Black Business Network, NAACP Hold Voter Drive at Showcase

Kid CEOs, l-r, Kinyah Bean, Erin Buchanan, Jamayah Bradley, Ta’Liyah Franklin, Jada Scott and Kierra Perkins. Photos by Ashley Benkarski

By Ashley Benkarski

MURFREESBORO, TN — Modernoire presented the Fall Small Business Showcase at Patterson Park on Nov. 30, this time including a voter registration drive with the NAACP.

The second installment of showcases saw a widening of its vendor circle since Modernoire launched earlier this year. Modernoire will take the place of Rutherford County Black Business Network at the start of the new year.

Carolyn Cox of the NAACP said the organization partnered with Pi Gamma Gamma chapter of Omega Psi Phi to register potential voters and distribute information. Ten people registered to vote at the event, but Cox noted that a bigger impact was made in the form of educating people on how to register, deadline information and using a QR code to check their voting status.

Taiisha Bradley and husband James have been bringing local businesses together for almost a year and Modernoire’s launch is another way to signal boost businesses in Middle Tennessee. She’s also launched The Academy, a 10-week program geared toward teaching local community members skills for planning and growing a small business. The program is now enrolling for Rutherford Co. and will begin the first week of March.

The event featured Rutherford County staples Mo’Scrubs by Toya and Boro Town Cakes as well as Veronica Wiley of Hendersonville-based book club Women of Focus and Nashville’s Jefferson St. store Alkebu-Lan Images, where you can find African American-centered books, clothes and educational materials.

“A is for Ancestors: My Black College ABCs” author and HBCU advocate Erica Stovall White was in attendance offering customers copies of the book and promoting her ambassadorship program that allows people to donate signed copies of the book to children and schools. Tomorrow’s Leaders for Change founder Tina Pool was present for her organization and series Fighting Against Bullying, which she co-hosts with Keith Floyd. As the founder of TLC, Pool said her mission is “to teach students how to lead a bully-proof lifestyle.” The show can be found on Davidson Co. Comcast channel 19 via necatnetwork.org/fightingagainstbullying and information for the organization can be found at tlcorganization.org.

The showcase included five young CEOs whose businesses have bloomed with the help of Modernoire’s exposure: Kinyah Bean of B Chill Lemonade, Ta’Liyah Franklin of Liyah’s Lips, Kierra Perkins of Kandles by Kierra, Jhamayah Bradley of Bows with G.O.A.L.S., author Jada Scott and Erin Buchanan of Always Beautiful by Erin all attended.

The youngest CEO, Bradley, had a productive day– the seven-year-old was almost out of her Gabby Bows by 4 p.m., her mother beaming with pride. “She is a very loving and caring little girl,” Jhamaya’s mother, Jennifer, said about her little CEO. “She wants everyone to be friendly and get along with each other.” The young entrepreneurs are in no shortage of that as the girls have formed a sisterhood for support.

Modernoire is offering its membership to a limited list of vendors and organizations. “At this

Taiisha Bradley stands with Toya Griffin of Mo’Scrubs by Toya.

time we’re only accepting 125 members representing 125 industries or niches,” Bradley said, adding there is an application and interview process to qualify. “We have opened an interest list where we will keep interested businesses update about membership.” Modernoire’s next event will be held Sat., Dec. 7 at Seafood Sensation in Murfreesboro for a holiday dinner.

For more information on Modernoire or to inquire about registry for its membership list, visit www.modernoire.com.

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