Success Story June 23, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Jasmine Lawrence, the Black woman in tech who founded a multimillion-dollar beauty business at 13

Abu Mubarik June 23, 2022 at 12:31 pm

June 23, 2022 at 12:31 pm | Success Story

Jasmine Lawrence. Photo: Linkedin/Jasmine Lawrence

Before building her beauty business, Jasmine Lawrence served as a Technical Program Manager on the Portal (formerly Building 8) team at Facebook. In her role, she built a product that makes it much easier for people to be connected with loved ones.

Working at Facebook can be described as a manifestation of Jasmine’s love for technology. Prior to that, she served as a Technical Program Manager at SoftBank Robotics America. Also, she worked at Microsoft and Xbox Engineering as a Program Manager where she created cross-platform social experiences for gamers around the world, according to 21ninety.

At age 13, she created EDEN BodyWorks to meet her own need for affordable natural hair and body care products. Her beauty products are now available in some leading stores including Target, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Amazon.com, Kroger, HEB, and Salley Beauty Supply stores.

Originally, Lawrence wanted to become an engineer but ended up learning about entrepreneurship as a teenager. In the end, she ended up pursuing both careers while focusing her life on creating products that help people live their best lives.

“The process started with making a business plan and doing research to understand people’s needs,” Lawrence highlighted the process she went through to start her venture. 

“I already had a few products created before formally starting my business, so the next steps were creating branding and packaging for them. It only took a few months to get started. The name is inspired by the Garden of EDEN from the Bible,” she told 21ninety.

Lawrence started her entrepreneurial journey relying on her parents for funding. The company then raised subsequent funding from selling products.

“There’s definitely an opportunity that comes with raising capital but you also have to consider other people’s perspectives, opinions and concerns. Those perspectives might not always align with your company’s vision. Bootstrapping has given me the maximum amount of independence. I don’t believe funding is required to create a successful business,” she said.

The beauty entrepreneur earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, with concentrations in devices and artificial intelligence, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She subsequently went on to obtain a Masters in Human-Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington.

Her entrepreneurial journey has seen her being featured on global news platforms, including New York Times, the Oprah Winfrey Show, on the Forbes 30 under 30 List, and recently on Inc Magazine’s 2021 Female Founders list.

She currently serves as a Product Manager at Everyday Robots, a project from X, the moonshot factory. “Working alongside teams at Google, we’re building a new type of robot. One that can learn by itself, to help anyone with (almost) anything,” she said.

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