FWB – My Humble Beginnings: Chapter Two

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Ahh. . . high school. . . the good old days.  Or were they?  I had a pretty pleasant high school experience but you won’t find me wishing I could go back.  So let’s paint a picture before I get started on my entrepreneur rambling. . .

Jessie in high school. . .  I hung out with the outcasts; the theater kids, the goth kids, the punk kids and the metal kids.  We had our own little group of multicolored hair and crazy-clothes-clad students (really, is pink hair and bondage pants that crazy?).  I wore Gwen Steffani makeup (remember the bindi and crazy eyebrow gems??), bondage pants, and enough safety pins to actually make me a safety hazard.  In short, I was freaking AWESOME.  I made all A’s and B’s and was a model student other than almost getting suspended for my fire engine red hair (that was a bunch of bull right there).  I was outgoing and liked to see my friend’s bands on the weekends.

My first venture into entrepreneurship in high school was by way of a ‘zine.  That’s what the cool kids called magazines.  I made up ‘Black and White and Barely Read’ (get it, read??) and started interviewing actual bands.  I just emailed record labels of the bands that I liked and asked to interview them at their next local show.  I kid you not, I even got photo passes for a Weezer concert.  WEEZER!  Like 3 feet away from my drooling face!  My teenage self was so stoked.  I don’t know what made me do it or why I thought I could actually sway these record labels to let me interview their bands.  The funny (or sad, however you look at it) thing is that Black and White and Barely Read never actually got published.  I just have my typed up or hand-written interviews hanging out in my filing cabinet waiting for the time that I can tell my kids just how ‘hip’ I was in my day.  I love music – I love seeing local bands’ shows or going to large-scale concerts.  I eventually went on to do the same thing but in radio format for my short stint as a DJ of my own radio show in college.

My second, and actually lucrative endeavor was selling glitter makeup to my affluent classmates.  Looking back it seems totally ridiculous.  I would buy glitter gel then clean out the gel and fill the little plastic container with just glitter.  Then I would sell said glitter to my drama classmates – like a drug dealer but way more legal and sparkly.  I had 20 or so colors and would mix custom combinations.  I did this under the company name “Cannibal Cosmetics’ – creepy or endearing?  You decide!  I got the name idea from a friend of mine who started ‘Cannibal Clothing’ – I think the only thing they ever made was a t-shirt with Richard Nixon saying “I am not a cannibal.”  Who knows, I didn’t get it at the time.  With Cannibal Crafts I made some money and continued to feed that entrepreneurial spirit.

One thing I remember clearly about those two “businesses” was that I had business cards.  I actually sat down and designed them – at the age of 14 I was making business cards.  I find that a little silly but inspiring at the same time.  At that age I already knew a huge part of business success. . . fake it til you make it.  Having confidence is key to succeeding in what you believe in.  If you’re behind your ideas 100% it’s easy for others to follow.  That’s a golden gem of advice right there, friends, believe in yourself and others will believe in you too.

And that, my internet readership, is chapter two of my entrepreneurial story.  Stick around for chapters three, four and five!

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