Jamila Payne, President of Milla by Mail has had a passion for fashion and entrepreneurship since she was a little girl. At just 10 years old her mother began teaching her to sew and Jamila started making her own make-shift patterns to create original designed garments. She honed her entrepreneurial skills with The National Foundation for Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and by high school she had a thriving jewelry business. She went on to work for fashion houses like FUBU, Anthropologie catalog, and Mimi Maternity. When she saw the expecting Kelly Ripa wearing one of her own Mimi Maternity designs on television, she knew she had a true talent for knowing what works.
Jamila has been featured in InStyle Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Black Enterprise, the Wall Street Journal as well as many other local and national newspapers. She has been honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as "One of Philadelphia's Most Influential Under 40". Ms. Payne can sometimes be seen on shows such as the NBC morning show 10! presenting the latest fashions or discussing lifestyle trends.
In addition to running Milla by Mail, Jamila Payne also consults for the Queens Economic Development Corporation in New York. As their Director of Business Services Ms. Payne develops programs that assist other entrepreneurs with starting and growing their businesses. At QEDC, Jamila along with the business services team assist over 1,900 entrepreneurs a year. "I love being in business, it's my goal to assist as many people as possible with gaining economic self-sufficiency by entering the rewarding world of entrepreneurship" says Payne.
Jamila recently launched a Blog entitled "Break Free Business" (breakfreebusiness.com) which highlights creative, innovative and sustainable businesses and provides tools for entrepreneurs to start and grow their business. Through the blog, Jamila aims to assist people with breaking free from the rat race and into the world of entrepreneurship. Payne will release a self-help book this fall - From Payne to Power which provides valuable life lessons and instruction on how to catapult from the life you are living to the life you want to live. She plans to continue working with people that want to start businesses through her business plan training courses. Payne has developed curriculum on green business, e-commerce, marketing, operations & technology, business plan development and several other topics.
Jamila has also been a speaker at conferences and events including The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference and The NFTE Annual Entrepreneurs Awards Banquet where she served as a host for two years.
Ms. Payne graduated from Drexel University as a Design and Merchandising Major and has an MBA from the Lebow College of Business. Jamila sits on the Board for the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia where she serves as treasurer.