KATY, Texas – Cypress Lakes High School junior Nia Phillips is thanking two McDonald’s business owners for a huge donation for her beauty business.
Entrepreneurs Marla and Marissa Thrower donated a $25,000 check to Ni’Abri Beauty on the Tamron Hall Show in February. According to Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, Nia’s passion for beauty started when she was young. After taking business classes at Cypress Lakes, Nia told her mother, Dedra Phillips, that she wanted to start a lip gloss business. Dedra helped her daughter fulfill that dream by creating Ni’Abri Beauty and giving it to Nia as a present for her 16th birthday.
“It was already a legal business when I gave it to her on her birthday,” Dedra told CFISD. “My thought was, ‘Yes, I could get her a car,’ but I’m all about teaching my kids how to lead and she can build on this business.”
Nia then created a website for her business and started to promote it through social media. Her work caught the attention of different publications, like Black Enterprise and Ebony, and eventually caught the attention of the Tamron Hall Show.
“When I told my mom that the Tamron Hall Show was calling me, she freaked out,” Nia told CFISD. “They wanted to fly us out to New York City to be on the show because of all the attention that Ni’Abri Beauty was receiving. They had been tracking the business on social media for about six months before calling us.”
While guests on the show, Nia and her mom met McDonald’s business owners Marla and Marissa Thrower, who aim to help and promote young African American women entrepreneurs. The women surprised Nia with a $25,000 check to help her grow her business.
Since receiving the gift, CFISD said Nia has sowed into her business, but she’s also giving away three $1,000 gifts to individuals 17 years or younger who want to start their own business.
“I just want to pay it forward,” Nia told CFISD. “I want to help people.”