JaKisia LaFortune, a 23-year-old entrepreneur from Miami, came to Florida A&M University to pursue nursing. Fate redirected her journey.
While obtaining a degree at FAMU, LaFortune had a life-changing experience that made her consider entrepreneurship.
“My friends would always reach out to me for advice about skincare because of my skin, and I’m known to research home remedies before using over-the-counter products,”LaFortunesaid. “So I decided to create my own skincare product, which is my Yoni bar. At first, it was a hobby, but after receiving such positive feedback from friends, I decided to start a skincare business named The Lush Box. If anyone asked me if I plan to sell skincare products, I would say that it literally just came to me. It wasn’t my plan.”
Support from LaFortune’s friends wasn’t enough to have a successful business. She decided to give her first business venture her all.
“In the beginning, I started giving away samples to students, employees at the post office, etc., to build brand awareness,” LaFortune said. “I am a very social person. I love to interact and talk to people. From there, word of mouth grew my business.”
LaFortune’s friend, Angel Love, acknowledges her commitment to the business.
“Kisia’s work ethic is unmatched. She is personable, a genuine person that works extremely hard for her business,” Love said.
During LaFortune’s entrepreneurial journey, she faced numerous challenges. She lost a lot of money due to trial and error because she didn’t have a mentor. She was determined to build a successful business, so she figured it out day by day.
Now The Lush Box is a successful self-sustained business grossing $100,000 and more annually in sales. LaFortune is proud of her revenue, but the real success of her business is her impact.
“The pros of entrepreneurship are seeing the growth, progress and revenue increasing, but most importantly the impact I have on my customers,” LaFortunesaid. “Seeing so many different people from all over purchase my products and leave great reviews is so fulfilling. I get so excited, happy, and sometimes emotional seeing the responses from my customers. It’s an overwhelming positive feeling because sometimes I just can’t believe I’m making that type of impact. It makes me want to go harder!”
Angelie Jean-Brice, LaFortune’s close friend, is inspired by her growth.
“Seeing Kisi’s growth with The Lush Box is so inspiring. I literally witnessed her dropping off samples to people when she first started. She is such a determined individual who is ready for anything. Even with her business’s success, she is still so humble and down to earth. The type of impact she has on me is the drive to never give up and to follow my dreams because you never know when you’re going to make it,”Brice said.
LaFortune’s doesn’t want her success and impact to stop with The Lush Box. She plans to expand her business by creating a sister company in Orlando called Spa Lush. It will be a full-service store-front spa offering facials, massages, nail care and hair services.
“I want women to come in after a long day of work and be pampered. Women have so much we deal with, and I want my spa to relieve all stress when you walk through my doors. My goal for my new business venture is to build more confidence in women and give much-needed peace,”LaFortune said.