I was a professional makeup artist at age seven. My hours were limited to daily recess and after-school playdates in the park. My specialty was dramatic, prom-themed looks. With limited funds, my primary medium was sidewalk chalk dust. My associate, and later best friend, was the best chalk-crusher in the business and I had the pleasure of having her as my primary makeup vendor. Every day my fellow third graders would line up to get their eyelids carefully brushed with blue and orange chalk dust. Jordan’s Looks was a hit… until Oh Yeah replaced it.
Oh Yeah was a musical duo consisting of my trusty chalk dust supplier and I. Our original song “Save Me” was self-written and produced. We planned to debut in the spring of fourth grade, giving us the entire winter to solidify our performance. As a singer and dancer, I felt unbreakable. The world was my oyster and I was ready to harvest every pearl, even the ones that weren’t spelled correctly.
As a fifth grader with a successful small business and music group, I did the only thing left for me to do: write. On a school bus ride home, I created a fashion magazine called Blue Skys. Our assets were sealed in a painted-over shoe box donated to us by our only sponsor: Dad. My spare time went into drafting magazine layouts, sketching look books, and arbitrarily declaring what was “hot” and what was “not.” After school, I made a website; Blue Skys was ready to take on the internet… until I realized “skies” was spelled incorrectly the entire time. How embarrassing.
Maybe I should stay away from writing, I thought, so I did for a while. In sixth grade, I hit the ground running as a nail technician. The end of the lunch table was mine. Lined with napkins and half-empty nail polish bottles, everyone knew not to mess with Jordan’s corner because she meant business. My skills were confined to base coats and poorly-painted flowers, but the limited supply and high demand kept business booming. Soon, I outgrew childish nail designs and stepped into a new ballpark: manufacturing.
I was a triple threat in a difference sense: duct tape products, rainbow loom bracelets, and handmade earrings. As the only business of mine requiring financial investment, this industry was daunting to join at first. However, my worries were silenced when I started to see quarters and dollar bills flow into my pockets. After making a grand total of $7.50, I shut down my business in fear of the demand for duct tape wallets exceeding the time I was willing to invest in creating them. Since eighth grade, I’ve sat back and waited for the right opportunity to start a business… a real one this time.
The opportunity presented itself in autumn 2018. The Queen Next Door, my beauty pageant and lifestyle blog, had just passed 1,500 views and was starting to take space in the pageant community. At every pageant I’ve attended since the start of The Queen Next Door in April 2018, I’ve been asked if I am, in fact, The Queen Next Door, and how in the world did I start such a thing? The Queen Next Door, though small then, had the potential to grow even more, but how? To answer that question, I consulted elementary and middle school Jordan who responded with “You should try fashion again, but spell everything right this time.” Within the next few weeks, I spent countless hours and $2,221.10 on my online boutique launching on March 1.
Harvard College Admissions Officer, when you see a four-foot-tall package in the mailroom, do not be alarmed. It is only the inventory of a little girl finally realizing her dream of founding something in this great big world. She has grabbed onto it with both hands and, as tightly as her hold is, you can see she never plans to let go. Forever in my grip and always running in my mind, this is The Queen Next Store.
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