How the Owner of a Makeup Line Hopes to Shape Culture in Her Own Way
Before the Break is a series created to highlight the next generation of doers. We sit down with the entrepreneurs, change makers, and pioneers who dared to forge their own paths to greatness. Hear their story — Before the Break.
There used to be a time when you needed a significant amount of capital or an extensive network to start and sustain a business. That barrier to entry has pretty much been lifted with the development of the internet, and has introduced a whole new class of entrepreneurs, innovators, and curators of culture. Jamise “Jamm” Anderson took advantage of the time we’re in to bet on herself and carve out a lane for Fly Girl Cosmetics to be a brand that, at its core, hopes to encourage women to exude confidence and to be uniquely themselves.
“I feel like 90s black culture kind of set the tone for my generation. Back then people were not afraid to just be them. They spoke through their clothes, through their makeup, and through their hair. And if you think about it, the style is a cycle. Everything is coming back around.”
Who exactly is Fly Girl for?
Jamm: We serve all types of women, all over the world. Black, white — ethnicity doesn’t matter. It’s just a dope woman that loves to put on a good lip or put on a good face and just go out and serve face in the world.
What knowledge did you have that helped you start your company?
Jamm: So, I come from a family of entrepreneurs going all the way back to my dad. He’s been in business with an HVAC company for over 35 years back home in St. Louis. I had a lot of knowledge going in of like what the expectations were — from like everyone’s not going to support you, you’re going to have to work hard and you’re going to lose sleep. As far as the money side, my dad is really good with that. As far as investing and being in the red or in the black. There were a lot of different components that I knew, but it’s always room to learn.
What was the time commitment like leading up to that initial launch?
Jamm: I’m not going to lie, I set a launch date like 3 different times. Then I had a friend come to me and she was just like, “Jamm you need to set a date and stick to it.” I think in my mind I was nervous. As far as time — like I said I did marketing for 30 days up until then. Once I had all of my products, I pushed it more. I did videos every day, I went live — it takes a lot of time. It does not happen overnight.
Now that things are moving for you, will Fly Girl stop at cosmetics?
Jamm: It does not. Fly Girl is actually starting apparel in December of 2019. We will have hoodies, joggers, biker shorts and tanks. Also, Fly Girl is dropping eye shadow pigments. It does not stop. Fly Girl will be just a huge umbrella to serve everyone; especially the community. I want to give back home because I’m from St. Louis. So, I want to give back to my city, but I also want to give back to Dallas. We’re going to go out and educate and we have an event coming up in December: Fly Girl Gives Back. We’re going to give back to the less-fortunate food, blankets, and socks and things like that. This is just the beginning.
Talk to me more about the importance of having initiatives that give back.
Jamm: I think it’s very important. I come from a grandmother who raised me and is just like the center of her community. She gives to everybody. Anybody can knock on her door and they know that they can get a meal, and that’s just what I was taught. You never know what situation you can end up in, so I think it’s very important for me and for my company to let people know that we appreciate everybody and that we care. I’ve fed the homeless since I’ve lived here quite a few times. I never want to forget about everybody else.
When you started, how close in proximity are you to where you thought you would be at this point?
Jamm: I’ll be honest, this was something that I had high expectations for, but I did not think it would be like this. I was at a hair studio the day before yesterday and someone was like, “I’ve seen Fly Girl Cosmetics” and I’m like, “Have you?” I didn’t think it would be where it is now, and I’m learning that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have or how many likes [you have]. If you sell a good product and people know your product, they will support you. Everything is by word of mouth.
“Manifestation, prayer, and hard work. Those are the three things I think every entrepreneur needs regardless of who you pray to. You have to speak life into your dreams, speak life into your goals, and just work hard — because you can pray all day, but if you do not work hard, then it is not going to work for you.”