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S.H.E. Event helps boost local, Black-owned businesses

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After a delay due to COVID-19, the She Has Everything (S.H.E.) Event will return Sept. 12 for its eighth consecutive year. 

Founder Katina Washington said 250 vendors will table at the event, which will feature live performances from local entertainers, a keynote address from Indianapolis entrepreneur Linda Clemons and a fashion show by Joli Hair Salon. 

Washington, who owns U-Niq Custom Accessories, said the S.H.E. Marketplace — “like Amazon for Black-owned businesses” — also will launch the day of the event, which will take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Washington said all vendors and visitors at the free event will have to wear masks and have their temperatures taken at the door. 

For Washington, one of the highlights of the S.H.E. Event is helping local businesses and children entrepreneurs — “Kidtrepreneurs” as she calls them — get the tools and exposure they need to be successful. This year, five adult businesses and five kidtrepreneurs will receive grants – of $250 and $100, respectively — to help their businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. 

  1. S.H.E. Event

“We also started a youth cohort,” Washington said. “We hired 15 youth in the community … who are going to work the S.H.E. Event. They all have a desire to have their own businesses, and this will be the start of them getting that experience. We’ll meet again after the event and come up with a business plan and strategy, and they’ll get to execute that at the next S.H.E. Event.”

Jacala Holland, 16, said she’s looking forward to getting more exposure for her business, Jacala’s Beauty Essentials, at the upcoming event. 

Holland opened her business — where she sells hair products, lashes and accessories — a little over a year ago. She was a vendor at the last S.H.E. Event, after her aunt encouraged her to sign up. 

“There were people around me who started their own business,” Holland said of her inspiration. “I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone, so I decided to open up my own shop.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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