Akeallah Blair is a 17 year old Sacramento High School senior who has been a businesswoman for 10 years.  How can that be?  An entrepreneur at such a young age?  I had a chance to speak with this remarkable young lady, to get a better insight into the mind of a baby mogul.

THE HUB: How did you get started in your business at only 6 years old?  What were you selling?
Akeallah: I always had ambition to do something with my life and to do my best.  Making money is always exciting, I like earning money to buy what I really want.  At 6 my dad taught me how to go on Publisher, I made business cards by putting pictures of people and their information on the cards.  My mother was an entrepreneur at the time and I was able to meet other business people.

THE HUB: What was your next business venture at 10 years old?
Akeallah: People were always thirsty at church and there was nothing to drink, I did some research on soda machines; but it was out of my budget so I asked my dad for help.  He gave me a loan and each month I paid him a certain amount out of my profits.  It took a couple of years to pay him back.

THE HUB: Not bad, only a few years to pay it back and now everything you make is profit.
Akeallah: Yes, it is.  When the church closed we moved the soda machine to an auto repair shop; that closed so now I’m looking for a new location.  My mom was in school so I spent a lot of time at my aunt’s house; she always braided hair.  I asked her to teach me how to do it but she never did, so I watched her and practiced on my big Barbie head. After that I practiced on my friend’s hair at the afterschool program.  My parents said I was good and should start charging.  I did my mom’s and other peoples hair and started charging.  My clientele grew from word of mouth.  Now I do everything, braids, twists and weaves.

THE HUB: Do you do this at your home?
Akeallah: Yes or at the client’s home, wherever the client wants.

THE HUB: What type of business are you involved in now?
Akeallah: A new project “All Girlz Nail Party”, it’s on www.facebook.com/AllGirlzNailParty .  Over the summer I was low on money and I had no time to do hair.  I got a summer job at the California State Fair.  The guy I was working for had a booth; we sold nail kits with polish and designs.  I was such a huge seller already being an entrepreneur.  I was his #1 seller; I sold $1,000 a day but only got a commission.  Frustrated I realized I earned $1,000 but didn’t get it.  So I purchased nail kits with some of my money, to sell for myself.  I go to local events in Sacramento and sell them.  I do baby showers, wedding showers and birthdays.  We come and do nails.

THE HUB: How many people work for you?
Akeallah: Depending on the size of the party we’re doing, 1-4 girls.  For younger girls we do princess parties.

THE HUB: How do you find time to run your business and keep up with your school work?  Are you in any clubs or sports?
Akeallah: It is getting difficult with being a senior this year, because I’m busy looking at colleges.  My business partners are upset with me because business is slower; I don’t have as much time to devote to it.  I don’t watch much TV; I’d rather be looking up events to sell at.  I am in the year book club. I have been playing soccer for 3 years and I am president of a dance company.  And, I’m also a member of the LINK Crew: we introduce freshmen to high school life.

THE HUB: Since you are way ahead of most teens your age in terms of business, what are your future career and personal goals?
Akeallah: To go to USC and study film, film is my passion and you must be good in business to be successful in that industry.  I also want to raise lots of money to help others; it’s always been something on my heart.  Before I turn 40 I want to have 2 homeless shelters located somewhere in the United States.

THE HUB: Is there anyone who has inspired you in your mini businesses?
Akeallah: Definitely both of my parents, they’re both entrepreneurs, they constantly motivate me by giving me advice and providing connections.  They never let me give up, they are my constant support system.

THE HUB: What would you say to fellow classmates in terms of being a role model, mentor, supporting each other and working as a team?
Akeallah: Always do your best; shine as bright as you can and help others do the same.

Ms. Blair is a remarkable young lady, who whether she realizes it or not is a positive role model to our teenagers.  We are constantly bombarded with stories about teenagers running away, being lured into prostitution, getting hooked on drugs, joining gangs and dropping out of school.  It is encouraging and a source of pride to hear about a young adult who has decided her path early in life and has accomplished so much in so short a time.  We can only wonder what more she will achieve in her future endeavors.

Written and submitted by Senior Staff Writer, Donna Michele Ramos



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