At just 22 years old, Jassma’ray Johnson has emerged as a trailblazer in the cosmetics industry, challenging conventional beauty standards and empowering women of color through her brand, Simply Sámone. A recent Iowa State University graduate, Johnson’s journey from being mocked in fourth grade to the CEO of a fast-growing cosmetics brand is not only inspiring but also a testament to her resilience, innovation, and commitment to social change.
The Early Years of Simply Sámone:
Growing up with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting her eyes, Johnson faced mockery and insecurities during her childhood. Determined to embrace her uniqueness, she took matters into her own hands in fourth grade by creating her lip gloss, inspired by the character Moesha from a 1990s sitcom. This early experience marked the beginning of her love for cosmetics.
College Journey and Entrepreneurial Spirit:
Johnson, the first in her family to attend college, faced challenges at Iowa State University, grappling with imposter syndrome and a lack of representation. In 2020, she launched Simply Sámone as a means of reclaiming her identity and providing a voice for those who felt unseen. Running the business from her dorm room, Johnson discovered a newfound love for herself and a passion for entrepreneurship, transcending her earlier struggles.
Impactful Initiatives and Giving Back:
Simply Sámone goes beyond beauty products; it serves as a platform for social change. Johnson, recognizing the lack of diversity in the beauty industry, is actively working to give Black women a voice and a space. Her commitment is reflected in initiatives such as a $1,000 college scholarship for women of color at her alma mater, Des Moines East High School. Johnson’s dedication to uplifting future generations stems from her own experiences and the need to address the gaps in representation.
Diversifying the Cosmetics Industry:
In an industry where only 4% to 5% of employees are Black, Johnson’s Simply Sámone stands out as a beacon of diversity. The brand is not just about cosmetics; it’s a movement to redefine beauty standards and provide accessible, high-quality products for women of all skin tones. Johnson aims to expand her product line to include body oils, lip liners, foundation, and eye makeup, catering to the diverse needs of her customers.
Building a Reputation Through Trust and Innovation:
From launching her brand during a pandemic to pivoting the business model, Johnson’s commitment to innovation and adaptability has been crucial. Her hands-on approach, personally delivering products and fostering trust with customers, has contributed to Simply Sámone’s strong reputation. By prioritizing customer feedback and addressing concerns, Johnson has created a brand that resonates with authenticity and inclusivity.
Future Endeavors and Social Impact:
Looking ahead, Johnson has ambitious plans for Simply Sámone, including the introduction of branded packaging and partnerships for a physical store. Simultaneously pursuing a massage therapist license, she envisions developing skincare products for her brand. Johnson’s advocacy extends beyond cosmetics, with plans to initiate programs addressing mental health in schools and introducing entrepreneurship education as early as 8th grade.
Jassma’ray Johnson’s journey from a fourth-grade girl creating lip gloss to a visionary entrepreneur challenging beauty norms exemplifies the transformative power of self-love and resilience. Simply Sámone not only provides high-quality cosmetics but also serves as a catalyst for change in the beauty industry. As Johnson continues to break barriers and redefine beauty standards, her impact on future generations is poised to be nothing short of revolutionary.
In a remarkable achievement, 23-year-old black triplets, Jean, Jeanet, and Jeanice Stephensons, recently made history by graduating together from South University in Montgomery, Alabama, with Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing. The sisters, inspired by their mother, a seasoned nurse, have not only shared a familial bond but also a commitment to pursuing careers in the healthcare field.
The Stephensons’ journey to becoming nurses started with their shared passion and a desire to continue a family tradition. The triplets mentioned that their mother served as a significant inspiration, igniting their interest in nursing from an early age. They credit their close-knit upbringing for fostering a strong bond that seamlessly translated into their academic pursuits.
Being enrolled in nursing school simultaneously provided the sisters with a unique advantage. Jeanice highlighted the benefits of their triplet connection, stating, “If one person doesn’t know something, you can go to the other, and maybe they’ll explain it a little better.” Jean added, “We motivate each other, help each other, make sure everyone is passing and learning at the same pace.”
The sisters also cherished the fun aspects of their identical looks, often leading to amusing mix-ups and challenges for teachers and students trying to tell them apart. Jeanet shared, “Sometimes we do play tricks on people. We do get confused a lot.” Click here to continue reading about the amazing triplets.