Due to Zuri’s great love for cosmetics, preferably lip cosmetics, her grandmother suggested that she create her own lip balm business. Zuri’s mother, Diamonnique Ashley, was quite skeptical about the idea becoming a reality, but she is happy that she took a step out on faith.
“Who would have guessed that such an idea would lead to the start of a business that would inspire and serve as a platform to encourage kiddiepreneurship,” Diamonnique stated.
ZuZu’s Lip Balm is more than a business entity that generates income; it is a platform that empowers and inspires girls to pursue or aggressively thrive in their entrepreneurial realm. The long and short terms goals of the business varies; however, they do wish to eventually have a storefront location for the business that allows them to create a safe space for girls and others alike to shop, receive homework help, enjoy periodic events and more.
I recently interviewed Ms. Ashley where she chatted more about ZuZu’s Lip Balm. Check out the interview below.
How many different kinds/selections of lip balms do you currently have/make?
We now have seven lip balms available for purchase.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, what was your previous job? How did that job make you feel and consume your time?
I was employed as a paraprofessional when I launched ZuZu’s Lip Balm. I don’t believe that the position negatively consumed my time, as I think it served as a stepping stone for me to advance in my career path.
How important is to yourself, your daughter, young women and single mothers everywhere to see a successful woman like yourself make it?
You’re too kind. Thank you. I wouldn’t quite label myself successful just yet; however, it is essential to me that young women, girls and others alike strive for greatness moving mountains, even though they are as heavily positioned as they are. It’s so vital that we females, in particular, understand our history, understand the importance of daily life balance and the power that we have to influence others if we stand on purpose.
Being a single mother of two children, how did you balance school and parenting? Now since graduation starting your business, how do you balance developing your company/brand and parenting?
I am currently still a student. I graduated in 2018 with my Associate of Arts degree in General Studies. In 2020 I am scheduled to earn my Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in History and Sociology. Upon completing that degree, I have intentions of immediately pursuing a Masters degree. Balancing motherhood, school, a business and my social life can, at times, be overwhelming yet rewarding. With a solid foundation of friends, empowering literature and frequently reminding myself of my greatness with positive affirmations helps me to keep my life in focus.
When did you realize your passion for cosmetology and entrepreneurship?
I realized my passion for cosmetology, and entrepreneurship very early on. In high school, when my peers were selecting a college to attend, I was deciding on a cosmetology school to attend. I believe that being involved in modeling, and pageantry activities assisted with that decision. Also, when I was younger, my Nana allowed me to have a candy business. Most weekends, we would travel the neighborhood selling my candy. She taught me how to re-up, reinvest and engage with potential or existing customers.
Growing up and still to this day, who are your inspirations/mentors? How did they impact your life?
I draw my inspiration from not just one person in particular. Furthermore, a body of people who are consistent with excelling in all areas of life despite the problematic obstacles faced are ones who influence me. Those types of people are admirable.
Can you tell myself and the readers about yourself and your upbringing?
Well, this always happens to be a difficult question for me to answer. Ha! I consider myself to be an optimistic and hardworking individual. My upbringing was not as difficult as some but difficult enough to learn the value of hard work and dedication, enabling me to understand that the only way to succeed is to not give up when faced with obstacles.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs and our readers?
Stay true to yourself as you are your biggest ally. You’re worth it!
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