How Jenneva Started a Business From a Viral Bikini Selfie
Like any social media star, you probably want to ask Jenneva, the 22 year old entrepreneur known for her shaved head, how she got so many followers.
But she doesn’t have the magic recipe you’re hoping for, instead she had a simple mirror selfie that popped off.
But instead of letting compliments and the occasional hater get to her head, she turned her fan base into a business. The Florida native decided to start her own clothing line on the side while finishing up college.
Check out our interview below where Jenneva talks about how she got her signature look, her brand goals, and her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
What made you start your own business and what is Jennevam.com about?
My mom owns her own business and for the most part has always worked for herself, so that’s always inspired me to want to be my own boss. My ultimate goal for JennevaM.com is to provide fashionable basics at an inexpensive price for women of all shapes and sizes.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur and how easy/difficult was it for you to do so?
Well I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but never thought it was the right time. But I randomly became “popular” on social media and thought, ‘man, this is the perfect time now that I have a larger platform.’ It’s definitely been a difficult process, but you make mistakes and figure things out along the way.
What made you grow in popularity on social media and how did this influence you decision to start your own company?
The random orange bikini photo that somehow went viral back in 2014. In a months’ time that one photo got me like, 15 thousand followers. It was so crazy going from like 2000 to 18,000. But yea, that definitely got the idea brewing in my head, because I used to always say before that “man if these people with thousands of followers don’t turn that into some money, they’re crazy!” So it was like, here’s your chance, ya know?
What tips do you have for women looking to become an entrepreneur?
Go for it. Do your research, but don’t spend forever doing that. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but you’ll learn from it. There will never be a perfect time, you may never have “enough” money, but start with what you’ve got. Definitely make sure your customer service is on point, be confident, be consistent, and remember it’s always quality over quantity.
What plans do you have for your brand in the future?
Swimsuit season is approaching, so of course I’ll have swimsuits and things of that nature coming back to my site soon. Really long term I’m just working on bringing my brand to the image I have in my head. I’m also currently working on a new business in the skincare world, so I’m super excited about that because it’ll be here very soon!
What’s been the best part of starting your own business and what stresses you out the most?
The best part is when your collection launches and you reap the benefits of what you’ve worked so hard on. The most stressful part for me is shipping which can be a little overwhelming sometimes as well as the entire process leading up to the launch of new collections/items.
Where there any books you read to help you become an entrepreneur and if so what are they?
Honestly I didn’t read any books, but I’ve read tons of articles online and sought advice from other entrepreneurs like my mom and a couple of friends.
What makes you pick the items you sell on your website?
I think “girl, would you really wear this?” And if it’s a no, it’s a no for me. I also try to keep in mind what compliments all body types. On the occasion I may get a piece that’s on trend, but for the most part I try to stay away from that because I prefer timeless pieces you can wear two years from now.
What’s your workout regimen and what are some tips for women looking to get in shape?
I wish I had one. Really the only thing I can say is that I definitely try to stay away from breads because I know they do play a part in tummy weight. If I had any tip I’d say try using a personal trainer for a month so they can break you into a routine that works for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Why did you decide to shave your hair and keep it in that style?
About six years ago I decided to shave it to go natural and grow an afro, that didn’t last too long so I just stuck with short hair because for me it makes me look younger and brings out my features.
What is something about you that many people don’t know?
I’m super shy and I’m also afraid of driving, so I don’t drive either.
What would you like your supporters to take from this interview?
I’d like anyone reading to know if they want to do anything, and I mean anything whether it be opening up a business or quitting their job to pursue something they actually love, go for it. There’s no such thing as the perfect time, just take that leap.