Nine-year-old Adriana Jackson makes her business count by giving back

Adriana Jackson runs a small, part-time business and donates to local groups.

Adriana Jackson

It was the spring of 2020. A global pandemic had just been declared; schools were closed, and nine-year-old Adriana Jackson was bored.

So she started a small online business, selling accessories such as bows, headbands and scrunchies.

Adriana also gives credit to both of her grandmothers. One of them taught her how to sew. The other sent her materials to work with.

“Sometimes my customers want certain bows, and maybe we don’t have them,” Adriana said. “It’s really fun to try and make new bows and make people happy.”

Schools were still closed around the time Adriana launched her boutique, but the city of Montreal was buzzing.

On June 6, 2020, tens of thousands of Montrealers gathered in protest, as part of a global movement to denounce anti-Black racism and police brutality. Adriana took notice, and she wanted to be part of it.

“After what happened to George Floyd, I asked my parents what we could do to support the Black community,” she said.

“They said maybe we could go to peaceful protests.” Adriana did that and went a step further – she decided to donate some of the proceeds of her sales to local Black community organizations.

Harriet Tubman, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris and former first lady Michelle Obama are among her inspirations.

She said she hopes her business acumen and initiative are a first step toward carving a path of her own and persuading other younger people to get involved in social issues.

“I’m showing people that it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old,” she said. It’s never too soon or too late “to start your own business or make your dreams come true.”

She wants to see her business grow, but she said that will take time. Her parents say she can only run it part-time — on weekends and on holidays.

“School always comes first, before everything,” Adriana said. “Even my business.”