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Teenager Startups - Teen founder Jamila C Small from Brooklyn New York owns Braids by Jamila

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Jamila C. Small - Teenage Entrepreneur - Braids by Jamila

Featured Story :
Jamila C. Small

Confidence through style

We are creating a new interconnected world for teenage entrepreneurs to network with fellow members, cultivate innovations, apply for funding, access entrepreneurship education, join local chapters, share expertise, and solve challenges.

We are super excited about young entrepreneurs who are improving the lives of other teens, applying solutions to real-world problems, producing thriving businesses, and pivoting the world to the future.

If you know of any teenager who has launched a business as a teenager and is below 25, we would be happy to cover his/her story. Please reach out to [email protected], sending some basic info, and we will respond within 48 hours.

Jamila C. Small, Founder
Braids by Jamila

Image of Pratham KapavarapuBy Pratham Kapavarapu

Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. March 10, 2020

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 “Self-esteem means knowing you are the dream.”
                                                                                                     – Oprah Winfrey 
Culture, beauty and self- confidence, foundations of an avant-garde 14-year-old teenager's business. Presenting Jamila C Small, tackling huge and personal problems such as self-confidence and esteem is what this 14 year aims to do, her solution starts with style. Feel amazing irrespective of how you look, assert your confidence through your style and love yourself first before caring about others, know the importance of your culture and beauty, that’s the motto of her company BraidsbyJamila. Being comfortable with yourself will make you comfortable with everything and everyone else will help you move forward in life, says this 14-year-old entrepreneur.

 "You can't love anyone if you can't love yourself,"
                                                                                                                  -Jamila C Small

Jamila C SmallShe runs a business on her own, and that fact of being independent at such an age drives her. The idea of creating her own legacy instead of joining somebody else's is what motivated her to start this business. She began by selling braids and being a motivational speaker to black women to inspire them to stand up for themselves and to voice their opinions and thoughts to everybody. Jamila started this company on her own from 2018, being the boss of herself with guidance from her mother, whom she regards as her number 1 inspiration & critic, and her mentor Jaya Bolden. Jamila’s ideas could solidify due to her mentor; Jaya Bolden has the skills, passion, and professionalism to make sure every beat is perfection. Jaya is a young, vibrant creative and mentor who is self-motivated and seeks to be a powerhouse in the makeup industry. Making the majority of her clients and marketing through Instagram, her followers showing their love with likes and reposts of her work. Jamila says, "She wouldn't be here without her supporters."

Jamila C Small in New York StreetBeginning at the age of 12, she began working around with hair with little knowledge and gradually gained experience. By the time she was 13 years old, she had developed a business mindset, i.e. "the CEO mindset"; she had begun networking and setting business goals. Consequently, her passion for doing hair & being a CEO became the game plan for her, on which she built her business and is continuing to amplify that goal. Jamila personally feels that her business stands out because essentially it’s her own idea, a 14-year-old running up the mountain that is business; with support and inspiration from her mother.

However, the struggle was really hard-hitting and this probably makes her move ahead faster and faster. Being a child of a single mother, was quite harsh because people constantly walked out of their life but Jamila’s mom was this constant empowering figure that surrounded Jamila with positive energy and told her to bolster herself and be a better person in the journey of life.
People may or may not relate to that situation until they are facing it, but imagining to be in that situation is strenuous

In the initial stages of setting up her business, Jamila made quite a few mistakes too like not doing proper research but her mom being this honest person was quite blunt with her and eventually, she started doing her work on time, reading and preparing every time before making a decision.

Jamila told Teenager Startups that she is human after all and she breaks down too, then she reminds herself of the purpose and gets back up. Jamila says,” What keeps me going is my past; when you come from nothing your grind is different and you know how it is to have nothing so you want to ensure you never experience that again, so you go after what you want.”

Jamila C. Small PhotoJamila won second place in a braid battle and also in school she has gotten over 7 awards for academics. In the last 2 months, she made $1,650 from one business alone. Jamila has launched her own collection called “The young CEO collection “ which aims to provide high-end, healthy, fashionable and wearable lashes for bosses worldwide and more.BraidsbyJamila develops new styles to meet various requirements of bosses. Jamila along with her business, website & Instagram ( in which she has over 1K followers and growing) and also has a YouTube channel that she started 6 months ago. Jamila’s youtube channel has videos consisting of tutorials, styling and motivational, inspirational thoughts. 

Jamila wants to inspire the youth to harbor self-love and confidence. Jamila, being the upcoming CEO, also wants to increase her clientele and advance her profits more than that of 2019 so that she can meet her long term goals of being a professional motivational speaker and stylist. 

Jamila says she’ll keep on hustling till she attains the recognition value where she no longer has to introduce herself. She is and always will be a black girl empowerment worker and enthusiast. Jamila’s passion can be clearly understood in the words that she herself told us.

Jamila C Small - PictureJamila, says “ It’s very important that black young girls stick together and uplift each other instead of putting down each other and make each other feel worthless.”

Be you nothing less . Bring your best to the table. Don’t lose yourself. Stay true to yourself. Keep in mind don’t live for other people because when you win you guys all take the win but when you lose you have to take that loss on your own. 

“Black girls don’t be afraid to use your voice. Your thoughts, opinions, and ideas are just as important as anybody else’s. When you speak, speak with boldness and purpose. Have courage, be confident, and always be true to yourself! Live your life fearlessly! Your voice has great power; don’t be afraid to utilize it when needed. You’re not an angry black woman, you’re a woman who has something important to say. Your voice matters and so do you.”

 “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
                                                                                                           - Maya Angelou

The words said by Maya Angelou and Oprah  is what Jamila C. Small leaps towards and embodies within herself and through her work.

Additional insights:
Jamila is very keen on expanding her business to the maximum potential and is interested in reaching out. You can reach out to her on any of the below social media platforms and can place orders from her website.

Website :
Instagram :
Young CEO collection:
YouTube -

Pratham is a member of the Media group at Teenager Startups. He is from Hyderabad, Telangana and a first-year student pursuing BS-MS degree in Biology at IISER Thiruvananthapuram.Pratham contributed this story with editorial inputs, creatives from Roshan Shah. 

This article is copyright and property of Teenager Startups. For reprint rights or to connect with teen entrepreneur Jamila C. Small, please send your request to [email protected]

We are creating a new interconnected world for teenage entrepreneurs to network with fellow members, cultivate innovations, apply for funding, access entrepreneurship education, join local chapters, share expertise, and solve challenges, and more. We are super excited about young entrepreneurs who are applying solutions to real-world problems, producing thriving businesses, and pivoting the world to the future.

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