Small Business Saturday Expo enjoys great turnout

Shaton Kilgore Groves and photographer Tina Allare

Shaton Kilgore Groves and photographer Tina Allare (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

The recent Small Business Saturday Crown Events Expo venue Emma’s Bistro was filled to capacity. The array of small business vendors exhibited some familiar, and some not so familiar, products and services.

But this wasn’t your usual show up and shop event. Host Shatona Kilgore Groves (founder/CEO Crown Events) did all possible to make sure guests and vendors were well accommodated. There were games, prize drawings, and ‘spoken word’ by artist Jazzy Sdlic. Other performances included Mic-O Afro Vibes and Dre’a Ubangee. To top it all off, in preparation for the Christmas holiday season, there was Christmas Karaoke. Many stepped up to the mic to sing their hearts out for prizes. Clearly this was a uniquely presented Expo. Their theme of ‘Small Business Saturday Expo–Celebrating Art, History and Culture’ even stood up to the task.

Attendees took advantage of shopping with the vendors and they had a wide range to services and goods to choose from. The list included: Ablessin Shoetique, All About You Concierge Services, Author Keena Day, Body by Kie, Boozy Bites Sweets, CNG Bows, Gigamunch, Imani Reign Accessories, Inclined to Improvise, Install America and It Works Global. Other participators included: Just Play Entertainment, KEE’S PosisitiviTEES, King/Queen Apparel, Modern Impressions, Positive Black Woman Tees, Rods Art Shack, Saced and Rich, Solid Clothing Collection, Tasteful Accessories Plus, Total Life Changes, Triple A Press Books and WeePeats Boutique.

The featured artist list was short but impacting as were their talents, including: Christina Wiggins, David Holemer, Diana Byrd, Jacolyn Wingo, Janice Perry, Michelle Swett, Roderick Washington, ROYAL VIBES and Sarah Arace. Shatona Kilgore Groves was busy as a bee, tending to vendors’ concerns, overlooking the raffle prize drawing and making sure the event and the program stayed on tract for the 11:30 am to 3:30 pm time frame (and it did). Event sponsors included: Crown Events, Hachette Book Group, Bruggers Bagels and Diana Morris Editing Services.

Beautiful faces from various cultures and backgrounds adorned the event. It wasn’t just another Black oriented Expo, and it accommodated a rainbow of participation. Social media can be one of the fasted and complimentary ways to build, highlight and showcase an event. This one was no different. The effective hash tag given for this one was <#SmallBizNashville2016>.

We caught up with Groves and asked her what her thoughts were about this year’s expo being held in Nashville and her outlook on future events.

“Nashville is in the top five in the country for entrepreneur growth and this was evident at the Expo that highlighted over 20 small businesses,” said Groves.

We later learned that she is in heated preparation for the next event, a Nashville Summer Women’s Expo! The woman has great stamina, class and beauty and is on a mission to connect good people with good people, while empathizing the need for supporting small businesses. For more information visit