Teenager a Gem in Minority-Owned Small Business Sector
NEW ORLEANS (TheStreet) -- Bridgeja' Baker, owner of Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja', fell in love with the jewelry-making business at age 10, after an unexpected trip to the orthodontist also led her into a bead and jewelry-making business right next door. With just one visit to that store, she instantly fell in love with the craft and began taking classes offered there.
Baker's mother Bridgette says that Bridgeja' knew she wanted to continue with the business after she made more than $1,100 at her first jewelry-selling party. Thirty-five classes and four years later, with the love and financial support of her parents, New Orleans-based Baker is hoping to start selling her jewelry line through national department stores.
Last year Baker made $15,000 in revenue, a 50% increase from 2010. She expects to exceed that number for 2012.
Winning SCORE's Outstanding Minority-Owned Small Business award for 2012 (SCORE is the Small Business Administration's partner organization designed to mentor entrepreneurs), Baker's company is the second of seven winners to be profiled by TheStreet. SCORE celebrated the winners at its fourth annual awards gala in New Orleans on August 16.
"Bridgeja' Baker is the future of America," SCORE CEO Ken Yancey said in a statement.
"She founded her business before she was a teenager, and has been a success because of her work ethic and her commitment to her vision," Yancey said. "It is important for us to recognize those outstanding minority-owned small businesses, like Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja', that embody these best qualities of success in small business."
A conversation with Bridgeja' follows.
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