Amid the pandemic, many people have been on a quest to discover things that keep them centered. For 7-year-old BoujFleaMarket founder Anastasia Linkpon, it was slime and fizzy bath bombs. Now the kidpreneur is taking her love for those products and using entrepreneurship as a vessel to teach other children about the essentiality of mindfulness, wellness, and the power of tapping into your creativity.
The inspiration behind the BoujFleaMarket was derived from a lesson about the importance of self-care. Anastasia’s mother Adriane Mack—a serial entrepreneur who spearheads Miss Mack Enterprises and Curated Culture Life—wanted to teach her daughter about the value of wellness and self-preservation in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life. “We need time to sit down. Time to breathe. Time to get our thoughts together. I realized for Anastasia to truly grasp the importance of these things, I had to teach her,” Mack told NewsOne. “I think it’s extremely important that children of color start learning about self-care as early as possible.” Cognizant of the weight that many children of color are carrying while navigating two pandemics—COVID-19 and systemic injustice—Mack wanted to team up with her daughter to sell products centered on wellness; ultimately leading to the creation of the BoujFleaMarket.
The digital “kid-curated” boutique features an array of products that merge wellness and fashion. Among the items—which were selected and monikered by Anastasia herself—are statement jewelry pieces, rhinestone-encrusted handbags and organic, vegan, handmade bath bombs that are part of the BoujFleaMarket’s Mindfulness Collection. Mack says all of the items were designed to empower youth to embrace their individuality and use fashion as an avenue to express themselves. “The inspiration behind the products is pulled from Anastasia’s creativity,” said Mack. “She loves fun, colorful things. We envisioned creating products that are age-appropriate for the young sassy girl. The products allow girls to have a little swag but in a youthful way.” Anastasia added coming up with the names for the products is one of her favorite parts of the creative process.
For the mother-daughter duo, entrepreneurship is generational. Anastasia and Adriane come from a legacy of movers and shakers who established their own ventures and drove impact within their communities. Adriane’s great-grandfather was a pillar in Leesburg, Florida who owned several businesses and land. He also founded the first NAACP chapter in his area in 1964. Determined to eliminate barriers that marginalized communities faced surrounding accessibility to education, her grandfather’s brother started a school in Tuskegee. Adriane says the creation of the BoujFleaMarket is a passing of the torch, of sorts, and a continuation of the tradition of cultivating wealth. “It’s beautiful to have those legacies on both sides of the family. For me it’s embedded in my DNA to be an entrepreneur and provide opportunities for my community,” said Mack. “It’s extremely important for kids to see people who look like them starting their own businesses. In fact, I believe that is the future of true sustainability. Generational wealth is essential. With all of the examples we’ve had of entrepreneurship throughout African American history, like Black Wall Street, we’ve seen how economic empowerment has been able to help grow and sustain the Black community and it’s crucial for us to continue to do that.”
Although the BoujFleaMarket launched in March, Anastasia is already making power moves in the realm of entrepreneurship. She became one of the youngest business owners to be part of the HOPE One Million New Black Business (1MBB) initiative that was launched in collaboration with Shopify to create one million new Black-owned businesses in the U.S. by 2030 by providing $130 million of resources. As part of the effort, entrepreneurs have access to courses centered on everything from using technology to elevate your business to how to secure capital.
Anastasia and Adriane want to use the BoujFleaMarket to exemplify the power of entrepreneurship and inspire other children and their parents to launch their own ventures. “I would tell kids to think about the things they like and ask their parents for help to start their business,” said Anastasia. “Start small and grow big.” As far as what is on the horizon for the BoujFleaMarket, the founders plan on rolling out slime kits and adding more products to the Mindfulness Collection.