2020 40 Under 40 award recipient: Josephine White

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Josephine White Courtesy 616 Media

Josephine White, 35

Owner, CEO, stylist
JoJo’s House of Beauty

Josephine White has found a deepening maturity as a small business owner in 2020, her sixth year of owning and operating JoJo’s House of Beauty.

White left her corporate job in 2008 to study cosmetology with a goal of eventually starting a salon where men and women of all hair textures and backgrounds could feel welcome.

Over the past half-dozen years, she has led her business through staffing and financial troubles, as well as a global pandemic, to emerge stronger than before.

“We have been a catalyst to help parents who’ve adopted children outside of their race (by teaching) parents how to care for their children’s hair texture. We have created a safe space for the LGBTQ community, built a respectable brand and a positive reputation in the city of Grand Rapids. We did a complete rebrand to create a more modern and sophisticated look. We built a legacy,” she said.

In addition to her role as a job creator, White gives back to the community and other entrepreneurs through multiple volunteer and mentoring positions, including participating in EmpowerHer, I Rock My Own Natural Hair GR, River City Scholars academy mentor program and Junior Achievement reverse job shadows. She has taught free hair classes and done volunteer speaking engagements, is a community philanthropist, serves as a member of the New Hope Baptist Church Gala Board and volunteers as a planner for Diner En Blanc.

White was a 2019 graduate of the Spring GR training program and a 2019 recipient of the Women of the Year: Excellence in Business Award presented by the Alpha Phi Alpha, Eta Nu Lambda chapter in Grand Rapids.

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