(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
More than 100 Baltimore moms have launched businesses through Moms as Entrepreneurs since Tammira Lucas and Jasmine Simms launched the program three years ago.
On Saturday inside Morgan State University’s student center, the latest graduates of the programming debuted their ventures to the community, with guests such as Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz in attendance.
The programming includes an eight-week academy that offers training on building a business. They also take steps to offer mom-specific guidance and support. Through a partnership with Open Works Baltimore and Baltimore Etsy Sellers, it also expanded to offer a maker academy last year.
After review from a panel of judges (which, full disclosure, included this reporter), four moms won $500 in startup funding on Saturday.
Here’s a look at who we met:
Clea Event Productions — Winner
Chantel Clea Goins brings more than a decade of experience to her own business from working at NAACP and on the production team for events at the Kennedy Center and Democratic National Convention. Goins is looking to increase opportunity access for small businesses and nonprofits by providing services such as event management, speaker procurement and management, and strategic marketing.
Farrah Covington — Winner
Jodie Fair launched the business that will provide original wedding garments that add personal dimensions to the big day. The company offers services including custom bridal gowns, redesigned wedding dresses and alterations.
Spiked Orchids — Winner
Nicole Mighty founded the upcycling brand, which creates new fashion from pre-used products. Mighty’s offerings include distressed denim, leather handbags and hats.
Cozy Wicks — Winner
Gail Harris creates scented candles that are hand-poured in small batches with all-natural soy wax and cotton wicks. With scents that combine vegetable-based fragrance oils and essential oils, Harris stresses environmental safety.
Baqiyah Adam creates fashion designs for girls ranging from infants to 10-year-olds. The Baltimore-based business has been getting traction in Canada and Italy, Adam said.
Dr. LaToya Wiggins provides wellness coaching to help other moms find balance. The services are offered through a mix of events and video chat.
Iesha Matthews’ booth provided a look a the custom tutus and tennis shoes she creates through the children’s boutique. She’s looking to offer a kid-friendly environment along with the chance to take home an original piece.
Dana Taylor Reed created satin-lined bedding and accessories to protect infants from hair breakage, matting and tangling or hair loss. Reed showed a toddler sheet that’s among the first products.
Dear Sistah Girl
Burgundie Fulton looks to promote self-care and self-advocacy. She offers a range of products, including cards that provide affirmation, bath and body products, and writing and coaching services.
Ammenah Yasin creates custom handbags meant to be statement pieces, which she showed off at the event.
Dominique Hellgeth and Ann Zellhofer are a collaborative artist team creating architectural ceramics. Their offerings include installations for public space, experimental structural design and suspended tile.
Keshawn Boone started the full-service event planning company to offer unique decor and coordination. The company works with weddings, baby showers, corporate events and birthday parties.
Traci Mitchell provides delivery of fully prepared healthy, fresh meals in Baltimore city and Baltimore County. Mitchell aims to offer choice, as the menu includes options like four proteins, four vegetables and four carbohydrates. She also wants to offer cooking classes.
Nichole Sullivan founded this creative design company, which offers hand-painted wood signs, vinyl wall decor and decals. She showed off work using digital fabrication and laser cutting at Open Works.
Coach G Academy
Geri McIntyre created an after-school and summer program offering education and service learning opportunities for youth in 6th through 12th grades, as well as college and career readiness. She was joined at the event by a step team, and said that kind of program can lead to success.
The Virtual Cafe
Khaylynn Hart is looking to support other entrepreneurs with their organizational needs. Hart created a virtual assistant business offering services such as email and calendar management, data entry, bookkeeping and more.
Ashley Mobley is looking to provide a message with custom jewelry and accessories that deliver messages of self-care, wellness and inspiration.-30-
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