 people.
Acknowledgement Letter from the White House
2011 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur Award Nominee
2011 Story featured in Isidore Newman Newsletter
2011 Story featured in the Tribune Newspaper
2011 Certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise from the Women's Business Enterprise National Council
2012 Received the Artie Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc New Orleans Alumnae Chapter
2012 I participated in the development of a book called The Diva Girl's Guide to Style and Self-Respect by Cheryl Ann Wadlington with Sonya Beard.
2012 Outstanding Minority-Owned Small Business Award from SCORE sponsored by AT&T.
I made history according to Senator Mary Landrieu for being the 1st 14-year old business owner to participate at a roundtable discussion at the Senate.
I am committed to support organizations that I believe in. I have donated a percentage of my earnings to the following organizations: The New Orleans Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Children's Hospital, Unity of Greater New Orleans and Mother's Helpers. I have also donated speciality items to the following organizations to help with their fundraising efforts: The Louisiana Breast Cancer Task Force, The Hume Child Development & The A.P. Tureaud Chapter of the Black Law Student Association.
My future goal is to become a pharmacist and owner of a drug store. In addition to having my jewelry sold nationwide.