Dedra Phillips had 16 years to think of the perfect birthday gift for her daughter, Nia. Most of the time, those gifts range from expensive electronics to clothes. In fact, many teens celebrate their 16th birthday with lavish celebrations and huge gifts from their parents.
Phillips wanted to do something outside of the norm. In lieu of buying fancy clothes or a car, the dedicated mom gifted her daughter a beauty business in celebration of her milestone birthday. Dedra Phillips talked about investing and forming Ni’Abri Beauty in honor of Nia’s big day.
“I thought to myself, I can always buy her a car. A business, however, could teach her many valuable lessons such as how to lead, build a vision, time-management, team building, marketing, budgeting, investing, managing finances, customer service and so much more,” Phillips said about Nia.
She wanted to instill the values of owning a business, financial literacy and creating a legacy of Black generational wealth for her daughter. Dedra Phillips wanted to emphasize the impact of owning a business. There is a disproportionate wealth gap between Blacks and whites. In 2017, The New York Times reported that for every $100 white families held in wealth, Blacks only had $5.04.
“To be 16 years old and learn these types of lessons is invaluable. It will serve her for the rest of her life. That is why I chose a business.”
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Nia was ecstatic. The teen was taken aback by her mother’s gift.
“My initial reaction when mom presented me with the business at my party was “Whaaat!,” she recalled. “I really thought I was going to get a car for my birthday, but a business is so much better.”
Dedra Phillips understood her daughter’s excitement and also wanted to encourage the young lady’s dreams.
“I want Nia to understand that she has options. If entrepreneurship is the road she wants to take. I will be her No. 1 supporter and the first to invest in her vision and future. We don’t see this enough in the black community. Many of us are taught to go to college and get a good job. That’s not a bad thing. Even if you have a job, multiple streams of income are necessary in today’s economy.”
The new business owner elaborated on her brand talking about key factors that embrace what Ni’Abri Beauty is. She also talked about wanting to give young women like her a dose of self-confidence.
“Every product is named with a ‘character trait.’ I want to inspire people to embrace positive things about themselves. This world is full of negative messages. When someone purchases a lip gloss from my company, it comes with a card that describes the character trait of the product purchased, along with a special inspirational message from me.”
Dedra Phillips has given Nia an invaluable gift and hopefully, this will become a trend that catches on with other Black families.