Event highlights Black entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne

Urban Update, an event planning company, is the creation of Kellie Hill- Hicks. As a black business owner herself, she's helping others with what she calls the 'Blacks In Business' effect.

Posted: Feb 24, 2019 9:45 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2019 6:32 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Kellie Hill- Hicks has provided a space for local black owned businesses to flourish in the Fort Wayne community.

This event started in 2016 at Weisser Park.

There was a break last year, but Hicks decided 2019 would be the year to start it up again seeing numerous businesses being started since that time.

"I just launched this year about two months ago, January 1st so this is my first event and I'm loving it," Kristen Brazier, owner of Kanvas by Ki, said.

Brazier has a whipped body butter and skin care line. This event gives her exposure in hopes of creating a thriving financial legacy for her family.

"I have a son and a daughter and they see mom working full time, then also has her own business to make her own money because essentially one day, I'm going to pass and I'm going to want to leave something to my kids. I want them to have something so they don't have to know what struggling is," she said.

"Everybody doesn't have a brick and mortar store, so this is an opportunity for people to see, work, and speak with people that look just like them, and have an opportunity to communicate and become one," Hicks explained.

There are 43 local black owned businesses being represented under one roof, and 46 being supported in total.

"I've had several people come in who I actually know, and were like ‘Wait a minute I didn't know you made cakes’, so you get a lot of people who in passing, you forgot to mention your business because you were going on about regular life," Tulena Trowell-Wattley, owner of Couture Cakes, said.

It's also a free event to the public for all ages.

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