FREEPORT — Capitalizing on their success as small business entrepreneurs, Jazzmine Jones, Melanise Ellis and Shana Collins joined forces Saturday to host a fashion show at Junior’s Place in Freeport.
Their goal was to bring the community together, to celebrate their thriving businesses and to live out a dream showing others that after success comes celebration.
Ellis opened her business, PNK Fashion in June. Jones opened Jazzy’s in August, and Collins has her online fashion business called Shana’s Exquisite Collection.
All three women have lived out their dreams this past year.
“As a Black woman, and as a woman, I want to show others if you dream it, you can do it,” Ellis said. “And if you never try, you will never know. All three of us tried. We have succeeded, and now we celebrate.”
It was in August when Jones opened her boutique called Jazzy’s. At the age of 30, Jones had her online shopping business but longed to have a storefront to call her own.
Jazzy’s gave her the platform to teach her daughter important lessons about hard work.
On Saturday, the lesson was about dreaming big.
“I look at my models, I see a dream lived and alive,” Jones said.
Ellis’ business is only open on the weekends in downtown Freeport. She said she only recently learned she was one of several female business owners in the city’s central business district.
Ellis said she is proud of what woman have accomplished in Freeport and hopes that she and other Black female business owners can serve as role models for the next generation.
“As a Black woman, a woman who owns her own business, all that was left was living the extra dream to hold a fashion show,” Ellis said. “I learned that Jazzmine and Shana had the same dream. We talked, we grew excited and we made it happen.”
Collins has had her online business for a year. Being part of the fashion show helped the community get to know her business and vice versa.
“My business supplements my income right now, but I want to show others it can be done,” Collins said.
Ellis said her prayers paid off when she watched 24 models walk the runway Saturday wearing clothes from the three stores.
“I am excited,” she said. “I took a chance, and now it is my time.”
Jane Lethlean is a freelance correspondent.