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Purple Media Network

How Sha’Mya Lorden runs her own businesses while attending NSU

Submitted by Sha’Mya Lorden
Sha’Mya Lorden showcases her products at a pop-up shop from her business Fresh Off the Press.

“Psychology is all about understanding people, and in the business world, if you don’t understand people, you’ll never have a client,” Sha’Mya Lorden said.

Sha’Mya Lorden is a junior with a double major in psychology and addiction studies at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. On top of being a student, she is a 21-year-old African American entrepreneur with two different businesses. One of her businesses is Blissful Beats.

Using makeup as her art, Lorden creates beautiful masterpieces on her canvases – her clients. The other business Lorden runs is called Fresh Off the Press where within this business, she sells customized items from shirts, cups, jewelry and more.

“It was hard to get someone’s makeup done correctly if they had the same complexion as me,” Lorden said.

Growing up a cheerleader and dancer, Lorden was no stranger to the world of makeup. She soon realized how difficult it was to find a makeup artist for individuals with darker skin, and this became a driving force for her. She started watching makeup tutorials on social media, which led to her starting up Blissful Beats.

Before Blissful Beats became an actual business, Lorden was gaining clientele by doing other teammates’ makeup. This would expand into doing her neighbors’ makeup, to doing makeup for homecoming and prom and to even doing makeup for even a few weddings.

Lorden officially started Blissful Beats approximately seven years ago as a freshman in high school. Her favorite and most requested makeup style is a cut crease, a style of eyeshadow.

For her, making a profit is a goal, but furthering her brand is what gives her happiness. Lorden finds motivation in the joy she gets from her businesses. Alongside Blissful Beats, Lorden’s passion burns bright for her other business.

“My heart and my soul go into Fresh Off the Press,” Lorden said.

Fresh Off the Press sells a little bit of everything: shirts, beanies, keychains, mirrors and almost anything that can be customized. Lorden began Fresh Off the Press in 2018. It began as a hobby, making spirit shirts mainly for her own cheer and dance teams. Eventually, though, this grew into the successful business that it is today, she explained. Out of all that Fresh Off the Press has to offer, the most popular items are shirts.

“Anything can be on a shirt,” Lorden said. “Whether it be family reunion shirts, school team shirts, graduation shirts or birthday party shirts, I do them all.”

Something she specializes in is bulk orders of shirts. She has done many orders for groups around Natchitoches including the Social Work Department and the African American Caucus’ annual Wild ’n Out night, which Lorden makes the shirts for every year.

While it may have started as just a fun hobby, the years of hard work and determination Lorden has dedicated to her business led Fresh Off the Press to be where it is today.

However, running a successful business does not come easily. Lorden said she has faced discrimination from clients simply because she is a young African American woman running her own business. This led her to remove her face from her company because of the discrimination she was receiving, at one point.

“One of the biggest challenges right now is learning how to manage and balance this brand, and I am a 21-year-old African American female,” Lorden said. “You see my work and you see my quality – this is still who I am at the end of the day.”

Recently, her business has been on the rise due to an increase in clients.

“When I promote my brand, I have business cards, I put out flyers, I’m very active on social media and I give student discounts because as a student I understand,” Lorden said.

Lorden has built businesses from the ground up, not only once, but twice. With this, Lorden understands the struggles and truly cares for small businesses. This is why she collaborates with other small businesses around campus.

“A few local businesses I’ve worked with are Truly Gifted, Sh’miracle Hairstyles, Icon Living and Lifestyle,” Lorden said. “It’s important to recognize the talent and entrepreneurship we have on campus because there is so much of it.”

With many NSU students showcasing their talents through small businesses, their goals don’t stop just in their own communities. These students have dreams of their business becoming something more.

“I want to be a huge brand, and I want to branch off from being a small business and a small entrepreneur – I just want to go to the next level,” Lorden said.

Lorden looks forward to when her brands grow. In the meantime, she is determined to begin those building blocks now.

“The goal is to get investors, supporters and people that believe in me and my brand as much as I do to help take me to that next step,” Lorden said. “And I know it’s possible.”

Lorden’s makeup artwork can be viewed on her Instagram page,, and the shop where you can find custom items is found @freshoff_thepress.

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Kade Alford, Current Sauce - Reporter

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