WOCA hosts second annual Women of Color Business Expo


Rowan University’s Women of Color Alliance (WOCA) held their second annual Women of Color Business Expo on Friday, April 14, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event featured a variety of small businesses owned by both Rowan students and members of the local community. The expo was held at the Mimosa Courts, with lots of different activities that attendees could participate in while they learned about these businesses. 

The president of WOCA, Ariana David, and the WOCA e-board wanted to host this event because they want these businesses to gain more popularity and clientele. David believes that by hosting these annual events, businesses are able to come back every year with new products and reach a bigger audience. She spoke about what her hopes were for this event.

“I hope that this event brings prosperity and success for all of these businesses. I want them to grow and you know show off what they have,” David said.

Attendees were greeted by WOCA as they signed in, and the organization promoted their merchandise ranging in tote bags, bracelets, shirts and accessories. 

Businesses that were promoting themselves at this event set up their own tables, with visuals, contact information and their products that people could buy if interested. There were a lot of student-owned businesses, one of them being Sistashades LLC owned by two sisters, Keyosha and Star Whitaker.

“We sell sunglasses and bathing suits ideally for vacation. We basically sell glasses that are in stock and we get a new drop weekly. We switch out the shades for different colors and styles,” said Keyosha Whitaker.

Their business features stylish and trendy sunglasses, now expanding by adding bathing suits all towards getting consumers ready for the summer season. 

There were also lots of jewelry-focused businesses that are unique from typical jewelry one would find at a store. Paparazzi is a business that showcased their jewelry, focused on making it affordable and fashionable, priced at $5 per piece. They hope to introduce their business to the college audience and build relationships with them as well. 

Bijou Handmade Jewelry LLC is another business that is set apart from the rest. Saj Mika Baker, the founder of the company, creates custom-made jewelry and even customizes the length for her customers. Her products range from nose rings, earrings and bracelets for all. She first started with only making custom earrings, but as her business and clientele grew, so did her products. As she stated, men wanted bracelets catered to their style. One of her priorities is listening to her clientele and discovering what they like to create the best custom jewelry. 

Even though a lot of people may believe that students do not have the time to create their own businesses, this is untrue for Rowan sophomore students, Laniya and Kamiya Edwards. Originally, Laniya started the brand to create shapewear sets for all. One of the products they currently sell, called “Hour Waist” snatch band, is able to be accessorized with any look.

Attendees could find beauty products at Sharon Carr’s business The Butterfly Effect. Currently, she is a licensed esthetician with skills in lash extensions and provides self-care services like facials, waxing and more. She also sells products on her company’s website, like strip lashes, for those that don’t want lash extensions and lash bathes, for clientele that want to take care of their lash extensions. 

One of the last businesses at the end of the courts, Glammom’s Goodstuff LLC created by Paula Elam, aids those who want natural home remedies for when they feel unwell or sick. Her homemade elderberry syrup contains natural ingredients like elderberry, cinnamon, cloves, fresh ginger, and raw local honey. She explained how her elderberry syrup will help the public.

“This is all-natural ingredients, has a good shelf life, and it won’t hurt you. It is good for children and adults. I am trying to get back to the home remedies and natural ingredients that heal your body naturally,” Elam said.

For more information about the businesses, visit their social medias on Instagram, @glammomsgoodstuffllc, @snatchedwithlay, @paparazziaccessories, @bfly.aesthetics, @bijouhandmadejewerlyllc, and @sistashades_.

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