Phind out Phriday: Me'LisaJema Matthews of JEMA

Earlier this month I introduced you to one of the designers I had the privilege of meeting at at The Second Annual Lypstick Fashion Competition held here in Philadelphia. Well this week, I have another designer that I got to meet at the show and see showcase some of her amazing talent on the runway. In fact her talent was so amazing, she, Me'LisaJema Matthews, actually won the competition. Me’LisaJema Matthews bought to the stage color, culture, and couture. Her pieces truly highlighted the spirit of her brand, JEMA- Jenuiune Exclusive Modern Authentic. So as usual, when an entrepreneur agrees to chat with me about their entrepreneurial journey, I am quite excited and eager to share their story with you. My excitement was no different when Me'LisaJema Matthews agreed to chat with me about JEMA.

Name: Me’LisaJema Matthews
Age: 23
Brand: JEMA
From: New York, New York
Experience: Sewing forever, started JEMA in 2009

Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
MM: I’m Jenuine (the expression of passion, sincerity, and honesty.) Exclusive (absolute in being one of a kind.) Modern (timeless progression.) Authentic (original individuality.)
Phreedum: How does JEMA change the lives of others?
MM: I design pieces that exude confidence. I think my collections help people feel good about themselves and help them express their individuality. My designs challenge and encourage people to dare to be different.
Phreedum: Who has been the most influential in allowing you to phreely pursue your dreams?
MM: My mom and my four other siblings. They are my number one fans. They constantly remind me that I can do this.
Phreedum: What are some of the sacrifices you have had to make as you've pursued making JEMA a success?
MM: I think in following my heart I’ve had to risk standing alone sometimes. I had to choose to go against what others thought was best. Sometimes you have to sacrifice familiarity and comfort to pursue your dreams.
Phreedum: What has been your greatest success so far?
MM: I think just all of the love that I have gotten from all of the cities I have visited so far. People believe in me like I believe in me. Philly showed so much love at the Lypstick competition. When what you spend time and energy creating is well received with different groups of people in different parts of the country, how can you not consider that a part of the succuess on your journey?
Phreedum: How do you define success?
MM: I think it is being content with knowing that you are bringing 150% to the table. When you have done that, whether people acknowledge it or not, I think that’s when you can say you’ve had success. All you can ever offer is your best, and I think successful people do that. They go in offering their best. I've been fortunate to have experiences where my best was well received.
Phreedum: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned o far?
MM: Don’t be afraid to take risks and make sacrifices. And don’t be afraid of rejection. It happens a lot, but don’t be afraid of it.
Phreedum: Who do you admire or look to for guidance as you continue to build JEMA?
MM: To be honest, other young entrepreneurs. When I see other young entrepreneurs who are motivated, creative, and committed to making their dreams realities, it just motivates me to keep doing what I am doing.
Phreedum: At the show I saw your mom doing a lot. Everything from helping with the models to passing out your business cards. And I noticed you said she is one of your biggest fans. How would your mom describe you in one word?
MM: Driven. She has always seen and known me to set a goal and just go after it.
Phreedum: Okay, last question. On occasion I like to ask entrepreneurs to compare their brand to a sport. So, if JEMA was a sport, what sport would it be and why?
MM: Swimming. Sometimes it feels like you are in over your head and you just don’t want to go under. So, you keep swimming, you keep at it despite currents or waves, you keep going because you are determined to survive.

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