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Meet Jennifer Thompson of JennyT Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Thompson.

Jennifer, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It was two weeks after I had become a new mother, I was changing my son’s diaper and I randomly just started to cry. I wasn’t sure why I was crying, but I knew it wasn’t normal.

Shortly after that, I began to feel alone and sad for no concrete reason. I had all the support and love I needed from my family, but for whatever reason, I was left feeling alone and depressed. I spoke to my doctor about it during my follow up appointment, and he informed me I was suffering from Postpartum depression. All of my overwhelmed emotions started to make sense. He recommended I spend at least 1 hour a day implementing self-care, spending time participating in activities that helps reduce stress.

During that time, I began to go on walks and brainstorm which direction did I really want to take in the years ahead of my life. I was over constantly working jobs versus a career especially after all the hard work I dedicated to receiving my Bachelor’s Degree. I  pondered about two choices, brand myself to pursue my dreams as a talk show host or invest in my own business or both. In need of a side hustle, I figured I could brand myself and generate more money if I started a online business, which has now turned into a whole brand for me!

I started asking myself, what are some things I’m passionate about and how much money would I need to invest in myself, launch a business and grow a community of other entrepreneurs. An online boutique instantly resonated in my mind, a fashion and beauty business offering 100% Raw Human Hair Extensions and Fashion Jewelry. There it was I had it all figured out!

I’ve always been a huge hair fanatic, rocking hair extensions was always fun, and I enjoyed having the options of different looks. As a little girl I loved playing in my mom and grandmothers jewelry, getting dolled up and being in front of anybody’s camera lol. So I started JennyT Boutique, my first year I collaborated with various businesses selling my merchandise at their events. I also hosted a Pop-up shop event of my own. I was a walking billboard any and everywhere I went, people were going to know about my business okay! Lol.

Fast forward to today, I’ve been in business going on four years, and this past year I’ve learned so much more about my business. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in May 2011 from Cal State University Long Beach in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communications, so business strategizing and marketing was not my expertise. When I started my business I didn’t have a mentor or a team of other entrepreneurs I could go to for guidance. I was so determined to learn about entrepreneurship and having a successful business, I started purchasing books to help educate myself on how to efficiently grow my business. I would ask experts I would meet at events for their advice and help. My mom always taught me closed mouths don’t get fed, and you’ll never know what you’re capable of obtaining if you never go after it.

The knowledge I’ve gained has helped my business in many ways, and I am able to fulfill my mission which is: “To empower women, making them feel beautiful by enhancing their natural beauty with the products I provide. Encouraging women to believe in themselves, love themselves, and to invest in themselves.” It was through faith, perseverance and dedication that I’ve been able to make it thus far in my business.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road and I honestly don’t believe it ever will. Lol. Although it has been very rewarding! When you’re an entrepreneur everything falls on you, you’re a one woman show, you’re literally doing everything on your own. Your day to day tasks will fluctuate, one day it’s smooth the next day it’s rough and some days you get it and other days you’re stuck hours trying to figure everything out. Five months sells can be booming the next three months they can be slow. During my first three years in the business I switched ideas a lot, made several mistakes, took major losses and failed a lot lol. There has been plenty of struggles, some such as buying tons of jewelry inventory and half of the inventory not selling, or having large counts of hair extensions and taking months to sell. I wasn’t properly managing my business funds, I was putting more money out then what was coming in and I paid way too much on marketing and branding when I could’ve just done it myself and cut cost.

But I will say it does get easier as you grow through your struggles and challenges. Nothing will come easy you just have to trust the process and grow stronger. Each day I learn something new about myself and my business.

I could’ve easily let it go after my third year and not to mention the huge fraudulent transaction that left me with zero funds for four months with no clue on whether or not I would have to owe the money back.

Being a single mother and all of my funds were frozen, that was very rough for me, and I had no clue how I would make it through. I trusted God and prayed daily, I cried so often it started to become unhealthy. But I knew I would make it through because I knew I had done nothing wrong and I was only trying to do what was right.

I’m still here because I never gave up on my belief in myself, my faith in God has bought me so far, and I know it’s only going to take me further. I’ve partnered with beauty supply companies, I’ve sponsored and assisted with styling for Elite Fashion Shows, my hair has been worn by TV Personalities, I’ve partnered with Non-Profit Organizations to put on events within the community and my ultimate brand is all coming to fruition. Never give up on your dreams, be confident, be resilient, be humble, have faith, help others and God will overflow you with his abundance of blessings.

I view it all as joy because in the end it’s not about what happens to you it’s about how you respond to what happens to you. And I chose to press on, I have my son whose life is dependent on me, my true motivation so I can’t allow the uncertain circumstances to stop me.

November of this year will mark my fourth year in business and my goal is to continue helping as many people as I can with their business endeavors and give my clients nothing but the best!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the JennyT Boutique story. Tell us more about the business.
JennyT Boutique is an online boutique offering Luxurious Human Hair Extensions, 3D Mink Eyelashes, and Solid Gold/ Gold-plated Custom Jewelry. It is known for providing quality pieces and services that’ll keep you a client forever. I’m not solely building a business, I’m also building a community to help empower other women inspiring them to become entrepreneurs too.

I am most proud of the lives I’ve impacted with my business, through my wholesale program I have helped four women start their own business, I have three makeup artists that only use my mink eyelashes for their clients, and I’ve helped change the stigma some women have had on buying hair extensions online.

What sets my business apart from others is my authenticity, my faith in God and my perseverance. I genuinely love creating new ideas and I truly believe in myself and my brand. I cancel out any negative noise and solely focus on the positive to  keep me going. I take pride in providing quality products, my motto is “If I’m rocking it, I’m selling it.” I care about the growth of my clients and anyone I come encounter with, I value helping others and giving out whatever knowledge I might have to help the next woman succeed even if we’re in the same industry, there’s enough blessings for us all!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Well, I personally don’t believe in luck, I believe in blessings. Blessings have played a meaningful role in my life and in my business. I keep God first in my life and I keep prayer apart of my business strategy. My business has been blessed tremendously. Nothing I have done has been by me alone, God has favored me the entire way!

Pricing:

  • Virgin Brazilian Hair Wigs/Extensions starting at $80 per bundle, comes from one donor and guaranteed to last you up to three years with proper care.
  • Mink 3D/6D Eyelash strips for just $15 a pair and can be reused up to 25 times. Made with 100% real human hair.
  • Custom and fine jewelry, starting as low as $25, gold-plated and tarnish free, any name or saying we can have made for you. Solid 14K gold custom pieces are available as well upon request.

Pricing:

  • Virgin Brazilian Hair Extensions starting at $80 per bundle, comes from one donor and guaranteed to last you up to three years with proper care.
  • Mink 3D/6D Eyelashes for just $15 a pair and can be reused up to 25X. Made with real human hair.
  • Custom and fine jewelry, starting as low as $25, gold-plated and tarnish free, any name or saying we can have made for you.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@Vlexphotos

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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