Millennial Moment | Jasmine Adams
Meet the inspirational millennial, Jasmine Adams.
As a high school student she created an LLC called Smudgies, with the goal of revolutionizing the makeup industry and turning makeup application into a more convenient process for everyone.
Here she shares with the Tribe how she launched into factory production and how her parents were sewing Smudgies by hand before that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I had the opportunity to meet with Christine Osborne, who started the Wonderworks toy stores in Charleston. She wasted no time in giving me ways to improve my presentation and presence—like having a firm handshake, speaking louder, and being more animated. Before we said goodbye, she also told me not to be deterred by people who would doubt me or my idea. As I was just beginning to gain confidence in it myself. This was a valuable piece of advice, encouraging me to really take ownership of my company and decide for myself where I wanted to go with it.
What has been the toughest obstacle you’ve had to face as an entrepreneur?
Making the transition to college and moving a thousand miles away from home was definitely tough. I had just started to build a network of support, and suddenly I was uprooted. I was also trying to get Smudgies into a factory and prepare for a National Challenge for young businesses, so there was a lot going on. Luckily, I found lots of support at the College of Business, and the owners at Angel Factory Dallas were extremely helpful with starting production on Smudgies.
How do you balance the entrepreneur lifestyle with having a social life?
As a college student I feel like I’m always surrounded by people and being social between classes and dorm life. For me, keeping a balanced lifestyle just means deciding what’s important and making time for those things. That includes running my business as well as spending time with friends, keeping up with friends and family from home, and schoolwork.
How have your parents played a role in your journey?
My parents have been amazing. At first I think they were pretty skeptical about the idea, and they can’t believe how far it’s come. But they’ve also been willing to help me any way they can. Until I was able to find a factory to produce Smudgies, they were actually the ones making most of them on our ancient sewing machine. Also, I kind of started taking over the house with fabric, packaging materials, etc., so the whole process has required a lot of patience and time from them. I’m extremely grateful for everything they’ve done.
Do you view age as being a disadvantage or advantage, and why?
Both! I’m very inexperienced and every day I feel like I still have so much to learn. But I also feel like I have plenty of time. I’m not risking life savings or anything, and no matter what happens in the long run with the business, I’m gaining invaluable knowledge and experience for the future. Also, I’ve found older, more experienced business people to be extremely generous with their time and support. They’re usually just impressed with what I’ve done so far, and want to help me take it even farther. Since all of them know what it’s like to be starting out in the business world, they’ve been able to relate with me and share their own experiences.
How do you tackle self-doubt when it comes up?
Self-doubt hits me pretty often; I go to a tough college, and juggling classes along with running a business at age 19 often leaves me feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. When that happens, I usually need to take a day or so to re-orient myself. Instead of focusing on the things I’m worried about, I try to step back and look at what I’ve already done, where I am now and what’s going well, and then look at where I’m falling short or what I still want to accomplish—at that point I make a plan on how to tackle those things in small steps. Prayer is a big part of that process, too; my faith is very important to me, and it keeps me grounded and with my priorities in line.
What is your favorite social media platform and how has it impacted your business?
To be honest, marketing one of my weaknesses. I believe in my product 100% but I’ve never liked posting on social media very much even in my personal life. I have enjoyed getting more familiar with the platforms, and some of the business tools they offer are really handy. Instagram is probably my favorite. I do lots of little Smudgies photo shoots in my room with all kinds of different arrangements and angles. Like some girls taking selfies, I guess!
What is your favorite way to destress?
I’ve recently started journaling more, and for me it’s been a huge help. For one thing, I always use paper and pencil, so it forces me to put away my phone or computer for a few minutes. That’s really important because those can distract me from stress, but don’t actually help in the long run. Writing helps me organize and vent my thoughts at the same time. Also, I write something I’m grateful for every time I journal, which instantly makes me feel better and calmer and thinking more positively. I’ve found that just going for a walk is a great way to burn off stress too!
If young entrepreneur with a brilliant idea is reading this, and is hesitant in making the leap into entrepreneurship. What is your advice?
Go for it—just be prepared to put in the work! It’s not an easy ride, but it is incredibly rewarding. One of the most important things to do is build a network. When you meet people, shake their hand. Try to engage with them. Give them your business card and if they give you theirs, follow up with them! I’m not saying it’s easy, but it only takes a few minutes and it makes a big impact. You never know who will become a customer, want to advocate for your company, connect you with other business people, or just become a cool new friend (sometimes moral support is what you need most)!