African Accents, 5847 W. Chicago Ave., showcased the products of seven local entrepreneurs on Sunday, May 6. The idea came from Kelley Moseley, a creative young entrepreneur whose friendship with owners Stacia and Malcolm Crawford has opened opportunities for the work of local artisans and artists to be recognized.
As customers entered the store, you could hear the same refrain over and over, marveling over the uniqueness of the items on display.
David Weathersby, for instance, is the owner of Sub.Verse.Studios, a film and video production company. He said, “The things we do are documentaries, live events, video art project, video press kits, as well as video editing. The company’s background is in film, so with live productions, we try to bring film sensibility to the projects that we do.” David’s information flyer states, “Sub.Verse.Studios video production is designed to not only capture the event but to capture ideas and thoughts behind the event. We work closely with the client to produce something unique and memorable. Contact 773/742-2847, email@example.com
Shawnta Porter, from Detroit, Mich., who owns an on-line boutique, said, “I used to have an actual store location. I’ve been in business since 2000, and I’ve been online since 2006. I did a charity fashion show in Detroit and [Kelley Moseley] sent some of her items to be shown and we met through “My Space,” and she invited me to come to Chicago for this event. I’m online only. However, if they don’t have access to a computer, they can call me at 313/316-0599. My products are all junior size and all women-they are real lady-like pieces, sexy, sensual and some vintage pieces too.”
Tayo Ladipo, who owns Tembi’s Boutique explained, “I deal in vintage clothing from the Roaring ’20s all the way up to the Punk ’80s, so we have a lot of wiggle dresses, a lot of disco dresses, bell-bottoms and jumpsuits. I deal with women’s accessories, so if they like vintage clothing which is one of a kind, they can come and get something from me. I’ve been in business two years, and I will be online May 24th, at www.tembisboutique.com, and if someone lives in the Chicago area, they can set up a private stylist appointment.”
Nicole Hall, a sales consultant for eScentual Oils, said, “I specialize in oils ranging from natural scents up to named brands, such as Vera Wang and John Paul. I also sell lotions that are also scented, and not only can you wear the scent but you can burn them in burners, and it gives a wonderful fragrance throughout your home. My prices are also very economical, based on what some places are charging. I’ve been doing this for one year. I don’t have my own store yet, but that is in the works. I got into this business because I really loved perfumes, and it is so expensive to buy $80 bottles of perfume. I don’t really like a lot of alcohol-which a lot of perfumes are based with-as opposed to oils. You can contact me at 708/337-0866 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Kamla D. Thomas’ at-home business is called Warm Spirit. Kamla observes, “I do not own the business. I am an independent consultant. I’ve been working my Warm Spirit business for 1 1/2 years. It is a nature-based self-care and wellness company which specializes in nature bath and body products, as well as one-percent soy candles, homeopathic remedies, herbal teas. We have a vast array of products that not only make you feel good, but are good for you as well. This month and in June, we are featured in Empower Women’s Magazine. We also were honored as Black Enterprises Magazine’s emerging company of the year for 2006. I always believed in self-care, and, as African American women, we were always taking care of someone else and putting them first. After a personal situation, I made some decisions and Warm Spirit was something I pursued.” Contact 708/466-0511 or www.warmspirit.org/kamlat.
Jerry Burden’s business is called Hands Of Perfection and specializes in massage therapy. Mr. Burden often works with Kamla Thomas, using her body products for massage therapy. “I provide chair and table massages and will come to your home,” he noted. “I can be reached through Kamla’s Warm Spirit or you can call for appointments at 708/557-7974.”
Kelley Moseley, the owner of K-Fleye jewelry, said, “I’ve been in business four years, and I’m located right here in the Austin community at African Accents, by appointment only right now. I make all the jewelry. I am a self-taught artist, and I teach all the jewelry classes at African Accents. I get my inspiration from people, clients, life in general. I tend to name pieces after people I meet or situations. I have a few lines named after people or something funny that happened. I’ve always been creative because I sew as well. This came about because I needed to buy a sofa for my apartment. It’s been great. I travel a lot with my artwork to different galleries in New York, etc., so it has been great. Contact me at 773/531-0716 or e-mail: email@example.com.