Philadelphia was the latest stop for Toyota's Entrepreneurial EnTOURage. Local influencers were in invited to participate in this national campaign to highlight and celebrate Philadelphia black owned businesses. In other cities, guest were invited to attend a networking event and dinner but thanks to Covid-19, we had to network via zoom.
Toyota is committed.
Toyota actively supports the black community through economic growth, and driving diversity. Covid-19 disproportionately impacted communities of color. Toyota launch initiatives to increase the awareness of Covid-19 and directly assisted organizations focused on providing opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Meet Julia Turner Lowe
Turner Turner Lowe, owner of JTL Designs is no stranger to the style plight of the plus sized woman. Curvy girls know what it's like to see classic or trendy clothing but not be able to it any of them. The struggle is real and while more brands are adding more inclusive sizing, it's often not the look we want. Things like plus size business casual and work wear seem harder and harder to find. No one wants to look like they are wearing clothing intended for a size 6 when you wear a 14.
Julia used her love of fashion to design styles that are elegant and appeal to the curvy business woman while adding the right amount of sophistication for plus size casual wear. These “Made in Philly” designs offer a unique attention to detail and are easy to transition from the office to a night on the town. Julia's “goal is to nourish confidence and well-being in mind, body and spirit through each woman’s individual expression of beauty.”
JTL Designs is a second career for Lowe and it's a story that most women over forty can relate to. She had just retired and was faced with the question- What's next? The brand was created out of necessity to fill a void for herself and other plus sized women. As a fashion lover what's she's doing never feels like work.
The Covid Pivot
Covid-19 has placed many business in a fight or flight situation. Lowe, started creating face masks for friends and neighbors and eventually added them to her product line. This new everyday accessory is boosting the business as people seek reusable mask options made with quality fabrics and bold patterns.
Highlighting Other Philadelphia Businesses
The big reveal included highlighting four other black owned businesses. In addition to watching the videos created by each selected influencer, there were discussions on how each person became an entrepreneur, what inspired them and how they were not letting Covid-19 stop them. We were able to cheer them on using the props provided by Toyota and team.
Make certain to give their businesses some love!
Marquita Robinson, Dviniti Skincare offers plant based ,all natural custom blended skincare. Located at 1500 Locust street, in center city Philadelphia. “Chemical formulator, Marquita Robinson-Garcia, trained and worked professionally in the beauty industry for major chemical companies including BASF and DowDuPont designing skin care products for global brands including Chanel, NARS and bareMinerals. After being promoted and ultimately transitioning from the lab to business development, she left her management role in 2017 after over a decade of corporate success with a mission to launch her own natural skin care line with a major focus on customization.“
Follow along at @dvinitiskincare
Lenore Taylor, Blended by Lenore is a “beauty concierge service that provides makeup services for special events with a primary focus on bridal. We care for your skin before applying makeup products. We pride ourselves in glowing skin and natural glam. As an artist I am capable of applying whatever look the client is seeking.”
Follow along at @blendedbylenore
Charisse McGill, Lokal Artisan Foods home of the french toast bites. “Artisan Foods Group, LLC is home to a collection of food & beverage products using ingredients grown and sourced responsibly with respect to origin and seasonality. While our product offerings are sweet & fun, being prepared with quality and traceable ingredients is a priority.”
Follow along at @lokalartisanfoods
Shaw Lewis, Expect Lace, a luxury lingerie specialty retailer in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. They are redefining the way women shop for bras by offering professional fittings for sizes 30A to 42J.
Follow along at @expectlace
Support Black Businesses is a must! We can stimulate the economy for our community.