JSU student, Marissa Simms, opens on-campus boutique

From Clarion-Ledger.com
by Cassandra Mickens

Marissa Simms runs Royal Bleau Boutique at One University Place at Jackson State University in Jackson. / Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger

Marissa Simms’ laser-like ambition will prove to be a vital tool in building her own empire.

“I want to be a mogul,” said Simms, 22, a Jackson State University student and Callaway High School alum whose passions lie in fashion, entertainment and creative writing.

“I want to do everything, and you can do everything. You just can’t do it all at the same time.”

Simms is taking her own advice as she carefully maps her path to moguldom. Earlier this month, she opened Royal Bleau Boutique at One University Place, a mixed-use development on JSU’s campus.

“I really love shopping and fashion. It’s a hobby that’s turned into a passion,” she said. “Why not try to make money off your passion?”

Simms, a mass communications major and speech minor who will graduate in May, has fulfilled her course requirements. Her focus now is prerequisite courses for admission to JSU’s Master of Business Administration program. While textbook business lessons are valuable, Simms treasures real life, hands-on experience.

“I went and jumped in the deep end. There was so much to learn about real estate, contracts, subleasing, vendors … Ooh wee, this was a journey,” she said, her voice trailing off.

“I was most intimidated by the business plan because it’s so detailed in terms of marketing, projects costs and investors.”

Simms credits her parents, Camille Stutts Simms and Kermit Simms, for offering insight and guidance along the way.

“Whether this is successful or not, I’m so happy I did this,” she said. “Now I’m not intimidated about starting any business. I’m excited about starting at an early age.”

As a former Miss Freshman, Miss Sophomore and Miss JSU finalist, Simms, also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., has garnered overwhelming support from peers as well as the surrounding community. Simms said Royal Bleau fills a niche that hasn’t been tapped before – an affordable, chic one-stop shop for “ready to wear” fashion brands and college and Greek apparel.

“There are not a lot of places to shop around campus. I have a target market right here I can cater to,” she said. “A lot of people have come in because they’re fascinated by my story, opening a business at 22. I’m just very comfortable here. JSU is my home.”

Simms continues to brainstorm business ideas, such as adding menswear and plus-size clothing to her lineup. And she’s already talking of expansion, as any mogul would.

“I want to open up another boutique soon,” she said.


26 thoughts on “JSU student, Marissa Simms, opens on-campus boutique

  1. Hi,my real name is adaobi and I have been reading about you online. I really admire you and I wish to be like you or work for u.I am 17+ and a jambite

  2. My name is Gerald Mustafa, owner of Print Zone located in Mobile, AL. Im also a 1993 Business Adm. graduate. Call me at 251-635-9159 if you need Printing such as Business Cards, Letterheads, Envelopes, etc.

  3. Congrats Marissa. I tell you all the time that I am so PROUD of you, and I cant wait to have you and your story on the Kennitra Show. 🙂 !!!
    Many Blessings,
    Kennitra Thompson

  4. WOW!!!! You are truely an inspiration to all, your peers and all who has ever dreamed of starting their own business! I commend you,and wish you continued success, young sister!

    Theresa Thames

  5. Marissa!!! I am soooo proud of you! Where do I begin? From the time that I was Miss Junior and you were Miss Freshman, you always had that drive to excel and do great things, and I see that the fire within you continues to burn, undiminished. The Queen’s Court 2007-2008 is indeed doing impressive things with many more to come. (Today, I was just looking at those pictures from that trip we took to the coast.) When I heard about your boutique, I was in awe. (Not at what you have accomplished, because I definitely expected you to do wonderful things, but to be gifted and able to open a business so soon is beyond wonderful.) God is truly blessing you, and I know that your business will be a success, undoubtedly. You are actually experiencing what many people only dream of, and I commend you. I seriously see this business growing into a celebrity boutique in the future. Stick with it no matter what. I will certainly stop by whenever I come back to Jackson. Our little Rissa Poo is all grown up now. You have my full support, and I love you! May God continue to bless you so that you can pave the way for those whose dreams are clouded with fear.

    -Action is the foundational key to all success.
    Pablo Picasso

  6. Marissa, WOW! I can’t begin to verbalize just how proud of you I am! I remember you coming to JSU as a freshman and allowing me to be your BIG SIS/MOM along the way! 🙂 It is such a blessing to know that the queen’s court 07-08 is doing so well, especially you. Afterall, you were our baby (Miss Freshman, as I was Miss Senior). However, none of this surprises me to say the least. From day one, you have always been a “Go Getter.” As a result, you are truly tapping into the inner greatness that we all possess within ourselves. It is you inspiration that will allow your peers to liberate themselves from their own fears of being just as great. I love you Marissa and remember that the sky is the limit! Be blessed my sister!

  7. What a paragon for us, the JSU alumni. I think much work is ahead in ensuring you stay in this status, and, although I haven’t been, I don’t reckon it is an easy road ahead. PLEASE STAY EXEMPLINARY ..(no pressure!):)
    I honestly underestimate most JSU students in their motivation to create rather than follow suit, but it’s yet to be seen which one it is. Congrats, nonetheless!

  8. Congrats Marissa!. You have always been a talent and determine young lady and I’ glad that your dreams has brought this far. I have stood by you since high school and will continue to be there if you ever need me. Good Luck in everything that you do from here on out. Again Congrats!


  9. Congratulations Marissa. It does my heart proud to see beautiful ambitious women follow their dreams by taking action to make them a reality. Be careful not to try to have everything for everybody right away, that will come, let the demand for the products and services guide you. Become great at what you know first. I believe you will be everything you want and work to become. Great Job!!!!

  10. Congratulations Marissa. I am so pround of you. I knew that you had a world of potential and that your mouth would take you anywhere you wanted to go. You were an outstanding student, and I am sure that your business will be successful.

    Your former English II Teacher,
    Ms. Harvey-Woodall

  11. Wow Marissa! You were born with purpose and passion. And sometimes you have to go thru to get to, but in the end you are more empowered by it. What an inspiration young lady. Continue to be a leader and light to all those around you and abroad. Part of the poem Our Deepest Fear states, “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” You my dear are a great example. I’m proud of you.

  12. Marissa:

    I like your entrepreneurial spirit! This accomplishment is inspirational to all who
    seek to follow in your footsteps.

    Your hard work, focus and vision, will lead to continued success in pursuit
    of your dreams and arouse the creativity in others along the way.

    The best going forward…

  13. Congrats Marissa! I love the name by the way, lol! What a wonderful and ambitious young person you are. You are and will continue to do great things. Many blessings and much peace. Love ya lady!

  14. Awesome! Congrats Marissa, you have truly blossomed! I am so proud of you! My Miss Freshman (07-08).

    Jasmin S. Searcy, Miss JSU 07-08 😉

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