Photo credits: Heather Rousseau/Roanoke Times
A young girl from Washington D.C. with an entrepreneurial spirit is already the proud founder of her own business in the fashion industry.
According to the Roanoke Times, a Virginia-based newspaper, nine-year-old Inara Rasheed-Jones (pictured below) developed an idea months ago about creating clothing for dolls when she tagged along to go to a college reunion event with her mother Anisah Rasheed.
Rasheed, 32, graduated from North Carolina A&T State University. Her daughter Inara brought her American Girl doll named Angelick along with her on the trip to the class reunion. However, Inara wanted her doll to wear clothes that had collegiate branding on them because she is really enthusiastic about attending college one day.
When Inara started looking around for some college-themed apparel for her doll Angelick, she was disheartened to find out that none could be found. After sharing her situation with her mother, Inara got the best advice a parent could give their child on what to do about it: Start your own clothing brand for dolls and solve the supply problem.
My College Doll Is Born
Inara listened to her mother’s advice and took the first steps toward building her brand and business by designing an online store called My College Doll. Rasheed told the Roanoke Times that she gave her daughter some tactical and moral support toward launching the business but gives Inara most of the credit for laying the foundation.
“She literally came up with this business idea and I was like, ‘Wow, history repeats itself,’ ” Rasheed said in an exclusive interview with the Roanoke Times. Inara also wasn’t shy about sharing the strong contributions she made to start her own digital brand as a kidpreneur.
“I started this business, not my mom,” Inara told the Roanoke Times.
Apparently, in Inara’s case, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Her mother and two of her aunts formerly owned a business called Sister Clowns that provided event planning for birthday parties and other events. In 1999, Rasheed won the “Kidpreneur Award” from Black Enterprise Magazine.
Rasheed and her mother Valerie Dale are partners and independent representatives for a financial services firm. Dale’s mother was a woman named Margaret Scott. Scott passed away at the age of 80 in 2015. However, her legacy of entrepreneurship did not pass away.
She was one of the first black business owners to have a shop inside the Station Mall of Roanoke, Virginia. My College Doll is existential proof that generational blessings of progress can be passed down just as easily as generational curses of degeneracy are passed down.
Please support nine-year-old Inara’s business by visiting her online store here.