By Lajeune Hollis
At the onset of the Covid pandemic, Fendi Bentley-Samuels knew she had to find a way to reinvent her family’s daily life. As a now wife and mom to two young children, she began to create bonding activities that her family could enjoy during lockdown, while also discovering what she and her kids loved to do most.
While her day job kept her busy, at night she and her 10-year-old stepdaughter JuLynn Samuels enjoyed doing their nails together.
That’s when inspiration struck. Unsure exactly of what first step to take, she knew that she wanted to align her passion with a new entrepreneurial adventure.
Thus, the idea was born – to create a business around those fun shared moments – thus Fendi and JuLynn became the Co-CEOs of I’m Cute Worldwide, a West-Haven-based online business that first launched with offering premium matching adult and children’s press-on nail kits.
“My stepmom and my dad encourage me to do my best. I’m 10 and I’m the
In addition to I'm Cute, they soon expanded to offer a virtual camp through their other company, The Business Spy. The camp offerings were connected to stories from their own lives, to help facilitate social interaction that was so drastically declining thanks to the pandemic. The camp’s sessions included Introduction to Mandarin, Introduction to Financial Literacy, Movement and Dance, and Mindful Meditation and Yoga. Camp participants also read books by powerful Black women as part of these online courses.
It was not by accident that Bentley-Samuels chose to include powerful Black women as part of the camp’s curriculum, as she was raised by one.
“My mother instilled many things in me. One being to participate in my own rescue, and that I was my own ROI,” she shared. “Also, to make sure that I do everything at the highest levels, always putting my best foot forward.”
Samuels added: “My stepmom and my dad encourage me to do my best. I’m 10 and I’m the Co-CEO of the business and I can do anything I put my mind to.”
And while the name speaks to their business’s fun nature, I’m Cute Worldwide also is a nod to “being cute” as an interpretation for doing whatever you love and doing it well, whether that is studying hard, loving the arts, or spending time with family.
“Essentially, it means finding out what makes you feel ‘cutest’ and taking it to the next level,” said Bentley-Samuels.
Since I’m Cute Worldwide’s launch, the pair has expanded even more with their “Cuteshops”—activity kits that are shipped to customer’s homes—that kids can enjoy doing with their parents or caregivers.
“Doing activities together makes it easy to connect and create something you love,” shared Bentley-Samuels.
I’m Cute kits include Cookie Cuteshops, Virtual Tie-Dye Cuteshops and Jewelry Cuteshops with many more to come!
The Stepmom/Stepdaughter dynamic duo handle all the packaging and delivery – they purchase the materials for the kits, package them up, handwrite personalized letters to customers and ship them out. Customers also have the option to participate in virtual workshops led by the two CEOs.
“Entrepreneurship is a family business, and it starts at a very young age. That’s why I encourage my kids to find what their passions are and make it profitable,” said Bentley-Samuels. “It is super important that JuLynn understands the business, but her primary focus, she will tell you, is to be a kid, be kind and have fun.”
Find I’m Cute Worldwide on Instagram @imcuteworldwide or visit their online shop at imcuteworldwide.com.
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