As I sit here at my store, I begin to think about all the orders that I have to get prepared for this holiday season. As I begin to plan out my day, it starts to become overwhelming, but then I decide to just sit back and take a minute to just think. I am sitting here behind my register looking at all that God has done for me.

I begin to feel overwhelmed by God’s blessings and appreciative for the way that the Austin community and, dare I say, the West Side has embraced me and my store, Annie Bell Fragrances. I would like to thank Mr. Malcolm Crawford, the director of the Austin African American Business Networking Association, for spotlighting my business for a B.E.E.R. or Black Economic Empowerment Rally. I could not believe the people who came out to shop that day. I met Alderman Deborah Graham, who has since contracted me to make 800 gift baskets. I would like to thank Mr. Terry Dean of the Austin Weekly News, who highlighted my story on the front page of the community newspaper. I am still getting customers who say they learned about me from seeing the AWN article.

I think about State Representative Camille Lilly and LorettoHospital who asked me to create gift baskets. I am now feeling thankful. I am thankful for Bill “Dock” Walls, who used Annie Bell Fragrance as a campaign stop during his current run for mayor. I am thankful to Dr. Amara Enyia, director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, who stopped by to shop at my store. I am thankful for Mr. Marseil Jackson of the Jackson Action Coalition, who came in for the rally and has since become a continuous costumer and a friend. I have heard about many meetings where my store has been mentioned, including former alderman Ike Carothers, who spoke about how impressed he was with our store during his candidates’ forum. My family and friends have also been extremely supportive of my business.

The more I think, there have been many community members who have become customers here at Annie Bell Fragrances. I may not be able to name all of those who came by, but know that I am very grateful for your support. So thank you, God bless you, and Happy Holidays.

Fallon Johnson

Owner, Annie Bell Fragrances

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