Jamila Thompson has been a self-starter since she was 7 years old.
A senior at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, 17-year-old Thompson looks fondly back on the occasion that started it all for her and her family.
“For my seventh birthday, I wanted to have a spa party,” recalls Thompson. “So my family and I decided to make it happen.”
From this, Thompson and her family created Rub A Dub Spa Parties for Kids Inc. Located at 225-16 Merrick Blvd. in Laurelton, the company puts on parties and offers mini-facials, mini-manicures, makeup and more.
The company aims to encourage girls to embrace their uniqueness and feel good about themselves through birthday parties and other events.
“My party was very successful, and I wanted another girls to have as much as I did that day,” said Thompson.
After launching the business, at 9 years old Thompson went on to write her first book that ultimately set out give girls the tips they need to get through their tween years. The book, entitled “You Work It Girl: A Tween’s Guide to Beauty, Fashion and Other Cool Stuff,” seeks to empower young girls by teaching them leadership skills, money management and more.
Thompson’s book, which is available for purchase on Amazon, caught the attention of several local news publications such as NY1 and BET’s “The Mo-Nique Show.”
“The book goes hand-in-hand with the spa business,” said Thompson. “I wanted to encourage and empower girls and make them feel confident, like they can accomplish anything. It also covers leadership skills, bullying, volunteering – everything that a girl should know at that age.”
As time went on, Thompson has switched her focus to art. While Thompson had been creating art her whole life, it was only in the past couple of years that she realized how much art means to her.
Thompson’s parents entered some of her pieces into the Annual Roy Wilkins Art Exhibit, which has highlighted artists of all ages and skill levels for the past 16 years. Thompson has received first place twice at the exhibit and has sold pieces at the exhibit as well.
On Oct. 28, Thompson held an art show to showcase some of her most recent works at the Queens After School and Tutoring center, located at 225-20 Merrick Blvd. in Laurelton.
“The show was great. It was more successful than I thought it would be,” said Thompson. “A lot of people came and we sold a lot of pieces.”
In addition to hosting art shows, running a business and giving motivational talks to young girls, Thompson teaches chess at the Cambria Heights Library. Despite her hectic schedule, Thompson excels in her schoolwork while staying on top of her extracurricular activities.
When asked how she manages to find the time for it all, Thompson admits that she’s not sure but she manages it well.
“When you’re doing something that you love to do, it doesn’t feel like something that you have to make time for,” said Thompson.
Like many high school seniors, Thompson is currently looking at colleges and is excited to join her 2019 graduating class.
“I’d like to study business; it’s what I’ve been raised in and what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years,” said Thompson. “I’m really interested in entrepreneurship.”
For more information about Thompson and her business, visit www.rubadubparties.com.