STUDENTS | July 19, 2018
Entering and winning a school business competition was the final push 13-year-old Jada Jackson said she needed to create JJ’s Delights, her dessert business, which launches in August.
The Oglesby Elementary School eighth-grader grew up watching her grandmother cook, learning family recipes over time.
Her earliest memory of selling her cupcakes was when she was seven. She baked and sold them to family and neighbors.
“It started when my cousins and I were trying to get a bike for the summer,” Jada said. “ We decided to bake since my grandma was always bringing me a lot of baking gadgets.”
She raised a little over $100 to help her mother purchase the bike.
The next time she would sell her cupcakes was when she entered the business competition.
When her counselor shared details about it, Jada said she recruited some friends to help. She started selling her cupcakes throughout the school.
Her desserts are a combination of family recipes that she puts a personal twist on and semi-scratch items. She currently sells cupcakes, banana pudding, brownies and miniature cakes. Jada said she plans to expand her menu. She’s working on a cheesecake next. Jada currently takes orders through her mother’s job and friends of the family.
Her mother, Jen Sykes, said Jada didn’t surprise her when she chose this path.
“I have always instilled in her that you have to work for everything you get,” Sykes said. “She always had the mindset of wanting to have her own.”
Jada said she believes that some her age might be afraid to take a leap of faith and launch a business.
“It’s hard to launch it and when you’re so young, some people may not take you serious,” she said.
For her, the process has been a “smooth” one so far, she said, adding that she thinks she can be an inspiration to her peers.
“I think I can be an inspiration by showing that I’m not scared to launch anything and to show other people that they can start businesses too,” she said.