One day, two events, both with the purpose to assist others. As a result more than 50 venders had an opportunity to display their wares and be introduced to the public and over 150 people had a chance to network, Christmas shop and be educated. My Mother’s House Project sponsored the Senior Entrepreneur Day and the Trending Now Young Entrepreneur Expo was a project of D’Allure Trends.
|TEA ANYONE—Romaine Fulton of Haley Madison Tea offered a natural tea product. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)
“This is a great way for us to introduce our products to the public,” said Romaine Fulton, a distributor of Haley Madison Tea. Not a regular vender she pointed out that having a venue to introduce people to a natural product is exciting. She said Haley Madison Tea features Rooibos (Roy-boss) teas from the valleys of South Africa and promotes healthy bodies, lifestyles and families. “This is a perfect crowd.”
Held at the Homewood Brushton YMCA and co-sponsored by Bible Center Church, the Senior Entrepreneur Day according to organizer Paula Day was targeted for vendors 50 years old or older. “This was our best turn out yet,” said Day reflecting on the two previous events. “Senior Entrepreneur Day gives people something to look forward to.
“We target regular people which turn out first time vendors like Cool Chicks who gave samples of their chicken salads and CP Inc. who are bringing awareness to current events. It was their loved one Barbara Mosley who was a victim of the shooting at Peabody field this fall.”
The affair also included experienced entrepreneurs like A. Martin Bey of Watkins Quality Products who operated a store in Homewood for 22 years. Established companies like North American Power and Lincoln Court Senior Living Facility, multi-level marketing compiles like Mary Kay, Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry and MyEcon were also participants.
Other venders participating in the Senior Entrepreneur Day included Body Dressers, Gloria and Company Designs, Robin Crawford Arts, Wearable Art and Purse-n-als.
My Mother’s House Project is a spin-off of its parent vision ‘My Mother’s House originally conceived in 1997. Its Mission is to restore joy to the lives of the elderly by any means necessary, which became personal, said Day after she lost her son in 2004. She describes the vision of the organization as a virtual program dedicated to working in the community to enhance the lives of the elderly by building collaborative partnerships between churches, neighborhood residents, social service providers, educational and heath care providers.
In support of World AIDS Day, and aiming to reach an audience of young entrepreneurs Darice Wilson and Kecia Lucas of D’Allure Trends concur with Day that their event served its purpose.
“We wanted to highlight Pittsburgh’s up and coming fashion designers, clothing lines and jewelry designers,” said Wilson. Pleased with the turnout of venders and attendees she said the event exceeded their expectations. “For our first time doing something like this it was a humbling experience to receive such great response,” she said.
The purpose of the Trending Now Young Entrepreneur Expo held at the Hosanna House, according to Wilson was to create a seasonal expo to highlight small businesses in Pittsburgh. “Our focus was to encourage small business networking and for every participating vendor to acquire new business contacts and a larger customer base,” he said. “We hoped customers would benefit from accessing new lines of exclusive products, services and information.”
Venders included ArieBella Couture, J’s Extravagance, Love and Loyalty Publications, Creative Eye, Pure Romance, Classic Fly Girl, Shoeicide, Ye’Yo Creative Jewelry, Aflac, Romeo and Juliet Boutique, Thaland Beauty, Make Up Bar Organization, Aliya Wrays Beauty Parlor, Make Up Facials and Lashes by Brittney, Raivyn Hair, The Nation of Islam, One-On-One-Fitness and the New York Life Insurance Company.
“We saw people networking and exchanging business cards,” Lucas said. “It seemed like the young entrepreneurs were mixing with the more seasoned businesses, which was our goal.”
Wilson and Lucas 23, Schenley High School graduates have operated D’Allure Trends for more than a year. Jewelry and accessory designers they describe their line of products as unique, fashionable and appealing.
“We believe in being fun, creative, innovative and inspirational aiming to appeal to the style of all our customers,” Wilson said. In addition to vending, D’Allure Trends is also an online boutique. Online items range from eight to 50 dollars. The online address is http://www.dalluretrends.com.
Not just focused on making money, Wilson said they also want to bring awareness to social causes. Proceeds from the event went to the Pittsburgh Aids Task Force who was present and passed out information and the Cool Project conducted aids testing.
December 29 D’ Allure Trends and One-on-One Fitness located at 2714 Penn Ave. are sponsoring a fitness boot camp fundraiser to assist the Team Maliyah campaign. Maliyah Jones, two years old has stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer. According to her mother 20 year old Tazz Jones, Maliyah over the next year will have to receive six rounds of intense chemotherapy, surgery, a Bone Marrow Transplant, Radiation and immunotherapy.
“Bringing awareness to issues is important to us,” Wilson said. “As young people, we have to remember it is not just about us and making money, but along the way we have to help one another.”