Sistahs In Business Expo Kicks Off in Brick City
When asked what lead her to kick off the Sistahs in Business tour in Brick City it’s founder had a very simple reply “Why not Newark?”
On Saturday April 14th the Ramada Plaza hosted hundreds of black women who Aisha Taylor Issah had assembled to learn about, experience, and shop businesses owned by those in their community.
“Newark is a breeding ground for success and entrepreneurship” said Taylor Issah “we wanted to kick it in off in a city where we knew there was an audience for women of color who are entrepreneurs and today proves that we picked the right city to kick it off in because we’ve got a phenomenal group of entrepreneurs right here in Newark who are excited about giving back into this community.”
Some similar expos use their reputation and popularity to charge exorbitant fees to vendors prompting the business woman and ordained minister to create a what she refers to as a “cost-effective” opportunity for business owners to promote, sell, and learn how to better manage their products and services.
She is unapologetic about her faith and the way it impacts her actions a business owner stating “I would be nothing without God” and “it’s impossible for me to talk about my business or my accomplishments without talking about God because he makes everything possible.” She also added that in her experience “some of God’s greatest people come out of Newark.”
Guest speakers at the event included celebrity financial coach Dr. Lynn Richardson and MC Lyte. Lyte, who has worked closely with Richards to grow her business and develop her own philanthropic organization has come a long way fork just being a girl behind a mic.
Richardson has collaborated with Russell Simmons, Iyanla Vanzant, and others to spread her message of financial empowerment. Like Taylor Issah Richardson is a Christian who connected with many members of the audience over their shared faith referencing the Bible and quoting passages throughout her speech.
They hosted a raffle where they gave away tickets to their wealth conference in Miami to one very excited attendee.
The vendors selection was diverse. Everything from fresh cold pressed juices to virgin hair extensions was on display.
One vendor The Uptown Vegan came from the Bronx and shocked attendees by letting them know just how good it can be to put health first. One woman who absentmindedly purchased them without seeing the label raved about them on Instagram!
B Fit N Focused offered samples of the amazing juice recipes that assisted their founder in losing over 70 lbs!
Handcrafted candles and beauty products were available from Lavish Beauty Baskets.
EHB presented their homemade hair products and even did hair porosity tests on site.
Digital Influencer and Jersey Girl Mildred Bean was on site with her lovely daughter.
Many of the attendees were working on site in the spirit of the hustle they had come to celebrate.
Mayor Ras Baraka came to lend his support accepting his host’s invitation to address the crowd.
“There are a host of female entrepreneurs in this area that are doing great work in Newark” said Baraka “We believe when you support women’s businesses you actually support the entire family and support the city so we’re excited to be here.”
When he had finished speaking he took some time to pose for pictures with attendees and review some of the products on display.
Baraka has been a champion of entrepreneurial efforts taking place in the city big and small. He recently attended the grand opening of Mocha Lounge to bring some attention to an establishment that has quickly become a neighborhood favorite.
The ladies of Embracing The Crown stopped by to show love.
Nicole Doss of The Prestige Society, who traveled from Philadelphia to speak on one of the expo’s panels, referred to Newark as her “second home.” She said participating in the event was important because “we need to make tangible relationships.” Doss wants “sistahs in business” to “not just be people who like each other’s social media posts” but instead be people “who are making real connections so we can win together.
Some of the sponsors of the event who helped to make those tangible relationships possible included The NJ Sharing Network and Merrill Lynch.
Media from the tri-state area including bloggers like Newark’s own Nijah J., Mailani Benjamin, the ladies from Enspire Magazine, Urban Girl Magazine’s Desiree Hadley, Jai Shavell, and NJ News 12 came to check out what was on display.
Another representative of the media was Jasmine Sanders. A seasoned media personality, who is great in front of the screen and behind the microphone, Sanders co-hosts The D.L. Hughley Show on 103.9 FM.
“First of all I think it’s very important to come out and support any cause that’s going to help sistahs period” said Sanders. She pointed out that the expo wasn’t just about publicity but information as well. “If there’s someone out there who wants to start their own business and they don’t know how, if there’s someone who started their own business and they’ve run into problems this is to place to be. So if I can support that, that’s what I’m here for.”
She commented on the importance of the media supporting entrepreneurial efforts made by black women. “Our young kids and even us, we need to see more positive images of ourselves. We have social media, and we have radio but we actually need to see it in print, we need to see it on screen.” Sanders stated that media sources promoting positive images could “serve as a point of encouragement” and prompt others to “say hey we can do this!” She uses her platforms to do her part. “Every opportunity I get my message is always positive” said Sanders “I don’t take any liberties to tear anybody else down.”
For more information on how the Sistahs in Business were lifting one another up Check out News 12’s coverage of the event here!