Director of Licensing • Silent Storm Licensing Inc. • New York City • Age: 38
Stacie Lynne Jones has beauty, brains, the heart of a Bohemian, and the drive of a businesswoman. Born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Denver, she is the stepdaughter of Rick Upchurch, former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. Her life was privileged. Still, “even though I grew up in a predominately white area and community, I always knew I was Black and different,” says Jones.
Jones moved to Atlanta and graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in liberal arts in 1990. In 1996 she received a M.B.A. in marketing from Mercer University. While in Atlanta, she started a modeling career and launched a telemarketing company, which she sold to open a jazz/supper club. She sold the supper club and moved to New York City in 1998 to further her modeling career and investigate potential acting and business opportunities. In 2002, she and several family members opened a Subway Sandwich Shop franchise on 125th Street in Harlem.
Jones’ appearance on the The Apprentice 2 television show in 2004 brought her fame, though not quite positive. She was “fired” from the show because of behind-the-scenes cattiness, she insists. “The business side [of the show] was great, but the personal side was like a sorority-type clique,” Jones explains. “I wanted to get inside of Donald Trump’s Rolodex, and learn from a mastermind about how to eventually build my own empire.”
She still uses the exposure to her advantage, whether speaking on behalf of literacy programs for children, or pursuing business ventures. In 2005, she became the director of licensing for SB Cornerstones Inc. In 2006, she launched the “Stacie J. Golden” fragrance line and a line of 83 accessories under her brand, “Stacie J.” As she prepares for her nuptials in September, Jones muses about delving into politics one day. “I’m going to continue to build my little empire and be successful on my terms,” she declares.