Winners of the Black Magic Reimagined pitch competition are presented their first, second and third place awards. – Photo courtesy of Black PR Wire

(The Dallas Examiner) – Black entrepreneurs and corporate professionals from across the Dallas area gathered at the AT&T Performing Arts Center at Strauss Square for the fifth annual Black Magic Reimagined summit, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

Hosted by Boss Women Media, the goal of the summit was to be a place where ambitious women can learn, connect and establish sources for funding and growth. Upon entry for the Oct. 1 session, each attendee was given a swag bag with Crème of Nature and Shea Moisture products, both brands which market their products mainly to Black women.

Five Black-owned businesses were a part of a marketplace set up at the summit. Elle Olivia, founded by Dallas-based CEO of Boss Women Media, Marty McDonald, was an apparel company geared toward Black girls and was represented in the marketplace. The merchandise became available in Target on Oct. 8.

Another marketplace vendor, AND-MADE by Hand, offers accessories and apparel for women looking to spruce up their wardrobes. Dallas-based Alexis Daniels, owner and maker of AND-MADE, created the company to fulfill her desire to be creative. Products from the company have been featured on celebrities such as media personality Tabitha Brown, pastor Sara Jakes-Roberts, and gospel duo Mary Mary.

During the Reimagine Equity portion of the summit, Kenya Palmer-Chalmers, vice president of Retail Bank Operations, and Shena Ashley, president of Insights Center and Palmer-Chalmers offered the audience valuable information and tools to advocate for small businesses.

Palmer-Chalmers spoke about businesses that were considered vendors or suppliers.

“Any corporation out there, if you are not listed on their supplier diversity pages, [your company] does not really exist,” said Palmer-Chalmers.

Attending supplier diversity events and summits was also suggested as a way to gain more exposure for a vendor/supplier company. Palmer-Chalmers also spoke about the importance of capital.

“We skip to one meaning of capital, and we think about financial capital as the only one that’s there. But there are many, many meanings of capital,” said Palmer-Chalmers. One form of capital that was discussed was knowledge capital – knowing what the financial institution where you plan to seek financial capital looks for in a qualified business.

Ashley spoke about the importance of every entrepreneur having a sponsor.

“Because my goal is to inspire and encourage, that makes me also a good problem solver – because you want me on your team. You want to come talk to me when there’s a problem because I will inspire and encourage you up and over and around [the problem].”

Actress Keke Palmer, headlining the summit, spoke during the Reimagine Career session. Palmer graced the stage to discuss why business owners should have a passion for their work.

“The main thing that I always think about when I’m deciding to put my heart into something is, is my heart in it or am I just expecting a particular outcome?”

Palmer told the audience that when she finds herself focused on getting a certain number of social media views or a certain amount of money, it’s time to pivot to another project.

“What you decide to do should be based in purity and what you love and what gets you excited,” she said. Palmer’s advice was to plan your business based off the response of your customers.

“If you’re making candles and bags and you’re selling more candles than bags, then scale back on the production of the bags and focus on the candles,” Palmer said.

This year, Black Magic Reimagined awarded three women-owned small businesses with grants in the amounts of $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the summit. Each contestant was required to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges.

Third-place winner, Brittany Coleman, is the owner of ToughCutie which provides women’s outdoor and lifestyle products. Brittany would notice that when participating in outdoor activities, she would often be the only person of color. Through ToughCutie, Brittany aims to change the narrative around who gets access to the outdoors and who gets to be labeled “outdoorsy.”

Coming in second place was Ehime Eigbe-Akindele, owner of Sweetkiwi frozen dessert company. What’s unique about Sweetkiwi products is that they support gut health. Eigbe-Akindele developed the idea for her company after a concerning routine health exam. “I’m so happy to be doing this here in Dallas. I created this product living here, inspired by the food options here.” Eigbe-Akindele planned to use her winnings to expand the Sweetkiwi product line and hire more people.

First-place winner was Felicia Jackson, owner of CPRWrap Inc. Jackson’s son’s near-death choking experience inspired her to create CPRWrap, a safety tool that makes administering CPR more straightforward, effective and safe. CPR wrap has become popular in households, workplaces and schools.

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