Small Business Expo amplifies local businesses

Trenedy Parks, Staff Writer

As a part of Black History Month, the office of Student Engagement and the Pantry hosted the Side Hustle Expo on Feb 8. The exposition was an opportunity where students and faculty of UNA could present their small business in search of new clientele. The Side Hustle Expo was in the GUC Atrium from 11 to 1. 

The atrium housed nine small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to put their products on display to grow their following. The objective of this expo was to help these starting businesses connect with others like them and find new opportunities.

Each business showcased homemade products and self-perfected skills, and this expo gave them an opportunity to reach clientele they may have not reached before.

“When I was an undergrad, specifically freshman year, I had a small business where I did balloon arches and little sweets,” said Brooklyn Johnson, Graduate Assistant of UNA’s pantry. “And I know that when I came [to UNA] it was hard for me to find clientele, so I just wanted to give students the opportunity to promote their business.” 

The vendors in attendance were EHallmark Photography, Photos by Lucy, Sent Candle Co., Elegant Rose Candles, Sydney Gail Creates, Delana Mohr, Missy’s Eyelashes, Joys Sweets and Treats and The Sweets Factory. All vendors present at the expo promote their services and products on Instagram. They can be found by searching the handles listed above.

EHallmark Photography and Photos by Lucy both advertised their photography skills and offered entries for giveaways. Sent Candle Co. and Elegant Rose Candles offered homemade candles with a variety of scents that are not common in mass produced candles. Sydney Gail Creates designs and prints stickers of all kinds, available on her Etsy and Instagram. Delana Mohr is a self published author who has four books up for sale, each available through Amazon. Missy’s Eyelashes offered mink eyelashes in styles ranging from natural to dramatic. Joys Sweets and Treats and The Sweets Factory both offered up homemade, Valentine’s themed, sweets for an affordable price. 

 The Pantry and Student Engagement enjoyed setting up this opportunity for UNA students to showcase their products and skills. Johnson expressed her support for these small businesses who should reach out and find resources that will assist their growth.

“There is a small business development center on campus,” said Kaycie Prescott, graduate assistant for UNA Student Engagement. “They will help you start up your business.” 

The Small Business Development Center offers advising services to those looking for guidance in their upstart. They offer financial services as well. Prescott said that this is a great resource for these small businesses and entrepreneurs. It is located in Keller Hall in Room 148. Contact director, Kimberly Hughtson, or assistant director, Phillip Marks, for any questions.