The Everyday Girl Boss: Jhori Jurgenson

If you live in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, chances are you’ve heard of this #GirlBoss and her businesses. Whether you’ve hired her for an event or visited her new donut shop, she’s definitely made a name for herself. She’s made some of my friends look and feel their best for weddings and has graced our community with the most delicious tasting handcrafted donuts to enjoy! I still don’t know how she has enough hours in her day to accomplish everything she does, but she kills it.

Jhori Jurgenson, owner of Beauty by Jhori, is a certified makeup artist that specializes in film and bridal makeup. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and on Lifetime. She is also the co-owner of Cosmic Donuts in Kinderhook, NY, a donut shop that locally sources all of their ingredients for their speciality, handcrafted donuts. The shop also has gourmet coffee and espresso from a local roaster. Jhori’s work is top-notch, so if you need makeup services or an out of this world donut, she’s your girl.

Name: Jhori Jurgenson
Business: Beauty by Jhori (2016) & Cosmic Donuts (2020)
Instagram: @beautybyjhori @cosmicdonutsny

Tell me more about YOU, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Boss behind the business.
I am a daydreaming, goal-oriented, driven mother of two mischievous boys and owner of Beauty by Jhori and co-owner of Cosmic Donuts. I’m originally from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, but have called Columbia County my home for many years.

I am extremely goal-oriented and driven, and when I have a goal in mind I won’t stop until I’ve achieved it. I have graduated college with high honors, ran a 10k race  (one day it’ll be a marathon!), competed in bodybuilding competitions and placed first, and turned my passion and love for makeup into a successful career. As my mother always says (and is now my own personal mantra) “Woman moves forward and becomes that which she thinks.”

Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss. 
When I graduated high school, I had a 6 month old son and many people just dismissed me and assumed my career dreams and goals were a thing of the past. Success has always been a goal of mine, and I refused to let anything come in the way of that. Not only was achieving my goals important for me, but they were important for my son, too. I worked a full-time job while putting myself through school, and I bounced from major to major before taking a break to pursue makeup (which everyone thought I was crazy for). Why give up college to do makeup? Where was the success and money in that? I was determined to prove them wrong, and that I did.

While in makeup school I was hired to work on a Lifetime movie ‘Off the Rails,’ and directly thereafter the feature film ‘The Pretenders’ directed by James Franco. I have since worked tirelessly to build my business, Beauty by Jhori, into the thriving business it is today. I book over 45 weddings a year, work on commercial and film work, and photoshoots and styled editorials. My next goal? To eventually hire a team of stylists to work with me and open a makeup salon. 

My other business, Cosmic Donuts, is something that is still in the works. Myself, my boyfriend and my mother have decided to open up a donut and coffee shop in our town of Kinderhook, NY. We’ve always dreamed of a crazy, cool, funky donut shop where people could come for donuts of all sizes, filled with anything and everything, and topped with whatever their heart desires. In May we decided to just do it – why only talk about it until one day you wish that you had actually done it? Since then we’ve been working hard to bring our vision to life. We will finally be open in October and we just can’t wait to see our dream become a reality.

What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
To me, a girlboss is a woman that empowers other women. We’re all in this fight for equality and success together! A girlboss inspires and uses her drive to motivate other women and girls to chase their dreams, to respect and love themselves and each other, and to never be afraid to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. As the late and great Ruth Bader Ginsbrg said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” 

What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
Every single day I wake up with a purpose and a feeling of satisfaction and pride that I don’t answer to anyone but myself. Running my own business is stressful and at times scary, but it is the most rewarding experience. I have the ability to determine the extent of my success, and it doesn’t end here. I can only keep working, dreaming, and pouring my heart and soul into my business to make it into what I’ve always dreamed of. When I first started as a makeup artist I never imagined how successful I would eventually be and it’s truly the most inspiring feeling knowing that I’ve “made it” and I can only keep moving forward from here.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
There are so many challenges! I never realized how difficult it is to really start your own business. As a makeup artist it was a challenge to get jobs and book clientele when I didn’t have an extensive portfolio or reputation yet. It took a lot of networking, free jobs, and hustling to get to where I am now. As for my new business venture, Cosmic Donuts, I have been working with my family since May to get that underway and we’ve run into many challenges, but none that we can’t overcome. The difficulties you face often teach you valuable lessons in both life and business, and just because things can get challenging or difficult doesn’t mean that you should ever just give up.

Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
I was a young mom – seventeen when I found out I was pregnant – and the stereotype of a young mom is a woman that may not end up doing anything with her life. I remember being despondent and lost, as my life had been completely upended. I remember meeting a female doctor in the emergency room when I was 6 months pregnant, and she told me a story of a young girl who had always dreamed of becoming a doctor but had gotten pregnant very young.

Instead of giving up her dreams, she worked tirelessly and put herself through college and med school and became an MD – all with a baby in tow. That young girl was her. Her story was so inspiring for me and I’ll never forget how driven I felt after learning that she achieved her goals despite the hardships in her life. I knew I could do the same. We can all turn our dreams into a reality, we just need to work for it and HUSTLE. Anything is achievable. 

What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses? 
Just do it!! It’s so easy to daydream of things you want, places you want to go, goals you want to achieve, yet you convince yourself (or let others convince you) that it’s all crazy and unattainable. There have been so many times where I’ve been told “your goals are unrealistic,” or, “you’re dreaming too big.” Why? Why are my goals unrealistic? Why am I dreaming too big? I am capable of achieving anything I put my mind to, and I know that. If you want something bad enough, you can manifest it into reality. You just need to stick with it, work hard for it, and make it happen.

Nothing is impossible – the world is ours, and we should never take no for an answer. We should never let anyone else tell us what we can and cannot do, or what we’re capable of. Ladies – be your own boss. Become a girlboss. I did it, you can do it – anyone can do it. 

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