BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – “Empower,” “invest,” “network” were the themes on display during the St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo, held last month at Lake Vista Recreation Center.
Hosted by Sapheria Emani of Inspired Growth and Danisha Whitchard of Danisha’s Sweet Creations, the event offered visitors the opportunity to meet more than 50 vendors and shop for holiday gifts, along with free food and face-painting for children –all with the now-familiar “masks required” stipulation.
A native of St. Pete, Emani, a self-described “self-care advocate and motivational speaker,” describes her business mission as “a motivational brand that ultimately empowers and inspires individuals in all aspects of life,” including the physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental and occupational.
Emani said that by activating the concepts of empowering, investing and networking, “we believe that as a collective, we can all help each other achieve our greatest dream: running a successful business.”
In describing her business, she relayed that while her audience tends to be women, through her products, events, workshops, writing, and motivational speaking, she hopes to inspire any and everyone.
Whitchard creates mouth-water chocolates and confections via Danisha’s Sweet Creations — on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/Danishassweetcreations — co-sponsored the event. She shared her mission to “make the world sweeter one person at a time” and also offers instruction in the art of creating confections.
Emani and Whitchard wanted the St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo Black Business to offer a platform for business owners in the community to showcase their creativity and talent.
Emani was ecstatic about the turnout and response to the event.
“The St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo was a total success,” she shared. “It was a success because so many people, both vendors and customers, took something positive away from the event. When people left, they felt inspired and happy to be a part of something great and positive within our community.”
She added that she hopes some people left feeling inspired to start their own business one day. “We wanted people to walk away knowing that we have a variety of great talent and brilliant minds in St. Pete, and we intended for people to feel inspired to go out into the community and do positive things — to bring the citizens within our community together.”
Performers at the St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo included poet Crystal Amore, singer Ashley Briscoe, and live deejay, DJ Don Rock. Dajuh Sawyer of the Make It Out Foundation, Inc, served as motivational speaker. All Photos Considered LLC was onhand providing camera work.
Emani said more events and services are in the pipeline, while her online store offers “traveling inspiration” — through uplifting and motivational clothing, decorations, and affirmational stickers.
Her products are designed especially by Emani, to help combat the pervasive insecurities, depression, anxiety, and “self-hate” occurring in our current society – and are especially negatively impacting women.
Emani noted that people, especially women, are hit with many obstacles, which lead them to “not feeling good enough and being hard on themselves.” But her brand offers some relief and a cure for the negativity by “inspiring one person to the next.”
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To reach J.A. Jones, email firstname.lastname@example.org