INDIANAPOLIS — Jamila Jones is part baker, part entrepreneur, part force of nature.
And the desserts she makes from scratch for It’s the Sweets and Treats 4 Me are just one example of how she demonstrates care — not to mention savvy.
“This is how I show love,” Jones said.
Jones started her dessert shop in December, selling her treats virtually and at pop-up locations. She comes from a family of bakers; she says she gets a lot of gratification from getting creative and surprising people with unexpected tastes.
“I make sure it looks good, it tastes good. I stay up countless hours — I don’t get sleep on the weekends,” Jones said. “I love what I do. Everything I’m baking, I’m baking with love.”
Starting the dessert business wasn’t the first time in 2020 she had taken a brave leap to fulfill a dream, despite the odds.
In January, Jones’ whole life was turned upside down when she had to get an ankle transplant.
“I’m a person who’s always on the go, always moving, always doing something,” she said. “I had to actually just sit and depend on people. It was rough for me. It really put me in a bad headspace, because I could not do for myself what I was normally used to being able to do.”
She had to rest her body, spending her nights on the sofa. But that let her brain get to even deeper work, mulling over some intriguing ideas.
“I do plus-size modeling. And I love makeup. So, I went to sleep one night on the couch and was thinking about makeup,” Jones said. “And that next morning I said, ‘I’m gonna start a cosmetics line.’”
And she did.
She did the research. She was able to get everything she needed (forms, permits, etc.) online. And pretty soon, Debonair Bae was born.
During her own physical issues, Jones went through another situation no mother would wish on anyone: Her daughter survived domestic abuse that caused severe injuries, including a broken leg.
“It was rough. It was really rough,” Jones said. “But we made it through.”
Jones said the abuse left her daughter struggling with her own body and beauty, after years of her abuser’s manipulation. This inspired the mother and daughter to create a positive outlet: Ris-Que’ Intimates & Apparel.
The lingerie line offers apparel to women of all sizes. Jones says she and her daughter hope it can inspire other survivors or women struggling with domestic abuse, to love themselves.
On top of all of that, last year Jones also helped her son, a student at North Central High School, create his own fashion line, Victory Don. And she helped her other daughter start a plus-size boutique.
We like to ask businesses we talk to, what successes they had despite the struggles of the last year. To Jones, the answer was clear.
“I started two businesses, and I helped my children start two businesses as well,” Jones said. “So, although I was in a bad headspace, really feeling down about not being able to do things… I still was able to do what I’m known for: helping people, and I helped my children.”
Jones said it’s clear she had a lot going on in 2020 — and maybe you did too. But she believes that shouldn’t stop anyone from following their dreams: And following them now.
“To anybody that is maybe scared to start their business with the pandemic going on,” Jones said. “Or maybe it feels like this isn’t a good time or you can’t do it. I would say: Go for it. It may never be a perfect time… (but) I would say: Do it. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Go out and create great things.”