Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Featured Young BOSS: Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja’

Becoming a business owner at 11 years old!? That is exactly what Bridgeja’ Baker (pronounced BridgeJay) did.  She turned an unknown talent into a business by learning how to make jewelry with gemstones, crystals and pearls. The name of her business is Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja’, LLC.  

Here is her story:

I was fortunate enough to have braces installed so I would have a million dollar smile in the future! Wouldn’t you know? Ten days after I had my braces installed, I was eating my mom’s delicious barbeque turkey necks and a wire popped off my braces? My mom called Dr. Brown’s office (the orthodontist that installed the braces) in Metairie, to schedule an appointment, but his office was not open in Metairie. However, Dr. Brown’s Mandeville office was open. I was in so much pain I could not wait until (Dr. Brown’s Metairie office opened a few days later. My mom asked my dad to take me to Dr. Brown’s office in Mandeville.  My dad noticed a bead shop (which was next to Dr. Brown’s office called Diva Beads). My dad asked me if I wanted to look around in the bead shop. I said yes.  I was amazed by the different types of beads, gemstones, crystals, pearls, etc.  The storeowner indicated that I could take beading classes to learn how to make jewelry.  I started taking beading classes in June 2008 (32 beading classes) and the rest is history!!!! The current price range of my jewelry is from $7.00 to $ 250.00. I had my first jewelry show on 11/1/08.   I earned $1,107.00.  It was at that moment I said “mom I want to do this as a real business”. 

I have been given an opportunity to display and sell my jewelry at the Essence Marketplace & Arts Exp0 from 2009-2011. I designed a 3 piece pearl jewelry set for First Lady Michelle Obama and bookmarks for President Obama and their children.  I received a letter from Mrs. Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff acknowledging receipt of her jewelry designs. The letter indicated I may be considered as a jewelry designer for First Lady Michelle Obama!

My future endeavor is to become a pharmacist/owner of a drug store. In addition to having my jewelry sold in major department stores and upscale boutiques.

Each year I will donate a percentage of her earnings to organizations I believe in. I selected the following organizations to donate a total of $800.00 to: Children’s Hospital, the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) and Unity of Greater New Orleans.

I would like to encourage other young people, to start preparing for their financial future early.

Be sure to check out the Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja website today!!

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