Jasmine Simms & Tammira Lucas
Innovation: Empowering Baltimore mom with entrepreneurial skills training
Age: 27 (Jasmine), 29 (Tammira)
Home: Woodlawn (Jasmine), Frankford (Tammira)
Occupation: Owner, Scrub Nail Boutique (Jasmine) and CEO, The Business Dr (Tammira)
Hobbies: Food, travel with her daughter Audrey (Jasmine); crafting and home decor (Tammira)
Fun Fact: The two were introduced by Jasmine’s step-dad, Omar Muhammad, director of entrepreneurial development at Morgan State University
Twitter Handle: scrubnailboutiq (Jasmine) and thebusinessdr1 (Tammira)
Mother May I?
Two entrepreneurs are inspiring local moms to take control of their financial future by starting their own businesses.
By Jessica Bizik
Photography by Chris Harrison
“Hello. My name is Jasmine. I’m a mom. I’m an entrepreneur. And I’m always tired.”
That’s how Jasmine Simms introduces herself when she does presentations and media interviews about her success as the owner of Scrub Nail Boutique, an award-winning salon in Fells Point known for its personalized service and innovative marketing strategie, such as “Scrub Club” memberships that encourage busy women commit to self-care amidst the chaos of everyday life.
Now Simms is taking that concept to new heights as co-founder of MAE Academy. MAE (pronounced m-ah!) stands for “Moms as Entrepreneurs,” a brand she co-founded with friend and fellow lady boss Tamirra Lucas, a business consultant/coach and founder of Ryan’s Closet, a kids hair accessory line she named after her daughter (who was “follically challenged” during her first few years).
The duo has already launched successful podcast and conference. Now, they’re looking to reinvest in the West Baltimore community where they both grew up by offering an 8-week course to teach low-income women in Penn North how to start their own businesses–ultimately creating their own job security and owning their vision.
“There are too many moms living below the poverty line,” says Lucas, who was the first to graduate from college in her family–and will soon hold a doctorate in Business Administration from Walden University. “We want them to understand you don’t have to live like that. You have options. You have you.”
Even when you work for yourself, you need fire and desire.
Lucas teaches business courses at Coppin State University and says the first two weeks of the MAE program will focus on start-up fundamentals and the entrepreneurial mindset, then shift to helping each mom nail down a business idea she’s truly passionate about.
“Without that, you’ll fail,” says Lucas, who learned that lesson the hard way. “I’ve had more jobs than you can count. I once worked for the government and felt like a zombie. Even when you work for yourself, you need fire and desire. Otherwise, you’re just one sick kid and a PTA meeting away from giving up.”
“We’ll really hold their hands through the process,” says Simms, a natural innovator who felt frustrated working for other people’s companies where feedback and change weren’t part of the culture. “There are so many decision points when starting a business. I would have never made it without other entrepreneurs who were kind enough to give me advice.”