“Just A Girl”: An Interview with Self Love CEO Jeanine Uqdah

Jeanine Uqdah is a woman of indomitable spirit. She knows that it takes internal strength & effort to deal with yourself, understand yourself, & manage the act of loving yourself. These are the very messages that Jeanine cultivates through her women empowerment brand “Just A Girl”. As the CEO of “Just A Girl”, Jeanine is on the mission to promote self love and kinship amongst black and brown women, as well as the youth within her hometown of Philadelphia and other communities.

With so many pressures of the world on women; Jeanine reminds women and young girls to always celebrate your authentic self. She does so by providing a Self Love Planner & luxury nightwear pajamas provided by her sister brand “Intimates by Just A Girl”. These feminine commodities are designed to help women prioritize their self-care, reframe their way of thinking, & keep women balanced as they champion their days. You can catch Jeanine serving as a motivational speaker, curating her own sisterhood events & college tours as she continues to tell women that in order to deal with the world you must deal with yourself.

“What inspired the name of your business?”*Your sister brand “Intimates by Just A Girl” included.

The inspiration behind naming my brand Just A Girl originally started while I was in high school. When I was bored in class I would always write “Just A Girl” on the sides of my papers for no reason at all. Years later when I decided I wanted to start a woman empowerment brand and the mission of wanting women to embrace their famine side and who they are led me back to Just A Girl. I realized that my mission was for women to embrace simply being Just A Girl and not feeling guilty about it. Making the decision to launch Intimates by Just A Girl didn’t start out that way. I was originally going to just name is Intimates because I wanted to separate the brands, but my sister encouraged me to capitalize off the Just A Girl brand and merge the connections which birthed Intimates by Just A Girl.

“ How would you describe the relationship between you & your sisterhood?”

I take the term sisterhood very serious and the main reason behind it is based on my very close relationship with my sister. Growing up it was just my sister and I so naturally we were taught to take care of one another and as adults our sisterly bond has grown stronger as we inspire one another. Knowing the importance of sisterhood as a child has allowed me to appreciate my sister and also teach other women that we can come together and love on each other. I consider Just A Girl sisterhood because as sisters we may not always agree or get along, but it doesn’t take the love and care away on the journey. 

“ What is your definition of Self Love/ Self Care?”

My definition of Self-Love/Self-Care is saying no when necessary and doing whatever truly makes you happy. 

“ Do you think self love/self care routines are different for Black & Brown women ? If so, how?”

I do believe self-love/self-care looks different for black and brown women because of the responsibilities we carry. In our communities we are responsible for many of our family members, don’t always have the best support system and also aren’t taught growing how to love and care for ourselves. As black woman myself, I am the first to say that I wasn’t taught to love myself so it hasn’t always been easy to care for myself because I didn’t know how as many of us don’t. 

“ We know your community includes both women and young ladies. How do you amplify the voices of young girls through your brand?”

As a high school guidance counselor I make it my business to pour into my young girls as much as I can because I know how important it is. I am able to let them know that they matter and they shouldn’t feel required to put others first. I allow them to see I am also a woman going through the same struggles, but as long as we’re intentional about speaking up for ourselves we’ll be happier. 

“At what age do you think girls should practice self love/ self care routines?” 

As a mother of a daughter who is almost 3, my goal is to start discussing the importance of self-love at the age of 5- 6 which is school age. I think preparing her at a younger age of the importance of loving who she is could stop the worry of what others may think about her. So basically, you can never start too early with young boys as well. 

“What would you tell your younger self about how import many it is to love yourself?”

I would tell my younger self “you can’t truly love others without knowing what it means to love yourself” I plan to stress the importance of self-awareness with my own daughter as she gets older which allows you to better love yourself!

“What are your favorite self love/self care routines?”

My favorites self-care routines are baths, wearing cute pajamas, a cup or two of tea everyday and saying no when necessary. 

“ We love your Just A Girl Talk series! What kind of new topics can viewers expect to join in on?”

I’m so glad love Just A Girl Talk as much as I do. I really look forward to the conversations as my sisterhood does as well. Over the next few weeks I have some amazing guests and we’ll be discussing topics about marriage as black women, taking accountability as parents, friendships, relationships and entrepreneurship.