Like many fortunate teenagers, Nia Phillips-Harper expected to get a car on her 16th birthday, but she got something even better.
Her mom, Dedra Phillips, gave her the gift of entrepreneurship. Dedra presented her daughter with Ni’Abri Beauty, a line of lip glosses, during her Sweet 16 birthday party, according to Diversity Inc.
“I thought to myself, I can always buy her a car,” Dedra said. “A business, however, could teach her many valuable lessons such as how to lead, build a vision, time-management, team building, marketing, budgeting, investing, managing finances, customer service and so much more.”
Nia was initially shocked by the gift, but she was still excited.
“My initial reaction when mom presented me with the business at my party was “Whaaat!” she recalled. “I really thought I was going to get a car for my birthday, but a business is so much better.”
Nia came up with the idea for a lip gloss line months before while sitting in her math class. She was supposed to be working on a geometry worksheet, but she was distracted by lip gloss tutorials on YouTube.
“I turned to one of my best friend’s and said ‘I have a good idea,’” Nia wrote in a blog post. “She said, ‘let me guess, is it something to sell?’ Umm, of course it was! She knows me so well. I told her what I was thinking. She loves business as much as I do.”
The teen texted her mother about the idea, and Dedra suggested she take it a step further.
“She suggested that I level up and turn the idea of selling lip gloss into a brand,” Nia continued. “We had a few discussions about it and came up with a brand name and products to sell. We didn’t talk much about it after that.”
Months went by, and nothing came of it. The pair were focused on the birthday party, and Nia was determined to get a car. After the surprise was revealed, Nia was ecstatic.
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Pictures from my Sweet 16th Birthday Party in January. This was the day my mom gave me this business @niabribeauty as a gift. It was a carribean theme party. I have so much fun. ???????????????? ➡️Swipe Left #niabribeauty #shinefromwithin #lipgloss #lipglosspoppin #lipglosschallenge #lip #teenblogger #makeupblogger #makeuptutorial #teenmakeup #mua_underdogs #teengirl #melaninlipgloss #collegegirl #melaninpoppin #teengirls #melaninmakeup #melaningirls #wakeupandmakeup #sweet16
“No, I didn’t get a car for my birthday, but as one of my friends at the party said, ‘You got a whoooooole business for your 16th birthday, you could buy your own car soon!’” she wrote.
Although she is “a bit nervous” about this new venture, Nia is happy she has a chance to control her destiny.
“What I appreciate most about getting a business for my birthday is that I am in control,” Nia wrote. “I can grow it from the ground up and allow it to flourish on my own, and with the help of my mother, of course.”
Dedra wanted her daughter to dream outside of the traditional paths to success.
“I want Nia to understand that she has options,” the mom told Diversity Inc. “If entrepreneurship is the road she wants to take, I will be her No. 1 supporter and the first to invest in her vision and future. We don’t see this enough in the Black community. Many of us are taught to go to college and get a good job. That’s not a bad thing. Even if you have a job, multiple streams of income are necessary in today’s economy.”
Ni’Abri Beauty cosmetics are available for purchase online.
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