AAEA and Tortugas recognize National Black Business Month







AAEA and Tortugas recognize National Black Business Month

Gold Bar Status owner Alphonza Bush, Jr. shares information on creating generational wealth.


Partnering with the Daytona Tortugas for the Game 3 of the Barrier Breakers Series, African American Entrepreneurs Association Founder/CEO Leslie Giscombe welcomed attendees to the ballpark with an added perk the evening of Aug. 18.

Providing an opportunity to learn more about the African American businesses across the region, the AAEA hosted the 2023 African American Business Expo in honor of National Black Business Month, recognized during the month of August.

Among the businesses on display was Tiann Smith, owner of Foxee Maskot Creations, LLC. Starting with love of sewing and unique accessories, she turned her skills into a marketable business and took off during the pandemic.

“My grandmother sewed, my mother sewed, and I sew,” shared Smith.







AAEA and Tortugas recognize National Black Business Month

Tiann Smith showcases her accessories during the African American Business Expo. She is the owner of Foxee Maskot Creations, LLC.


“When COVID hit, I began doing masks. I had already started buying the materials to make jewelry because I can never find the type of jewelry I like. It’s all natural. It’s your vision, your self-expression. Everyone doesn’t like store bought.”

Through the AAEA in partnership with TD Foundation, Smith was a recipient of the Business Relief Program assisting minority businesses after the 2022 hurricanes. As an African American entrepreneur, recognizing National Black Business Month is important.

“It’s important to shop with Black business owners because it’s our livelihood. We all don’t have that college education, but we have the natural knack of displaying and doing what comes natural, whether it’s been handed down or taught,” she said.

‘The Nine’ initiative



Chef Montanna Brumfield supported two local businesses – Sirene Noire and Tranquility Senior Care during the expo.


The AAEA partners with the Daytona Tortugas as part of “The Nine” initiative to raise awareness for the contributions of African American baseball players and their impact on the community.

Giscombe is proud of the collaboration to highlight both the sports and the historical value of Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

“The partnership with the Tortugas is important because they chose our organization to be the sponsor umbrella over this initiative that was started last year and it’s something that is all across the United States.”

“Baseball is America’s pastime and us being a part of it is great because minorities, specifically Jackie Robinson, played a big role in integrating all sports in America. We’re just honored to be the host of that.”

Learn more about “The Nine” initiative at www.milb.com/fans/the-nine.  

In recognition of National Black Business Month, the African American Entrepreneurs Association will receive proclamations from the City of Palm Coast, Flagler County Board of Commissioners, and the City of Bunnell.

For more information, call 386-234- 2014 or visit www.aaeassociation.org.

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