Minority-run small businesses in Montgomery Co. get boost at ‘Shop and Drops’

In Montgomery County, Maryland, budding minority-owned enterprises have been provided a improve by governing administration-organized meetups, called Store and Drop’s, at community facilities.

Bluffajo Cosmetics was one of quite a few smaller firms showcased on Saturday.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Maisie Dunbar of Bluffajo Cosmetics standing in front of their makeup display.
Maisie Dunbar of Bluffajo Cosmetics standing in front of their make-up screen.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Marcell Brown of Hope Clothing Brand.
Marcell Brown of Hope Clothing Brand.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Hope Clothing Brand wanted his work to bring inspiration and positivity.
Hope Clothes Model needed his get the job done to deliver inspiration and positivity.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Frankie Alika hopes to expand her business and eventually open a gallery in Montgomery County.
Frankie Alika hopes to broaden her organization and ultimately open up a gallery in Montgomery County.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Not far from Brown’s display, artist Frankie Alika greeted customers at her table covered by her canvas oil paintings — bright paintings, with many in silver and gold.
Not far from Brown’s display screen, artist Frankie Alika greeted clients at her desk covered by her canvas oil paintings — shiny paintings, with quite a few in silver and gold.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

Not far from Brown’s display, artist Frankie Alika greeted customers at her table covered by her canvas oil paintings — bright paintings, with many in silver and gold.
Not much from Brown’s screen, artist Frankie Alika greeted customers at her desk lined by her canvas oil paintings — vivid paintings, with lots of in silver and gold.

WTOP/Dick Uliano

COVID-19 has manufactured matters really hard on some modest enterprises. In Montgomery County, Maryland, budding minority-owned organizations have been specified a improve by government-organized meetups, referred to as Shop and Drop’s, at community centers.

The gatherings give organization people a opportunity to swap suggestions and the chance to offer their goods, which they place on display.



For the duration of a Store and Fall party on Dec. 11, hosted at the Gaithersburg Recreation Centre, Marcell Brown confirmed his Hope Garments Manufacturer — sportswear emblazoned with Brown’s ideas and designs.

“There’s a whole lot of negativity likely on suitable now in the environment, and I fairly much needed to convey some inspiration and some positivity …” mentioned Marcell Brown, the owner of Hope Apparel Manufacturer. ” … I truly feel like God placed it in my heart and I’m likely to proceed to do what God tells me to do.”

Not significantly from Brown’s exhibit, artist Frankie Alika greeted customers at her table lined by her canvas oil paintings — dazzling paintings, with numerous in silver and gold.

“I took some artwork classes back again house … I’m initially from Nigeria, but I did not really pay back much interest to it, until COVID strike, and I was, like, alright, — I have to have to go back again to the talent that I have,” Alika said. She hopes to grow her enterprise and someday open a small gallery in Montgomery County.

Maisie Dunbar, of Germantown, owns Bluffajo cosmetics, offered on line at Bluffajo.com. The identify will come from Liberia in West Africa the place Dunbar reported “Bluffajo” is a time period of endearment.

“It’s a phrase that we refer to a particular person who is often nicely-dressed, refined, self-confident. It doesn’t automatically have to be a lady, it could be a male, just somebody that embodies the full visual appearance,” Dunbar reported.

Maryland Point out De. Pam Queen, of Montgomery County, a member of the Financial Issues Committee, has been drawing with each other minority enterprises at quarterly store and drops at local community centers.

“After the pandemic, numerous of them have to have a little jump get started, and so we’re making an attempt to make guaranteed we’re executing that as perfectly as enable them know what resources are offered to them,” Queen claimed.

Two Shop and Drops are prepared in the spring, targeted on Gals-operate and Asian-run corporations.

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Maria Flores

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