We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamika Watie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamika, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started Ajourd Luxe because I wanted to start saving money to fund my ultimate goal of owning several health clinics and hospice facilities to combat health inequalities and disparities. I knew that I wanted to be a business owner, I just didn’t know what kind of business would be suitable to start off with but the universe has a way of conspiring in your favor. At the time that I decided I were going to start a business, I was really struggling to get my confidence back as a domestic violence survivor. One day, I were getting my hair done and my friend asked if I wanted to try eyelash extensions and I agreed. I started getting lash extensions more and more and two months after I started wearing eyelashes, I started letting a well-known makeup company Cemjo Beauty Co. do my makeup. As a result of the compliments that I would receive, I started feeling like myself again and my confidence was boosted. I sat down one day and thought how I would love to provide others with the same exhilarating feeling that I experienced when I felt at my best. I am not a makeup artist so doing makeup was not an option but I wanted to find a way to be a part of the makeup process. I reflected on where it all started for me and it ultimately came down to wearing eyelash extensions so I decided to research my overhead costs, and my profit margins. I wanted to boost the confidence of my peers by providing a quality product and pairing it with exceptional customer service but I needed to have minimal overhead costs so that I could still save money to fund my healthcare facilities. I am a mother of two and I am pursuing my degree in Human Development and Family Services so I also needed to have a business that allowed me to take care of my family and focus on my studies. Ajourd is more than what I ever imagined it to be and knowing where I was starting and knowing my end goal allowed me to plug in the steps in between to be successful.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My customer service is what sets me apart from other businesses. I pride myself in really servicing my clients, and giving them a great experience. My clients are considered family so I go out of my way to cater to them. I also am very honest with my clients, I let them know when production takes more time, I let them know when an order will be processed later than expected. This is my first year as a business owner and it has not been easy but I overcome the challenges by having faith. The biggest lesson that I have learned along the way is to be patient with myself and to be honest with my clients, people want communication and people want to feel appreciated. I want the world to know that my story is authentic, and I am building the life that I want one brick at a time. I want the world to know that your current circumstances does not determine your final destination. I want the world to know that I am one of many examples that hard work and dedication pays off, but most importantly believe in yourself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Places to visit would be Garden of the Gods if you like to be outdoors. I would recommend Boondocks for some indoor fun, or The Punchbowl Social. You have to eat at Snooze, Intersections, or Mimosas for Brunch. For happy hour 54thirty is my favorite. For dinner enjoy a great meal at Ruth’s Chris! Explore downtown, barhop, and enjoy the food trucks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give accolades to the owner of Cemjo Beauty Co., Cemia Khalek. Cemia was the first person to support my business venture, and she was my first customer. Cemia has stepped in as a mentor to me in the beauty industry and is continuously challenging me to expand more into beauty. You are appreciated! I also would love to honor my clients, who are so patient with me as I work through processes and procedures. Thank you for choosing Ajourd day in and day out!