Zi’Kiara O’Neal’s work ethic and personality are infectious.
But O’Neal, a fourth-year psychology major at Florida A&M with a minor in criminal justice, reveals she didn’t know she was going to have her own business one day because owning a business was never in her plans.
She is from the small city of Belle Glade in Palm Beach County. She is the CEO of a small business called Konfidential Girl, LLC which was established in July of 2020.
The pandemic changed a lot for O’Neal. Sitting at home 24/7 because she lost her job due to COVID-19 made her realize she needed to find another source of income. Her cousin introduced her to this business proposal.
“One day we sat on the phone for hours and the next day I started putting my plans and goals into motion,” O’Neal, 23, said.
O’Neal’s cousin who was and is already a business owner, gave her some significant advice that she needed. She has always been a huge fan of building the next woman’s confidence because she remembers a time when she struggled with her own insecurities.
Some days O’Neal just didn’t feel pretty enough. So, that’s how she came up with Konfidential Girl which is inspired by confidence. She wanted to sell products that she knew would boost another woman’s or girl’s confidence. The slogan she uses, Konfidence is Ki —her nickname isKiki — she replaced the Key for Ki.
Mathieu Coqmard, O’Neal’s close friend and a graduating senior at Florida A&M University, has seen her experience ups and downs.
“Regardless, she keeps pushing and never lets anything hold her back,” Coqmard said. “She is a strong minded person who has been fearless in her endeavors in life and college. I’ve witnessed a lot of people work hard but when I tell you she tops that list I’m not joking she works full time and then goes to school then invests her remaining time in her own business,” Coqmard said.
Coqmard believes a lot of people can’t accomplish half of what O’Neal has done.
“She does it with no issue regularly that speaks volumes, whatever she wants she works for she might complain but will just keep chopping wood at it,” Coqmard said.
Coqmard transferred in fall 2019 after earning his AA degree at Miami-Dade College. He and O’Neal have been inseparable since he arrived in Tallahassee.
“Kiki is definitely not someone you can hate at all so for Kiki all I wish is blessings and she sells out every week she deserves it,” Coqmard said.
Alexis Dailey, personal friend, event planner and customer of O’Neal’s, said she only purchases her accessories from O’Neal due to the quality.
“Small business owners like Kiki need a lot of support to succeed, whether it’s financial or emotional.” Dailey said. “One of the most important sources of that support for many entrepreneurs is their network of friends and family members,” she added.
Dailey thinks that friends and family provide the support system that can help O’Neal face stress, balance work and play, and overall keep a sense of perspective even amongst the pressure and responsibility of starting and maintaining a prosperous business in an often unfeeling marketplace.
While O’Neal’s business contains lashes, anklets, and charm bracelets, she is looking forward to expanding and revamping extremely soon.
“To anybody that wants to start a business I would say go for it especially if it’s your passion, there have been ups and downs but I enjoy being a small business owner,” O’Neal said.