Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Jacqueline Morton

Posted on 11/18/2020 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Jacqueline Morton is the owner of Jacquie Handbags, which are for that every event woman who is on the go but still wants a functional fashion accessory that makes a personal statement of self-expression and status. She is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP). We had a chance to sit down with Jacqueline Morton to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

As a little girl, my mother (Betty J. Rolen) would ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I would always reply asking for something that I could create with my hands (i.e. some type of arts and crafts project). She also told me she knew I would do something great with my life.

My Father, (Joseph Rolen Sr.) instilled in me the importance of great work ethic. While growing up on 9th and Vine Street in Camden, I remember a time when my neighborhood friends and I put our change together and purchased a cake mix and icing in order to make a cake. Later, we sold that cake and split the profit. That event ignited something in me.... I learned I could make extra money by making things! I realized I possessed special abilities such as making flower arrangements, enhancing handbags with scarves, putting bling on items, cooking, braiding hair, and making healthy juices.

Fast forward…I gave my life to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! In my journey of growing in the wisdom of God, I was aligned with powerful men and women of God who helped me to discover that my gifts, talents and abilities were for a God Ordained Purpose. I learned that my significance was not in the similarity to another, but in my point of difference from another. I learned how to celebrate my difference and I wanted to be provision for the vision of God. Also, I discovered that my gifts were imparted to me to be a problem solver. In addition, I also learned that there were entrepreneurs on both sides of my family. My great grandfather on my father’s side was a Funeral Home Owner and my great grandfather on my mother’s side owned a Barber Shop. God allowed me to see that I was fruitful, therefore, I decided that I could change my own world by becoming an entrepreneur. I decided to walk in that calling by making a few decisions:

  • I decided whom I would ignore.
  • I decided whom I would enjoy.
  • I decided whom I wanted to impress most.
  • I decided who has ignored me.
  • I decided the task I no longer enjoyed doing.
  • I decided whose example was worth following with a passion.
  • I decided what I wanted my daily world to be like.

I now know it is a generational blessing that transferred to me and it was up to me to discover it. In this season of my life, I am selling handbags and accessories; however, I am still a work in progress.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

My mother always carried different types of handbags. Everything we needed was in her purse (except the kitchen sink) so her handbags were considered a problem solver. Soon, I realized the great demand for having handbags that could satisfy the woman who is constantly on the go.

I am confident that what you love most is where you will succeed most. Selling handbags produces joy for me and led me to ask myself a few questions:

  • What do I like doing? I like buying and selling products
  • What do I like to talk about? I like talking about different types of handbags

What I do is a clue to my calling and talent. Staying in the center of what I love to do is one of the secrets to becoming an Uncommon Leader. That’s why I chose the accessories industry for this season in my life because I believe handbags are essential.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

My experience while attending EDTP helped me to know that I did not have to make important decisions alone. My major takeaway from the Entrepreneurial Training Development Program was that the power of connections creates contact, which is the first step for increase. I met and made connections with a few people along the way:

  • I met Ms. Jamila Powell, who was a major link for attending the EDTP course;
  • I was assigned to Sophie Werner as her protégé and mentee while I travelled through the 9-week course; and
  • Mr. Ray Lamboy, walking in his assignment as LAEDA’s CEO, has opened doors for women such as myself to develop as a great business woman.

All of the classes were very beneficial: How to write a Business Plan, Accounting, Business Law, Leadership, Marketing and so much more!

Even after graduating from the course, I am still being mentored by Sehrish Khan, who is currently mentoring me in the social media arena. I thank God for each and every staff of LAEDA. Everyone you come in contact with is present in the moment and will help you, when needed.

Staying humble and not being too proud to ask for assistance helped me to stay the course with my business assignment. I am better equipped with the tools to get to the next phase in business.

EDTP has allowed me to meet other students in the classroom setting who aspire to start/ grow their business. I made new friends with the same types of goals as myself... Desiring to become business owners. I know we can call each other for support, which is something that means so much to me.

4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

My journey on the road to business startup was, initially, in my mindset. I had to cultivate my atmosphere to keep myself motivated. I believe if you can see it in your imagination you can achieve it.

My challenge was not to allow what was going on around me to distract my motivation, goals, or passion. Therefore, I had to answer the following questions:

  • How do I birth opportunities to reveal my uniqueness?
  • How do I get funding?
  • How do I market?
  • How do I bring good people together during tough times?

These questions really helped to guide my success and reminded me to keep it moving while anticipating and avoiding unnecessary conflict. I am working on the power of negotiating effectively to bring financial increase instead of decrease since I learned along the way that your words can create a financial gain or loss.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Today my business is on the right track. Jacquie Handbags is moving forward by growing every opportunity to establishing excellent customer service that includes great character and integrity. With the help of LAEDA, I am currently working on a better social media presence and implementing new and innovative ways to increase customer engagement. During this time of the new norm, it has challenged me to cultivate my God given creativity.

Jacquie Handbags are for that every event woman who is always on the go. I just released a new accessory: Jacquie Face Candy Mask. For more details and pictures, please see my Instagram page (@jacquie handbags).

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

The advice I have for future and existing entrepreneurs is the following:

  • To always put God first.
  • The art of becoming an entrepreneur is to distinguish between what matters most and what matters least.
  • Rise above the stigmas of any questionable events fromyour past. Your past failures can only stop your destiny if you let it.
  • Stay in the center of what you love.
  • Never make important decisions alone.
  • Customize your environment to keep you motivated.
  • Make tomorrow bigger than yesterday.
  • Write the vision like a dream poster and update it as witty ideas come to you.
  • See time as an opportunity for change.
  • Recognize where you are wasting time and create a schedule that protects you from those things.
  • Last, but not least, enroll in the Entrepreneurial 9 week course…It will help you fight to keep the spirit of a finisher.

I have not finished everything yet; but, I have the spirit to finish strong…STAY TUNED!

Congratulations to Jacqueline Morton for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Jacquie Handbags are for that every event woman who is on the go but still wants a functional fashion accessory that makes a personal statement of self-expression and status. Also, if you are a handbag person, Jacquie Handbags can guide you to a handbag that is recognized for its style, affordable price, and as a beautiful conversation piece. Jacquie Handbags are not only stylish but are also useful in carrying daily items you may need while allowing you to achieve that fashion statement that you would desire... It is that arm candy you have been looking for. To get in touch with Jacqueline Morton, you can email her at jacquiehandbags@gmail.com, and or visit her Instagram page at jacquie handbags and or call her call at 856-904-0075.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.