PATERSON, NJ- Earlier this month Paterson entrepreneur Lakeia Johnson reopened her Boss Lady Boutique at 69 Main Street. On Sunday she took her show, and products, on the road as one of more than thirty local business owners to participate in the Alliance for Sustainable Communities’ (ASC) business expo.
Calling the event at the Masonic Temple “awesome” and a “success,” Johnson said that it was a good opportunity for people to see and learn more about her growing business. Her brand is very important to her, Johnson continued, making it even more important to be aligned with an organization such as ASC.
Throughout the afternoon shoppers had the opportunity to peruse and purchase products from a variety of vendors whose table included clothing, art, food, and even “slime” made and packaged by 10 year old Paterson resident Celina Thompson. Thomspson would later say that she was going to use the revenue she generated to help her cheerleading squad get new uniforms, as well as on Christmas gifts.
As the vendors set up Jaylin Thomas, President of the ASC told TAPinto Paterson that the idea behind today’s expo, and the creation of the ASC, was to “to empower black entrepreneurs and showcase the unique vibrancy of Paterson’s local businesses.”
By doing this, Thomas believes, “economic empowerment and political engagement will follow,” helping build a stronger city.
The non-profit organization is just four months old, but is, judging by today’s event, already making an impact. Saying that the turnout was “tremendous” and the event was a “great success,” Tishawn Smikle, one of six co-founders of ASC, added that "it allowed (ASC) to move closer to (their) goal of being able to provide a grant to a lucky entrepreneur in the future," and to "engage and promote a wider variety of small minority owned businesses to (our) community."