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‘I wrote whenever I got the chance, every single day’: Motivated young author from Laurel writes books to inspire

A few years ago, Chelsea Adinuba wanted to make durags (or do-rags) to give as gifts to her friends. The popular close-fitting cloth caps proved a little difficult to make for the self-taught seamstress, so she started to make bonnets, a cap traditionally worn by women to protect hairstyles.

“People liked them,” Adinuba, 17, said. “What’s unique about my bonnets is they are reversible. You get two bonnets for the price of one.”

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She had so many requests, the Laurel resident created her own business, Chels Designs in 2019. Along with bonnets, she now creates scrunchies, face masks, bags and the once-tricky durags. She has had orders from Texas, the United Kingdom and Canada.

“I sew everything,” Adinuba said. “I have a stack of materials and I usually sew on Sundays. I go to the post office and ship everything.”

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Chelsea Adinuba - Original Credit:
Chelsea Adinuba - Original Credit: (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Her successful business motivated her to tackle an item on her bucket list – to write a book before graduating high school.

The 2021 graduate of Charles Herbert Flowers High School, a magnet school in Prince George’s County, not only wrote a book, she wrote two before graduating this spring.

“How to Be a Young Boss” was written the end of her sophomore year of high school when she was 16.

“I had just bought a car and was looking for ways to make money quickly,” Adinuba said. “Then COVID hit.”

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She decided to write a book about the skills and tricks she learned while running her own business.

“I wanted to write about finance,” Adinuba said. “I wrote whenever I got the chance, every single day.”

A dual-enrollment student at Prince George’s Community College, Adinuba enlisted the help of a former professor to edit the book.

“She contacted me after the semester was over and said she had written a book and was I willing to look at it,” said Chris McComb, an English professor at P.G. community college. “I sure wasn’t thinking it was a real book, but it was, and it was really well done. It was a fully thought-out book.”

McComb only helped Adinuba with the book’s editing and organization.

“Everything is hers,” McComb said. “The book is about her experience as a business owner at 16 years old. She really wants to help people.”

While the book is intended for young business owners, Adinuba tried to appeal to everyone, she said. It took her about seven months to write and she submitted the self-published book to her printer in September last year and it came out a month later. It can be purchased on Amazon for $25.

“The hardest part was probably the organization,” Adinuba said. “Does this part go in this section or in that section? I wanted to make sure everything was perfect before I put it out there.”

Organizing her own time does not appear to be a problem, however. After skipping a year of school, Adinuba graduated a year early after taking a full course load of advance placement classes. She also works part time at Chick-fil-A.

Chelsea Adinuba is headed to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
Chelsea Adinuba is headed to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

“I manage my time well,” Adinuba said. “I do all this and still get eight hours of sleep.”

One hurdle this past year was her move to Laurel. After living in Bowie her entire life, Adinuba moved with family members during her senior year.

“I went through a lot of changes and adjustments, but I still managed to persevere and keep writing books,” Adinuba said. “It was a tough transition during my last year, but I still maintained my friendships, grades and everything.”

Adinuba, McComb said, was a “fantastic student.”

“It is inspirational to see students so motivated,” McComb said. “She is very ambitious. Very impressive. Very motivated. I can’t wait to see what she does for the rest of her life.”

Adinuba released her second book, “Heart Over Hustle,” last month.

“It is kind of part II, but not,” Adinuba said. “Everyone has a purpose on this Earth. I want to encourage people to do what they love, not just what makes money.”

In the fall, Adinuba will head to the University of Pittsburgh, where she plans to pursue a career in medicine.

“My family supports me,” Adinuba said. “My friends and family members just inspire me to be the best I can be.”

Chelsea Adinuba with copies of her book "How to Be a Young Boss."
Chelsea Adinuba with copies of her book "How to Be a Young Boss." (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

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