If you don’t already know of Gabrielle Jordan, you will soon. At just 17, she has embraced entrepreneurship like few other girls her age.
For starters, at the age of 9, she launched an “upscale” jewelry line for professional women to go from “the boardroom to the ballroom.” (She taught herself how to make jewelry by watching You Tube videos.)
“I love creating things for powerful, confident women like mom, my grandmother and women I’ve met along the way. The jewelry is made from natural stones and fresh water pearls, for women who want jewelry they can feel comfortable wearing to work, but also for women who want something that pops,” Jordan told TNJ.com in a recent interview.
The recipient of the 2014 McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award, Jordan is also an author and an international speaker. Her book, “The Making of a Young Entrepreneur: A Kid’s Guide to Developing the Mindset Success,” is a number one bestseller on Amazon.com that has sold 10,000 copies. She wrote and self-published it when she was 11.
“The fundamentals of business can be tough, especially when you’re young. Being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur is tough too, so I wrote the book because I felt I could help young entrepreneurs along their journey,” she says. “My mom, who is my co-founder, and I wanted kids to know how possible it is to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is an educational tool that allows you to make money.”
In the book, Jordan sets out to achieve just what the title describes: she helps kids develop the mindset for success. “Entrepreneurship is not just about what you do, but how you think, how you react and how you take on situations,” she notes. “All of those little components lead to being great entrepreneurs. In the book, I talk about what it takes to have the mind of an entrepreneur as well as the actual intricacies of entrepreneurship such as business plans, networking, etc.”
Her speaking engagements include the esteemed TED-x speaker series, Google, INBOUND and various nationwide conferences.
But wait, there’s more. In 2013, she co-founded the Excel Youth Mentoring Institute, an initiative where she mentors young people on how to start businesses as well as parents on how to help their kids start businesses. This month for Black History Month, Jordan teamed up with WJLA, a Washington D.C. affiliate of ABC, to showcase a month long African American Youth Authors Series.
“I have been an entrepreneur for most of my life, honestly!”
“Entrepreneurship has opened my mind and my world to things I don’t think I would have experienced if I had not been an entrepreneur at a young age,” she shares.
And she’s learned so much along the way.
“Entrepreneurship is about the most basic things that we don’t learn in school such as budgeting, being able to create something with your hands, how to network and how to grow something from the ground up,” she says. “Kids should learn these things now so that they will have time to cultivate them and become great. If kids have these skills early on, can you imagine how great they will be when they become adults?!”
If Jordan is any example, then, yes, we can.