Meet Jada, Flint’s 5-year-old lip gloss entrepreneur

FLINT, Michigan -- Jada Wilburn already has a vision for what her store is going to look like when she’s grown up: “It’s going to be a fun store,” she said.

 

Jada, 5, has already figured out the hard part -- she has made a product that people want to buy, Jada’s Kisses lip gloss. She sold her lip gloss in a store for the first time in October, teaming up with A & J Enterprises (3505 Clio Road in Flint), and it quickly sold out thanks to her simple but effective sales strategy.

 

“When I sell it, I just hand it to people and when they want to buy it, I ask for $5,” she said. “I feel happy when people like my lip gloss.”

 

After the initial success of Jada’s Kisses, A & J quickly upped their order. They have now ordered four times the amount they ordered in their first batch. The organic product, which is vegan and gluten free, came about because of Jada’s passion for makeup.

 

“She really likes to put on lip gloss,” said Jada’s mom Kala Wilburn. “I was buying a lot of lip gloss, but then started looking into the ingredients. We wanted to make something that was more clean and had less chemicals and was safer for kids.”

 

Running a business comes naturally in the Wilburn family. Her parents, Kala and Randall Wilburn, both Flint natives, run fashion-related businesses. Kala Wilburn’s company, Fannie Lucille, is an apparel and accessories brand for women. She works with women looking for custom garments for special occasions, proms, speaking engagements, and more. Randall Wilburn owns Velocity Tees, an apparel company that does custom screen printing and vinyl printing on clothing. They run both businesses out of a facility at 8240 Embury Road in Grand Blanc that they call the Curate Space.

 

Their kids, Jada and Randall III, have sat with them at vendor events and fashion shows. Jada has always shown an interest in owning a business.

 

“She’s just into anything that shows her big personality, she’s really good at sales,” Kala Wilburn said. “She has a whole store in her room. She sets all of her toys up like it’s a store, so you come in and she’ll say, ‘Welcome to my boutique, what would you like to buy?’”

 

Jada has a practical explanation for why she set up her room like a store though, too.

 

“I used to keep it (her room) messy, but my mom said I had to clean it,” Jada said. “I wished I could have my own store, so we made it.”

 

Jada’s Kisses is available at the Curate Space and will be restocked at A & J Enterprises soon. It is also available for purchase on Jada’s website.

 

The early success of Jada’s business has helped her parents encourage her to plan for her future. They’ve used money she’s made from her business to start an account to save for college or whatever her goals are down the road.

 

“I really wanted to make sure we’re not pushing her to do something she doesn’t want to do since she’s so young, but she’s always asking, ‘When can I go sell my lip gloss?;’” Kala Wilburn said. “She’s very outgoing, it’s just in her. So we just try to water it when we see the seed growing.”

Read more articles by Patrick Hayes.

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