What makes you happy? Fourteen-year-old Condoleezza Semien took that question and created an entire business, Beluga Bliss.
“I came up with the name because when you say ‘beluga mad,’ you start laughing because it’s not possible,” Condoleezza says. “That’s where the bliss comes in, so I thought that was funny.”
The McKinley High School ninth grader is a graduate of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Baton Rouge. Her business idea was chosen by the academy’s Shark Tank-style investor panel to continue onto a larger competition in Rochester, where Condoleezza won people’s choice.
Condoleezza makes aromatherapy pillows for people with chronic or mental illnesses. Her inspiration came from her mom and aunt who have lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. The pillows help users sleep better.
“Having good sleep makes you have a good day,” Condoleezza says. “My motto for Beluga Bliss is everything that makes you happy.”
As part of YEA BR’s first class, Condoleezza and other teen entrepreneurs received instruction from LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business and seed funding to help them launch their companies.
“The teachers were very hands-on with us. They didn’t leave anyone behind,” Condoleezza says. “I learned business management and managing your time.”
Condoleezza is active in performing and visual arts, and she is a gifted and talented student. With her entrepreneurial spirit, Condoleezza is definitely one amazing kid.