Money Power Day Educates Business Owners, Residents

By Alison Knezevich The Baltimore Sun

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)  Beauty entrepreneur Takia Ross and her plum-colored traveling makeup studio called "Pretty Mobile" are on a roll! Female business ownership seems to suit this Baltimore makeup artist who just won the top prize at the "Pitch Your Side Hustle Contest."  The contest took place at 11th annual Money Power Day sponsored by the Baltimore CASH Campaign. 

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore makeup artist Takia Ross and her three children drove to Richmond, Va., last February to buy a mini shuttle bus she had found on an online auction site.

Today, the bus is a plum-colored traveling makeup studio. The Cherry Hill woman and her family refurbished the bus, and she launched her business, Pretty Mobile, in July. Ross travels to weddings, parties and photo shoots and does her clients' makeup inside the vehicle.

"You always see the food trucks," Ross said. "I figured everything could be on a truck."

Ross was among the entrepreneurs who attended the 11th annual Money Power Day on Saturday sponsored by the Baltimore CASH Campaign. She won the "Pitch Your Side Hustle Contest," snagging a $200 prize.

Visitors to Money Power Day could learn about saving and budgeting, home ownership, credit scores and developing a business plan.

"I think people are intimidated to talk about financial topics, so we try to make it fun," said Courtney Bettle, program manager for financial security for the CASH Campaign. "We are trying to take some of the anxiety out of talking about money and finances."

The Baltimore CASH Campaign -- the acronym stands for "Creating Assets, Savings and Hope" -- works to increase financial stability for low-income families in the Baltimore area. Bettle said the Money Power Day at the Poly-Western high school complex in North Baltimore was a "shady-free zone" of vetted vendors, and all advice was free.

At one workshop, aspiring entrepreneurs heard from successful small-business owners and a panel of lenders to learn about how to get started with their business plans.

Laura Alima was working as a marketing director for a catering company when she attended the same workshop several years ago. She met Tanya Dorsey, vice president and commercial branch manager for M&T Bank, and told her about her plans to open an ice cream shop with her husband, David.

"I was very impressed by the research they had put in, and I could feel their passion," Dorsey said. She became their banker. The Alimas, both 36, now own The Charmery ice cream store in Hampden. Known for its quirky, Baltimore-themed flavors like Old Bay Caramel, their shop often has lines out the door.

They returned to Money Power Day to advise others.

"You have to imagine yourself being successful," David Alima told workshop participants.

He also warned that it often takes much longer than expected for a plan to come together.

In the food business, for instance, "there's just a million different health code regulations," he said.

"It's a full-time job to get open," he said.

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