For business owner Tamara Mangum, the Super Bowl will always be a pleasant memory—not due to its
outcome, but because her company—Sharpened Image was one
of only a handful of African American vendors in the metro area to nab a
lucrative contract with Met Life/NFL for Super Bowl-related services. Mangum recently sat down with TNJ.com to discuss her company and how the
Super Bowl was, indeed, a kicker of sorts, to her business.
Ayo Ogun-McCants had always been fascinated by natural do-it-yourself beauty treatments. Her thinking was
ahead of the curve as there has been a beauty industry revival of all
things natural--from natural beauty products to natural hair. And
Ogun-McCants' Soultanicals, launched last November, offers both. It's a
fast-growing, toxin-free, vegan hair and body product company.
Determined to be more than just another greasy spoon in the
neighborhood, restaurateur Vonda McPherson, advocates health
and wellness through healthy eating at her place—Vonda's Kitchen. This
may be why her popular soul food eatery in Newark, New Jersey is making its mark and
holding its own in tough and tenuous economic times.
While Randy Edme, who uses the name Jonez Bush, enjoys his job as a
paraprofessional in a charter school in Harlem, he always had a dream to
be in business for himself. He is not alone. More than 627,000 new businesses are launched
each year in the U.S., according to the SBA. But it can be rough
going for new businesses--nearly 595,000 businesses close each year, as of
Christina Lewis Halpern was juggling many things. She is philanthropist;
had been a reporter at the Wall Street Journal; is the author of a memoir about her famous father, trailblazing
African-American businessman Reginald F. Lewis; and served 20 years
on the board of directors of the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation. There were many more avenues open for Lewis
Halpern, but she chose to use
her energies to help others, particularly young boys of color.
Fabipops...it's a piece of cake! It's the slogan of a unique company
called Fabipops, which sells cake on a stick. The popular pastry even
has its own shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Fabipop is also known as a
"cake pop" or "cakesicle" and is the brainchild of Fabiola Scarbrough.
Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and President Obama are among the
celebrity fans of Fabipops.
Yvette Davis Gayle has traveled the world for work and pleasure. But it
was a trip to Ethiopia that inspired the Brooklyn-born, L.A.-based
veteran entertainment publicist to venture into her own business--a line
of luxury scented candles called The Sitota Collection. Fragrances
include Coco Noir, Blue Nile, Havana, and Aigyiptos.