Forty Under 40: Jasmine Hudson

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,967 views 

Class of 2023 Forty Under 40 Jasmine Hudson Co-Founder/Chief Merchant Black Paper Party, Bentonville

Representation, inclusion and equity are values that Jasmine Hudson cultivates each day as co-founder and chief merchant of Black Paper Party, designing, manufacturing and licensing culturally relevant seasonal products.

The company was incorporated in September 2020 by three women who’d worked for Walmart and noticed a void of Black representation in the market during holidays and special occasions. They began with Christmas wrapping paper and expanded to special events year-round. The company has been featured in Bloomberg, on the “Today Show,” and was awarded $100,000 last year in Macy’s first vendor pitch competition.

Hudson is a native of Cincinnati. She graduated from the historically Black Tennessee State University, where she studied e-commerce and supply chain management.

She moved to Arkansas to join Walmart in 2013. Her background is in retail buying, merchandising and merchandising finance.

Hudson comes from an entrepreneurial family and handed out homemade business cards at the mall as a child.

“At any moment, I was doing something to earn extra money,” she says.

Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the U.S. was reeling from several killings of Black people, Hudson and her co-founders began creating and selling colorful wrapping paper as a way for Black people to “be seen as well as celebrated,” she said.

First-year orders totaled $44,000, second $274,000 and third $844,000. The company is on track to sell $1.1 million in 2023.

Hudson and another co-founder run Black Owned NWA, a curated guide with 13,000 Instagram followers to help others plug into the area Black community, hosting two expos a year showcasing Black businesses. They also founded JazzyJaeNWA, a blog focused on food, art and fun as enjoyed by two Millennials of color.