Entrepreneur drops the royal tea

Therapeutic outlet transforms into streaming success story
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Andrea Jenkins at her home in Holland, in April 2024. Photo by Alfield Reeves.

Andrea Jenkins is one of those people who just doesn’t stop. In the past decade she’s worked in advertising sales and social media management; competed in two cover model competitions for Jetset magazine; entered and won a short sci-fi screenplay competition; and modeled clothing as much as possible. She’s developed her own mobile news app and released an EDM single. And, she is also a single mom.

Andrea Jenkins and Swiss artist Zentazy teamed up on “RoyalTea”- an electronic dance music single. Photo by Alfield Reeves.

“I’ve been building websites since I was 17. I used to make and sell backgrounds for MySpace,” said Jenkins, who is now 37. She originally set out to study graphic design at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She later enrolled John Casablancas Modeling Center in Florida. Both attempts at schooling were interrupted due to her growing family, and at one challenging point in time, caring for a premature infant.

Despite these early setbacks, Jenkins’ entrepreneurial spirit and creativity has shone through. After parting ways with an Allegan news organization, she set out to do her own thing. “I wanted to give West Michiganders an app that has everything your local newspaper or print magazine would, in one app. I’m really good at networking and research. I got on Google and tried to find the best option for me.”

Jenkins’ app is called West Michigan Media on the mobile app store. She reported it had scored more than 61,000 downloads by March of 2024. The platform she used to create the app is called Appypie.

“They have an option where AI can whip one up for you, but as a mom of five, if I can get something on a budget, I prefer to. You download their app and create it yourself, choose the colors, et cetera,” she said.

“There are Michigan creators on (my app) who make their own shows. It’s all family friendly, nothing R-rated; free eBooks, entertainment— just something positive. How I make money is through advertising. Businesses are being added weekly, and you can check our job section as well,” said Jenkins in “sales pitch” tone.

Her journey with music started relatively recently as a therapeutic outlet while navigating through a painful divorce.

“My friend had a studio basement in their house. A kid from Switzerland, Zentazy, and I teamed up.” Her single “Royaltea” (2021) has garnered more than 150k streams on Spotify alone. It’s been a bit of a slow burn, but Jenkins reported in the spring of 2024 that the song was gaining traction on VaMo and Poze Radio in Chicago; Chic Radio Hits in France; and It is Now Radio in London.

Beyond her professional achievements, Jenkins is grounded in her faith and family, attributing her success to her unwavering belief in God and the support of her children. Looking ahead, Jenkins plans to focus on creating music that aligns with her Christian values. She’s also begun writing a memoir of her experiences, with the ultimate goal of inspiring others.

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