To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting four business leaders and entrepreneurs from our “Pay It Forward” program whose accomplishments and contributions have made a positive impact on their communities.
Read more about these inspiring leaders below.
Sweet Jazz Treats Bakery
Sweet Jazz Treats Bakery has been serving the Cincinnati, Ohio community with sweet desserts and delicious treats for over five years. Owner Jasmine Davis turned her passion for baking into a full-time business after working in the healthcare field for more than a decade. Davis attributes her success to her commitment to customer service. “Professionalism and customer service are very important to me. It can make or break a business, and for me, I will always be the person who is committed to it,” she said.
Davis strives to make a difference and build relationships in her local community. In addition to regularly providing food and donating financially to food shelters and local charities, Davis also enjoys serving as a mentor to other business owners and high school students from area schools.
“The one piece of advice I would give first time business owners is to do something that you enjoy,” she said. “Because when you have a passion about something, you enjoy it more regardless if you get paid for it or not.”
For founder Sherrie Rose, an early childhood learning difficulty with words and letters turned into the inspiration to create the California-based AlphaPals, an innovative line of alphabet plushies to help make childhood learning a fun, interactive experience.
Education is at the heart of her business and Rose has made a commitment that extends beyond her company. She regularly helps fund critical learning programs for elementary schools and partners with local charities like Operation Smile. “I am a big believer in education,” she said. “Knowledge has helped me in my life, and that has inspired me to pay forward the gift of education to others. Knowing my brand is making a difference, one child at a time, is a priceless gift that keeps me going and motivated to expand this brand.”
Rose has experienced a lot in starting up her brand and her advice to business owners just starting out is to be ready to tackle unforeseen challenges. “Leave yourself time, energy, and finances to prepare for those obstacles,” she said. “More times than not, success doesn’t happen overnight, especially profit-wise. If you persevere and your heart is in the right place, your company will be a success.”
Willow Creek Consign & Design
Located in Kingsport, Tennessee, Willow Creek Consign & Design is a high-end furniture and décor consignment store serving the Appalachian Highlands community. A passion for organizing and a strong work ethic has guided co-owner Karen Phillips through her many successful efforts in helping her clients declutter their lives. “From organizing homes to clearing out estates, we truly love to offer different solutions to help people,” she said.
Since starting their business five years ago, Willow Creek Consign & Design has donated more than half a million dollars in items to local charities and also has partnered with Haven of Rest and Habitat for Humanity to help “rehome” used items. “The partnerships have been great for us as it benefits charities that are close to our hearts,” she said. The business also regularly holds food drives for both local citizens and their pets.
Phillips offers advice to other small business owners aiming to build a successful business. “A strong business plan is more than a sheet of paper,” she said. “Being prepared with your time, finances, and vision are core factors in setting up a strong foundation. Building a strong team of people will help you evolve and allow you to grow.”
Root Hill Cafe
Located in the heart of Brooklyn, NY, Root Hill Café serves delicious coffee paired with a seasonal menu. For the past seven years, co-owner Kendra Codling-Peters has made the cafe a staple in the Gowanus community through efforts to support local artists, curb food waste, and make generous donations to neighborhood soup kitchens.
Codling-Peters attributes Root Hill’s success as a local favorite to the strong relationship with her team. “We value respect, inclusion, and teamwork,” Peters said. “Our team is not just a team—we’re a family and we welcome all that is good and kind in our lives.”
She admits that maintaining the café for seven years hasn’t always been easy and her best advice to new business owners looking to emulate her success is simple: “Be very organized, have a plan and follow through.”
About Pay It Forward
Spectrum Reach launched the “Pay It Forward” program in 2021, committing $15 million in advertising and support for multicultural-owned businesses. By the first quarter of 2023, Spectrum Reach will have helped more than 1,300 multicultural and women-owned businesses in more than 40 markets with the full power of our advertising expertise, services, and products.
Spectrum Reach is proud to offer multicultural-owned businesses a unique opportunity to receive a complimentary TV advertising campaign and commercial with our Pay It Forward program.