RGP Profiled for Cortex Innovation Community
Jade Harrell is the founder of RareGem Productions and a recent graduate of the Square One Program, an entrepreneurial training initiative offered through CIC@CET right here in the Cortex district. Jade shares with us how she keeps her entrepreneurial spirit alive and discusses what others can do to make diversity a priority.
Question: How did your upbringing impact your career path?
Jade: I grew up in Denver, Colorado with my grandparents. My mother had me when she was 15 years old, and in order to give us the best possible life, she decided to enlist in the Air Force after completing high school, leaving me with my “Grannye” and “Pawpaw.” When my mother returned from her training, we got to know each other all over again. She was always very committed to my education and would go to great lengths to ensure I received every opportunity to succeed. We rode the city bus, which allowed me to attend the best private preschool in our area and later moved to attend the best school district. My mom was so determined, she even worked part-time and weekends as a housekeeper for La Quinta Inn in addition to her full-time job to make a better way for us.
When we moved to the new district, our new neighborhood was filled predominantly with young boys who spent their days running around, getting their hands dirty, and building and inventing things. So, naturally, that’s what I did, too. We played outside all day long, repelling off rooftops, making things like trash bag parachutes and fixing bikes. When things didn’t work out as planned, we’d constantly ask ourselves investigative questions. Why didn’t this work? What could we try next time? We didn’t know it at the time, but we were putting ourselves on this entrepreneurial path. These early childhood experiences sparked something inside of me. I was constantly excited to try things and make things and solve problems.
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