Hey there! My name is Nzinga Anderson. I’m 13 years old and the creator and founder of Nzee’s Creations, a company I started in 2013 to save for college by doing what I love: baking, cooking, and making crafty things. Over the years my creativity has snowballed into many different product offerings ranging from personalized handmade cards and drinkware paintings, to baked goods for special occasions/events. It all started in 4th grade when I fell in love with making handmade cards by repurposing things I found around the house. Before I knew it my cards were a hit with family and friends and I started getting requests for birthdays, milestone achievements, and annual holidays. When it was time to name my business my family pitched in to help. We decided to go with “Nzee’s Creations” a combination of my nickname “Nzee” and what I would be selling: one of a kind,homemade/handmade creations.
Once I entered the 7th grade I fell in love with painting custom designs on drinking glasses so much so that I introduced them into my product line. I believe that everyone should have at least one piece of glassware that expresses who they are, and by ordering one of my glasses you can do just that! Whenever I wasn’t painting or decorating cards I always found myself in the kitchen helping my dad cook. Seeing the start to finish process of making a meal come together always makes me feel calm. Since my family is Jamaican, we mostly cook traditional West Indian meals. Whenever I want to learn or try something new I turn to YouTube and then experiment! My great grandmother Enid Brown was one of my biggest supporters in everything that I did. Towards the end of my 7th grade year her 2 year cancer battle turned for the worst and I took on the role of cooking her weekly meals. This gave me the opportunity to be there for her in her time of need, and challenge myself to make dishes so unique that she couldn’t pass up taking a bite even when her medication caused her to have no appetite.
Watching cooking shows has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes. Not long after I began watching them, I fell in love with baking and cake decorating. Pastry making provides me with another way to express my creativity, have fun while challenging myself, and make people happy! To date I have gotten orders for birthdays, housewarmings, casual get togethers, business events, cast and crew celebrations and more. One of the most rewarding parts about baking for others is their reaction once they’ve seen how I’ve made their vision to come to life. As a selftaught baker I have learned to be patient, build in time for things to go wrong, and not be so hard on myself when I’ve tried my best but the outcome isn’t what I expected. As a fulltime student and someone with sickle cell anemia, it is very important for me to know when it’s time to stop for the day and start over/resume tomorrow.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disease that I was born with and most people don’t know I have. The disease causes my blood cells to be crescent shaped which makes it harder for them to pass through my blood vessels sometimes causing them to get stuck. When this happens I experience intense pain that can last for a few hours to a few weeks. If it is weeks (which has happened) I have to be hospitalized until I am pain free. Thank God my sickness has been controllable and I don’t have to be hospitalized too often. I usually don’t talk about my diagnosis because I don’t like people to feel bad for me or make me feel abnormal. Even though I have Sickle Cell Anemia I am a normal person and can do the same things as everyone else. I’m 13 years old and have made many accomplishments some surpassing those twice my age. I’ve spoken as a panelist at an entrepreneurship conference, landed the cover of my local newspaper, had my artwork annually featured in the Make‐A‐Wish Foundation calendars, and most recently was named a finalist in Optimum’s essay contest winning an iPad mini, speakers, and tons of Optimum swag.What makes me purposefully pretty is my drive and ambition to succeed. I am a young female entrepreneur who knows what I want out of life and works strategically to get there. I’m using my talent of art, cooking, and baking to save up for college by doing what I love. It’s not easy to balance my business and remain an A+ student, but when I hand everything over to God and let him take the wheel I feel less stressed. Whenever it gets hard and I want to give up, I remind myself that God didn’t bring me this far to only bring me this far. In the words of Tony Gaskins “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”