Business Spotlight: Kizzy's Books & More

Trenessa Williams is a member of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and the proud owner of Kizzy’s Books & More - an online independant bookstore bringing Black literature to the hands of Central Floridians. Her mission is to provide a place for lovers of African-American literature and other creative expressions with a welcoming ambiance and customer service!

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We sat down with Trenessa to learn all about her business and what lead her to join The Chamber. Here is what she had to say:
 
What do you think makes Central Florida a special place to do business?
TW: Central Florida is full of diversity, from Hispanic and Latino cultures to African Americans to Caribbean backgrounds, there are so many different cultures that bring multiple forms of art, and literature to the business landscape.
 
Because of this diversity, there is high demand for minority focused businesses like mine. This demand makes Central Florida a really beneficial location for me, and I'd say that's really special.
 
Who is your target market/audience?
TW: We consider our core audience to be those that love to read African American Literature, I'd say ages 20-49. This includes the Gen Z population, Millennials, and the end of the Gen X generation.
 
There are a lot of great books out there within African-American Literature that appeal to each of these generations, and at Kizzy's Books & More we carry a large variety of each.
 
What is the most exciting thing you see happening in your industry?
TW: It has been extremely exciting to see an increase in the customer base for African-American literature. A lot of independent minority owned bookstores are opening up and it's beautiful to see. For a while we were actually seeing a decrease in demand, but interest is on the rise! More of us are opening stores across the country because there is a need for places for us to buy and discuss our literature.
 
People are looking for unique and creative stories to meet their needs. People are craving diversity and again, I'll reiterate that they are specifically coming to Central Florida for that diversity!
 
What is the biggest benefit to joining the AACCCF?
TW: I actually followed The Chamber for a while and always wanted to join because I could so clearly see the positive impact that they have on the community supporting black business owners. Since joining I've greatly benefited from the events. Being able to go to workshops and network with professionals and businesses that can really help me to grow has been amazing.
 
What books are you currently reading?
TW: So many, but I actually just finished "Broken Promises" by S.K. Lessly and an audio book called "Slay" by Brittney Morris.
At this moment, I'm on the lookout for my next read.
 
To keep up with Kizzy's Books & More be sure to follow them on Facebook and sign up for their Newsletter on their website.
The Newsletter spotlights a curated list of fiction and nonfiction books for both adults and kids! 
 
 

2020 Eagle Awards Finalists Announced!

Following the annual State of The Chamber address on October 18, 2019, the finalists for the upcoming 2020 Eagle Awards finalists were revealed.

The Eagle Awards are the AACCCF’s crowning celebration for Central Florida’s most dynamic small businesses and  entrepreneurs, while also serving as a time to recognize and honor the corporations positively impacting our community by driving the growth and development of our vibrant and diverse business landscape.

Finalists were announced for 7 of the 8 categories:

Emerging Business of the Year Award Category:

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The 2020 Finalists are: Finalists: Osborne & Francis, Label Hoarder, and Palma Project

 

Business Enterprise of the Year Award Category:

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The 2020 Finalists are: Hair in Motion of New York, RTW Photography, and Hold My Luggage

 

Small Business Advocate Award Category:

75341189_2616032345101568_1600908154315472896_oThe 2020 Finalists are: Orange County Public Schools and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

 

Corporate Recognition of the Year Award Category:

75247474_2615175438520592_6755839941491556352_oThe 2020 Finalists are: BB&T, Wells Fargo, OUC, and Duke Energy

 

Outstanding Community Achievement Award:

73179872_2615175048520631_322564890176782336_oThe 2020 Finalists are: Goldsboro West Side Historical Association, Wayne Densch Charities, and Elevate Orlando.

 

Outstanding Individual Community Achievement Award

74878878_2615175408520595_810157000984887296_oThe 2020 Finalists are: Nadine Mentor, Laine Powell, and Pastor Roderick Zak

 

The Eagle Award:

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The 2020 Finalists are: PSA Management, Compak Company, and Ardmore Roderick

 

Join us January 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, for The Eagle Awards! 

Tickets are on sale now and sponsorship opportunities are available! Click here for event details.


We Love Our Ambassadors

We kicked off the month of November in the spirit of Thanksgiving with the ultimate display of gratitude - an appreciation breakfast for our Chamber Ambassadors!

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Who are the "Ambassadors" of the African American Chamber of Central Florida? They are members who volunteer additional time to help spread the word about all of the chamber's events and the benefit of going to friends, colleagues, strangers, and the Central Florida Community at large! 

1 AACCCF breakfast 8We held this breakfast to acknowledge their hard work and celebrate a job well done in 2019. Next time you see an ambassador give them a high five for us!

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A special thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible:

Universal Orlando Resort
NASCAR
Tupperware Brands Corporation
Wells Fargo Center
BB&T
Orlando Health
OUC - The Reliable One
Dukeenergy
AdventHealth
J.P. Morgan Chase


5 Ways to Make Entrepreneurship Less Scary

Starting Your Own Business Can Be Terrifying, But With The Right Steps You Can Do It!

It’s Halloween today. Earlier this week I made the trip to the grocery store to stock up on candy, ensuring that all of the goblins and monsters that show up at my door, won’t walk away disappointed. Combing each aisle, I passed dozens of the costumes, fake blood, and all things “scary”. It got me thinking about what truly terrifies me. Funny enough, I have to say that one of the scariest times of my life has to be when I decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

Starting your own business can be scary for a variety of reasons:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Financial responsibilities
  • Outside social pressure to succeed

The key to overcoming these obstacles is to be strategic in your approach. I’ve outlined 5 things to keep in mind:

1.) Start with a plan.

Every business needs a plan. A formalized business plan is a great way to ensure that you are thinking through every detail of the immediate needs as well as long term considerations.

2.) Get Organized. 

Keep your conversations and finances well documented.

Plan out your days and create to-do lists based off of your goals.

3.) Know who you are. 

By “you” I’m referring to your brand. Who is the brand? Who is the audience? 

Not only will this help you make decisions, but it will also help you explain your vision to others. When you can communicate a clear vision, people are more likely to buy into the idea and support it.

4.) Seek help.

While it has been done, it isn’t always wise to go into business as a party of one... relying solely on your own finances, availability, and energy. Ask yourself: “Are there people that may be a resource to me? Could I form a partnership?”

Look into grants, investors, and loans for funding. Depleting your own bank account not only comes with a lot of risks, but also places restraints on how much you can invest up front. Depending on the type of business that you are creating, you may have a lot of upfront costs for expenses like equipment, marketing or merchandise.

5.) Take care of yourself.

 No business gets built overnight. You’ll face stress and pressures from a million different directions, and from from sources that you cannot control. The one thing you can control is your internal state of being. Stay calm and don’t overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion.