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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 212

Updated: Jul 1



Necessity is the mother of invention feels like the sort of thing you might hear about a washing machine. Thing is, it has also long been the catalyst for small business creation. Baton Rouge is no exception in that respect. It only makes sense that folks who find themselves kept out of available jobs will create jobs for themselves cause people have to eat in good times and in bad.


Beyond the resources entrepreneurs find from organizations like BRAC, Baton Rouge has the advantage of a diversity of small businesses. And this Friday we are going to hear from a few of them!


Learn with us this week as we hear from Black business owners about how they are blazing trails to build wealth and we can get some ideas of how to support their businesses.


 

Notes

Casey Phillips:  Happy Friday. I know a lot of y'all are still coming into the door, but I just wanted to make sure. And we have a joyous Friday for you today. It is a joyous day. Pepper and Tia I'm not sure how y'all orchestrated this group of humans to start us off in this positivity today, but kudos across the board. So I'll turn it over to you. Pepper.  


Pepper Roussel: Happy Friday morning y'all. I am just about to hop into the chat as well. Super excited about this Friday. It was just saying that generally speaking, we spend all of our time talking about poverty, which is necessary because we got to figure out a way to mediate the problem. However, today we are talking about small businesses, black owned businesses, and some of the amazing creations that have come out of Baton Rouge really just for funsies, because it's a lot more entertaining to figure out where it is that I can buy an origami hat than it is to talk about some of the other heavy topics that we get to. Since we are already talking about your hat and your creations, if you wouldn't mind starting us off, letting us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved, we'd appreciate it. Your five minutes starts now. 


Phillip Hunt: Thank you so much. My name is Phillip Hunt. I do origami and artwork for kids. I usually make artwork and comics with my brother, but he's not here right now, so it's a one man thing going on right here. I usually do this at White Night Lights, where my mom sells her art, and then if the kids come out, then I'll start folding paper for the kids, and then the parents were like, okay, you should just start doing this on your own. And that's my plan. My plan is to teach kids how to create origami, show the friends something cool or show them an animal, because it's pretty interesting where you can just make out of just one piece of paper. My second goal is to just put it out there, cause all these people are like into technology and stuff and then there's nothing cool. But I think my origami is something unique for the kids and adults. And that's actually my third task is to get adults also attracted to that. So that way I can get all ages and not just one specific area. Not only do I do origami, but I paint. I'm a painter just like my mom. I also do digital art, which is coming very soon. I need to do digital prints and frames and a lot of other stuff. I'm working on trying to spread it out there on my Instagram. You can find me at Blue of Wonders on my Instagram. 


Casey: So Mr. Hunt on your Instagram, do people have the ability to be able to purchase your creations?  


Phillip: Not yet. I was working on that, sir.  


Casey: Cool. Love that. So anybody on this call that wants to volunteer to help Mr. Hunt set up his e-commerce site, like on Shopify that it's time. There's all kinds of different currencies we all have. And right. I truly just want to take this moment, because I said it when you first entered into the space and there was no one here, Felicia, first of all, he referenced his mother, Felicia is an incredible artist. Just an incredible artist and is actually nationally renowned. Felicia, when she comes off mute and speak, she can speak on her own. But Felicia ultimately is almost bigger around the world in other states than sometimes even our hometown. And I think that's one of the things that our city needs to really intentionally it needs to be intentional about changing, right? Is if you start investing in buying the work of young creators, They, first of all, don't have to look at it as a hobby, they look at it as finding their passion, and then in 40 years, they're going to wind up having retrospectives in museums because you helped buy their art when they're gone,  because it allowed them to stay on their path. When Phil does come back with his links to be able to buy, or from the other speakers that you're going to hear today don't just talk, right? Support creators to be able to keep making their creations. And Mr. Hunt is probably, I want to be accurate, probably in the top 20 of my favorite creators in this city. And there are some incredibly talented. Number one is my wife. And I will always say, and number two is my son is a jazz drummer. So there's room in the list after those two. But he is incredible, he and his brother and his mom are just one of the most talented and grandmother just some of the most talented family ever. And I just want to take this moment and gush on young creators and encourage everybody to support them because you are a jewel, my friends, and it is awesome that you are creating in this world, in our city, in North Baton Rouge. Appreciate you.


Phillip: Appreciate you. 


Pepper: The Reverend Anderson, I love you so much. So here we are, we're going to shift to Felicia Noelle. Felicia, if you wouldn't mind coming off mute and sharing with us a little bit about who you are, what you do and how we can be involved. 


Felicia Noelle: Hello. Good morning. Can you guys hear me? I hope they can hear me.  


Casey: Yes, ma'am. We can. What's up, Felicia? 


Pepper: Where'd you go? 


Casey: It looks like she's just having some mute issues, but I believe in you, Felicia. We can hear you for a second. All right. We're just gonna have to come back to it. Phil, see if you can help your mom out. 


Felicia: Oh, maybe I should hold it. Okay now. 


Phillip: There you are. There you go. There you go.


Felicia: Good morning. My name is Felicia Noelle. I'm a local artist here in Baton Rouge, and as my son has told you, I'm an artist and I do pop ups. I also have my work in a couple of galleries as well as a few hospitals nationally and worldwide as Casey was saying, a lot of people don't know that. But that's okay. I've been doing this 30, about 30 years. I got my degree at LSU, but I've been painting since I was little, my mom is an artist as well. I have just gotten into the social media lane. I have someone that actually runs my Instagram for me. So you can find me at FeliciaNoelle.com, FeliciaNoelle.info, which is my personal website. I also have Instagram. It's at FEJACK44. And the other Instagram is Noelle.theartist. And you should be able to find me as well on Facebook under Felicia Noelle. So you can find me. You just Google me and I'll pop up. Just a little bit about myself. I was the artist that painted outside of the lines. I was the artist that used the primary colors and I wasn't into the graying and all of that stuff like they teach you. I want my paintings to grab your attention. I believe in movement. I believe in passion. I look at everyday life. It's figurative. And I have a lot of collectors. What else can I say? I'm also making sure that my kids understand that art is not a hobby. It's not a craft. It's a livelihood. And if It's in your veins, and it's what you want to do. It's your passion. Then do it. I support them. A hundred percent. And I've been bringing them with me to the hot or cool nights and the white lights and any pop ups there, they're with me and they have their own following. I'm very proud of them. I hope that that kind of gave you a little bit about me and I'm open for any questions. 


Pepper: All right we're going to keep moving through with the intros. We're the Posh Pop ladies. Ebony, you want to come off mute and share with us. What y'all do and where we can find you. Hello. Hey, the mute seems to be the Achilles heel this morning. Yes, please. There you are. Morning, ladies. All right, your five minutes starts now. 


Bailey Monet: What's poppin I'm Bailey Monet. 


Harper Juliet: And I'm Harper Juliet. 


Bailey and Harper: And we are Posh Pop!


Bailey: Everyone loves popcorn, right?


Harper: Right.


Bailey and Harper: But let's face it, butter, caramel, and cheddar are just plain BORING! 


Bailey: So what if we could offer you a Posh Upgrade to your popcorn? Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn is a magical mix of all of your favorite treats, 


Bailey and Harper: Such as cookies, pretzels, and candies. 


Bailey: Doesn't that sound good? 


Harper: Yes. 


Bailey and Harper: Great. Because these two sisters are ready to pop your pop. So you tell me who's ready to get a pop in. 


Bailey: Good morning. I'm Bailey, 13 year old co-CEO of Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn.


Harper: And I'm Harper, 8 year old co-CEO of Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn. 


Bailey: And what we have going on right now, we're currently in an investment opportunity for our company. We are partnering with Honeycomb, which is an investment firm or corporation that allows our supporters and community to invest in our business. You can invest a minimum, minimum of 100, maximum of 5,000 for the ultimate goal of a flagship brick and mortar in Zachary. So we can have a location for all of our community and customers to come and see us. So you do get a 12.5 percent interest back over the three years as well as what you initially invested in us. And we've also been in LSU stadium, which is the reason why this is our first year in all LSU stadiums. So we branched out and exploded over those, over this season, over the seasons of all of these sports. Which is why we now need the brick and mortar and we are in this year, we're going to be an LSU as well as Southern stadiums. So the capacity is going to overflow. So we're doing this investment opportunity partnering with honeycomb. 


Harper: And make sure you follow us on Instagram poshpopGP and poshpop.shop


Casey: Hello friends. Hi. As you were looking at our keynote speakers of the Futures Fund, from the Futures Fund, many years. They're actually OG entrepreneurs, y'all. This isn't like a new thing for them. This is, how many years y'all been doing it? 


Bailey: This would be our, we've done it three years and our fourth is February 1st.


Casey: Yeah, so they're already four years deep. So we actually heard from them as well as a young man who's 19 and has a snowball empire at the the last Futures Fund capstone. And these young teenagers are actually opening brick and mortars, like they just said, right? So the snowball stand now just opened their third location on Highland road near LSU. And yeah, that young man is he's killing it and they are killing it. They are part of a movement. It will eventually land on 225 Magazine and the cover and all that. And whatever, that's great. But these are, there's a movement inside of Baton Rouge of 10 to 15, 16 year old entrepreneurs. Another one of the futures fund students, Condoleezza started an aromatherapy pillow company several years ago, came out of the Futures Fund, then went into young entrepreneur awards YEA.  And then start got a distribution deal in China, and they were, she was 15 years old stepping outside of our classes in dealing with, in China, getting all for distribution down, there is a huge movement, and and I constantly say and, by the way, It's in North Baton Rouge in mid city, right? There's this huge push that's happening in the city. So when we're always like saying our sewer system isn't what it needs to be, and this, and this, we are literally, we have a pile of diamonds right in our city and we need to pay attention to young creators from Posh Pop and we have to support it because it can become a movement that people pay attention to around the globe. They, Posh Pop, is one of the things that gets me the most excited to say that I'm from Baton Rouge and they are about to blow up. But just to be very clear, They don't need the claps. They don't need the, Hey, that a boy, right? They need investment right now to get this match. So I know Manny has said he's already stepped to the mic. Manny, why did you invest in Poshpop and why should everybody here invest in Poshpop today?  


Manny: Hey folks. Yeah. I tried the product of course, supporting Pat LeDuff and her family as I've done with other folks as well. And I've enjoyed the product. I gave my feedback to the young women and they took it to heart and improved the product and had it again and again, and I've shared it with other people as well. They've been very receptive in terms of understanding the process and not taking it as a personal hit in any way. It's also a way to get folks involved in understanding the application of stuff in the classroom in the real world, right? When you're thinking about this, whether you're a creative or not getting into this, whether it was a lemonade stand or popcorn or origami, which by the way, I think there's a huge market there for you to start selling origami kits. I forgot the guy that did it a couple of years ago for some of the spark boxes. Do you remember this?  


Casey: Oh, Boo Milton. 


Manny: Yeah, Boo Milton. If Phil did the boxes or something like that for origami for kids to learn. But yeah, it's a way to get creative and also, summer jobs lead to potential ideas or careers, right? Who knew that pickleball would become pickleball, right? You never know which idea picks up and becomes the next billion dollar uniform. 


Pepper: So before we go too far down the investment, because this is a conversation we're going to have, but their mom is also an entrepreneur. So Ebony McAllister, where are you? 


Ebony McCaIlister: I'm here. I am actually Supporting the girls today. Obviously I am an entrepreneur, which has helped me to spark some push in the girls over the last three years, but I did decide that this would be, About Posh Pop and for Posh Pop. And I'm going to respectfully leave my business on the side today and focus all on Posh Pop. So I definitely thank you guys for your support. The girls have been hitting the ground running for the last two weeks in reference to their offering. And because I know that's so important right now, I'm going to bow out. And of course, I'll always come back to the call. But I'm gonna bow out this particular call and let them focus their efforts on Posh Pop, if that's okay.


Pepper: It's okay, but you took away my first question. I was going to ask how is this something that runs in families since we've got parents and kids who are all entrepreneurs on the call today? Felicia, can you let us know what your thoughts are since Ebony's being gracious? 


Felicia: So the question was about the parents involvement. 


Pepper: Correct. Yes. The kids creativity. And the business portion of it. 


Felicia: So I think,  like I was saying before, it's important to find out where your kids are, like what they want. It's not really what I want. I don't want to be like the soccer mom or the football mom pushing my kids towards something that's not in them, but to let them organically find their way. My kids just kept on creating things. I kept missing bread wrappers. I had stale bread because my other, his twin makes a lot of things with found objects. Phil was painting on everything, painting on my furniture. I pull the couch out and there's a whole scene behind my couch where he's made out of glue sticks. So I just believe in letting them find themselves organically and supporting them. And then giving them the other side of that, which is, you can make money doing  and marketing what needs to be marketed and letting them find out, Hey, if you're buying if you sell something, then you need to be able to replace that product that you sold. That's the part we're on now where it's not just me buying everything, but they're buying it with their dollars. So the whole picture but definitely be supportive. And It's not a competition. It is definitely a family thing. It's all of us promoting each other.


Pepper: It sounds very much like it's a way that you can spend more time together as a creative parent with a creative child or children, creative children. For our youngpreneurs, how did you decide on the medium that you're using? How did, Phil, how did you decide on origami of all things? And why popcorn? 


Phil: I can say for my origami, it was during COVID. I was bored and everybody and all the sickness we were inside, everybody was sad and gloomy. So I'm like, okay, let me lighten myself up, so while my teacher was talking about math or science and everything. I searched up lots of things that people do in their free time. One popped up and it said origami. Now I was familiar with this word a few years ago and I never really influenced myself with it because I was already making like paper swords and stuff at that time. But I never really started to fold anything. So once I learned about that, I'm like, okay, let me try something. So I looked up a tutorial about how to make the simplest thing. And it didn't look great. I'll be honest with that. So I told my dad about it and then he got me this origami book. And then I started reading it and I started folding and that's how I started my origami career. I was making origami for the little kids at school. As soon as schools reopened, they were happy. All their teachers were like, wow, you're doing great. You should keep doing this for the kids. They keep cutting up in my class. So you should make them something to calm them down. And I did exactly that. I was there. 


Bailey: So for us, we chose popcorn because Christmas is a fun time. So then again, COVID and it was isolated Christmas because we were just with our immediate family. So we were making Christmas holiday treats and we had, we wanted to do something different this year. So we had pretzel rods and Oreos and chocolate and sprinkles and we were just dipping everything in chocolate and then dipping it in the sprinkle. And that was the treat. Harper wanted to watch a movie. So she popped, she was like, she kept asking. She ended up popping the popcorn. And as we were cleaning the kitchen, I took all the leftover popcorn and the leftover treats that we made or the ingredients. For the treats we made and put it all together. And once we put it all together, we sat down to watch our movie and we started nibbling. I saw my mom. Wow, this is really good. I think we got something. She was like, that's not how it works. COVID is going around, like no, there's no farmers markets or anything, but the popcorn idea came from just a blessing in disguise. It's a simple, like mistake that kind of happened that blew up.


Pepper: So what are the kind of mistakes y'all making over there? 


Bailey: Yeah. A lot.


Harper: Oh, and we're also in all the LSU stadiums. Baseball, peat mat, softball. We're in all the LSU stadiums. We do farmers markets, private parties. And custom events. 

Pepper: There was a comment in the chat about that your intro made us feel like we were on Shark Tank. Have y'all thought about going on Shark Tank or doing any other sorts of, GoFundMe or crowdsourcing or so in order to get money for your endeavors? 


Bailey: So yeah, the Shark Tank idea did come up and around, I want to say the second year, when we first made our second year. So the pitch that we did in the beginning, we came up with that during our first year of business. And it was just we were just saying stuff and kind of end up putting it together into that little Speech, I guess you could say in the shark tank idea did come up. But when we did the research on it, when they were taking people to go on the show, it had closed like the registration and stuff like that. So we did think about it, but after we started to expand and then selling. Almost, everywhere we could, it was on pause. So that's the pitch that we do pretty much in every predicament when we're introducing ourselves. And then as of crowdsourcing, it's just the honeycomb thing right now, as well as cash app. 


Pepper: Phil, are you actively seeking investors in some way as well?


Phil: I'm seeking investors, people that could probably help me with the origami because it's a one man job and I'm folding all day and then my hands could get tired and I'm like, oh, okay, I need some help. So maybe I can have some investors where I can have a class. I can teach people in that class and then if they're good enough then I can invite them to come and help me. Another investor, investors that I'm looking for is to not only spread it, More out there that there's somebody, making things they could probably ask people around the neighborhood if I can fold for them like for their kids or invite me or are they pay me to fold there or any type of event, things where I could just be there to make stuff and then get paid. Then once I'm finally big, then we can expand more. 


Pepper: Indeed, it sounds, I'm sure we've got somebody in here who can help you learn how to scale.  Good.


Casey: There's also Jen Jen in the chat. And I just wanted to make sure and say it so that Phil saw in there that she offered to help set up the Shopify, and I just wanna let you know. Oh yeah, Jen's good, Jen. Good people, man. And as I said, she, so Felicia, Mama Felicia as I said, make sure if you want to connect with Phil and Jen, that would be like a really cool thing to get him up and running. And but there's probably other people to help you scale better than the English writing major in front of you. So I'm going to go ahead and lean back out.  


Pepper: There's also a question in the chat what are the major challenges y'all are facing right now? 


Phil: Ooh.  Okay. Like I said earlier, the major challenge I'm facing right now is just doing all the origami by myself,  but another major challenge I'm facing is trying to find some new ways, like other new origami ways, because, I make hats and dragons and Bigger dragons and swords, but I need to make some other animals. I've been trying to teach myself how to make those and then it would end up going nowhere in the middle and then I would have trouble. Then I have to do all that hard work again,  but that's the struggle for me trying to find something new on paper airplanes. Yeah. That's actually one of the first things that I made. Paper airplanes and then people are like you can make those paper airplanes better. I'm like, how do you do that? So they started like cutting parts off the airplane or they would get a bigger piece of paper and fold more I'm like I didn't know about all this So you just got to teach yourself how to fold different things like the other day I was just trying to fold a kangaroo And there was just it was too complex. And I just gave up on that.  So maybe I'll go back and redo it. 


Pepper: I used to be really good at those things. And it was a junior high school where. 


Phil: Oh yeah. Yeah. Fortune Tellers.


Casey: Pepper, before we go back to Poshpop can I come so business wise, just for a second, Phil, there's all kinds of different ways of, there's three ways to make money, and, scale is definitely one of them saving. Saving costs is another, but you may also want to think about looking into the movement of making your own paper, right? It also comes Morgan on our team is really focused on eco art. And there's a lot of people that make custom paper that they make themselves. And it's an art form in and of itself. And if you're working with custom made paper that you made and you are creating very exquisite pieces then you drift away from the bulk. Challenge, right? And you just charge more for something that's more custom, right? So it's not necessarily about trying to produce 200 to 300 per week. It's about producing whatever amount that you do. That's exquisite. That's more custom. And they can eventually be sold at a higher price point, which I think Felicia can really help you with. That's just another way of thinking about it because more is not always better. And but it can be I just wanted to make sure and lift that up before you went back over to Posh Pop. Thanks, Pepper.


Phil: Yes, sir.


Harper: For us, it's balancing sports, because Bailey does track and I do softball, and school, because we're both straight A students and for Posh Pop, it's probably funding and getting into stores, and one day just putting or popcorn into stores and getting a brick and mortar. 


Pepper: All right, so since we are back to the store, how,  where are you looking, where are you looking at having a store? Are you only looking at doing stadiums? Do you have an idea or you just raising money now and the place will come?  


Bailey: So we do have an idea. It's a location in Zachary that we're that our goal or aim is to be as, because that's where we started. So our first farmer's market, when we first launched was in Zachary and then we branched out as well as the stadiums. So the location I was looking at is in Zachary. 


Pepper: All right. What else do we're, excuse me. So I dropped in the chat, your shop site.  Help me understand what is your process for ordering and. How did you actually stand this up? Because it sounds like Phil needs some help standing up his online. I'm just saying so what sort of, what can you share about your process for becoming an online merchant? 


Bailey: Okay,  so when we first started, were you the two websites that we mainly use are Shopify and Shippo. Shopify is super easy. It's just a make an account feel. You put in some information, your email, phone number and stuff like that. And what you sell in the format of what you sell, it helps you to make your website. So it helps you to make your website to see your analytics of what you're selling what your goal is and things like that. And then we do ship To your door as well. So that's what we use the shippo for. Shippo and Shopify are actually connected. So if you did want to ship feel for out of states or gifts or stuff like that, the shippo can help you look at your customers and it's actually linked to Shopify. So the same customer that ordered one to two bags or three bags or whatever on Shopify will be linked to Shippo with their address and the information they gave you. 


Phil: Got it. Thank you. 


Pepper: Casey, you're off mute. Go ahead. 


Casey: I actually just got choked up for a second, so I had to stop. I'm so proud of y'all. Like we and everyone, by the way, in case you haven't connected the dots, these are the granddaughters of the one and only Pat LeDuff right? And so we've all watched them grow up. We watched them create. And yeah, it's just I'm so proud of y'all. I don't know if everyone who's still on the call really understands what moment you're sharing, what you're observing, where they are on the ground floor right now just I know for a fact, That almost every money source in Baton Rouge turned Todd Graves down. There was one venture capital company that gave him money for the first Canes called Source Capital here. So I want to make sure and say that for the posh pop cats, as you think y'all writing notes down, there is a group here called Source Capital. They're based out of downtown They're a small, they're a small shop. Not many people know them, but they're the ones that invested in raising canes. And as you can imagine. They have made quite a return. And so the idea that you're actually watching their mom build with them in real time, and you're watching this Q& A right now mark this day on your calendar. Because in 15 to 20 years, when you're looking at them on the cover of Forbes, and they're sitting on the island that they bought I said, y'all make sure and know that you were here and you have an opportunity to invest in it. Not to make, just to make money, but that's social capitalism, but do it because they're part of our family. Invest in them today because they are part of our One Rouge fam. I do not own any part of their company, so this is not self serving. I just want, but I will today after I make my investment on the honeycomb challenge. So I just want to say that again. Phil, whenever you're ready to come to market, you can come back on this call and you're going to get a similar cheerleading from me. 


Bailey: I was just going to let Phil know that if you needed to reach out to us for help with your Shopify or Shippo as well, we're free to  since we've been doing.  


Phil: Wow. Thank you everybody for the help. Everybody's helped me. Thank you. 


Pepper: Of course, everybody's helping you. We're family. We all, we got is what somebody told me once. And I have been using that because it amuses me greatly. So talk to me about  Yes, where you at?  


Jasmine: Sorry, it's Jasmine. I'm calling in so I can't put my questions in the chat. And I just tried to text Casey, but I'm not going to get to say this. Tell me at what point should I lean in to ask my questions? 


Pepper: Right now. Ask it now. All right. 


Jasmine: So first I have a comment. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Jasmine from the Baton Rouge Area Youth Network for the ladies who are the young ladies who have the popcorn. There is an opportunity through Four H called Tiger Tank. I can Pepper. If you can share their information with me, I can connect them to Brandy for that opportunity. I don't know if it has already passed for this year or not, but it is. It's very similar to Shark Tank and very similar. So it's like the community pitch with YEA and Shark Tank combined and they go on a regional and state level. They actually tried to get my daughter to do it, that's how I am familiar with it. But I can connect you all to that opportunity for potential investment. And then my question is actually I know mom wants to promote her daughters, and I love that. But for us, potential investors who don't know anything about. They're backing and with them being in school, I am particularly interested in like knowing how strong the entrepreneurial backing and just the the knowledge of entrepreneurship is so even if you don't want to promote your business, if you can pepper, share it with us, because I would like to like, look more into the opportunity. So that's what I want to say.  


Pepper: Fantastic. All right. That's a valid question. All right. Ebony, you coming off mute. 


Ebony: Thank you. Yeah. Pepper and the team as well. And the caller that just called in. In terms of my, my direct background. I have done pharmaceutical sales. Guess most of my professional career has been in health care. So I've done pharmaceutical sales provider relations and then network contracting. All four. Some of the large health networks that we have here in the state, I actually for went my full time position for this company two years ago. So I left my career to put everything that we have into Posh Pop because I believed in it that much. I've also done a wedding planning and interior design for 16 years now. And so that has been my entrepreneur background. So I've done over a thousand weddings and hundreds of houses. So in terms of like product to the market experience, this is brand for us. So just to be able to launch and brand the company. Within three years of an actual food product has been forever learning, right? So I've launched a lot of products. I've sold a lot of products for a lot of top tier companies, but I have never launched anything myself. So for us to be able to launch this company being an accidental company from home and have it to, push forward the way that it has in the last three years has literally been because of networking calls like this because of really on the ground researching and learning about what does it mean to be FDA approved?

What does it mean to be in a commercial kitchen? What does it mean to have appropriate packaging? What does shelf life mean? We were popping. When this accidental business was created, we were literally, Harper popped over in Bakker, we popped the red box on accident, to put these ingredients on top of, so of course going to market, I think Manny spoke about that initially Going to market three years ago, we, our first 1500 bags were sold online. And the only reason why people knew who we were was because the girls were doing videos on Instagram. And I tell them all the time, I wouldn't have even bought popcorn from you on Instagram. I just wouldn't have, I don't know you. I've never heard of you. I don't know how this popcorn is being made, where it's being made. So from the very beginning, I've been very honest with them from the night that Bailey said, mommy, I think we got something. Like she said, I was like, that's cute, but people are dying in the world. And popcorn is probably the last thing that they're thinking of. And so that's just the reality of it. But also in that moment, I said, this is something that you guys want to do. You're going to have to do it. I'm not going to be a momager that holds your hand and say, okay, I'm going to talk for you, or I'm going to speak on your behalf. If this is going to be you, it's going to be all of you and I'm going to support you as a mom, but this is your baby to rock, and so that's what I've done up until this point. And I love what Phillip's mom said earlier, because she's absolutely right. The thing that's been the most impressive for individuals who've never met or who have a chance to encounter Bailey and Harper for the first time is they're pretty blown away by how much of the business that they know. And that's just because from the very beginning, I taught them what I learned in corporate America, what I learned at Southern university. What, What people have poured into me. I didn't say, Oh my God, they're five and 10. I can't give them that much information, excuse me, that much information at once. I said, they're five and 10, they can soak up everything else. They're going to soak up this business. And so I poured into them everything that I knew from a sales perspective, from a marketing perspective, from a brand branding perspective. And it's not that I was a guru at any of this. Every position that I've held. For these fortune 500 companies have been great positions, and I wasn't a director or anything. I was just a really good employee, and I took what I knew and I poured it into a five and 10 year old. And so now they're eight and 13. And when we have opportunities to speak to podcasts, radio stations, print articles, et cetera, anyone in those entities that we have done over the last three years, they'll tell you, I say nothing, everything is a hundred percent them. And when we are on our way to market, even still. We talk and coach, I coached them about this is where we're going. This is how many people are going to be there. This is what you should expect. This is when you'll probably end up taking a break, this is, who's going to tag you out. And we do undergo the challenges, Harper's eight and she worked her own stand at baseball all season, her own kiosk, so I have 50 percent of the parents that are like, Oh my God, she's eight, and the other 50 percent of the parents are like, you go girl. So it's like, it's a, it's this entire process, because it's such uncharted territory, it has been very new, right? So if I had to be, if we had to be gauged on how much experience we have, based on investment or, to push through or follow through with investment, honestly, the experience is not there, right? We have just basically. And met every challenge and anticipating needs and exceeding expectations. And so because we've been able to do that on a consistent basis. Every time all the time, that's how we get to where we are, as quickly as we have. And yes, during the summer where there's no stadium happening, where we don't have as much movement on our website for popcorn because popcorn being shipped is typically a not a summer thing, right? Because we have chocolate in it. So we make most of our shipping our orders for shipping that go out. Most of those happen in the fall and the spring. So it gives the girls the summer to do tracks and softball. And I tell them be regular, do what kids do sleep late, eat, watch Netflix and, eat Posh Pot, which they eat way too much of their own product, but it gives them a chance to be able to do that, but while we're doing that, we're always thinking about what's next. Like we don't want to be a stale brand. We don't want to be a fly by night where, in 20 years, you guys are talking to your grandkids saying, you remember that popcorn company that used to be in Zachary that we don't want that to be us, right? We want to maintain our relevance. We want to always be forever changing. We want to be a brand that people don't expect to look and sound and be and taste the way that it is. So we meet them on every mark. We meet them in presentation. We bring them in professionalism. We meet them in product and we meet them in consistency. And when we've done that over the last three years, we found success in that. And so the brick and mortar piece, we didn't actually think that we were ready for it. We were hey, let's just get through the stadiums. The girls and I talked and, we said if we can get in every college stadium and you talked about canes and that did come up, we were like, every canes is near university. So we don't know their plan. We haven't looked into how they got started, but the idea was if every Cane's is near a university, maybe we should try to get in every university. So if we've nailed LSU and we thought we would go high school, then collegiate. And then pro and it, that's just the way God works. And sometimes you don't have a choice. Most times you don't have a choice, right? So we got LSU first and we were like, OMG, a hundred thousand people coming to football. What is this gonna look like? So now that we've done LSU, we're like, okay, can we do Southern, can we do ul? Can we do Tulane? What else can we do? Can we hit every stadium in LSU? And have Posh Pop in every stadium, right? And then Honeycomb reached out and said, Hey, you guys looking to scale, what's your dream? And then, Harper's I want to make milkshakes. I want to, I want to make milkshakes. I want people to come to my, basically come to my house and see how we do popcorn and, be able to offer more than four flavors. I want them to see every flavor that we have. And so that's when the talks of the brick and mortar came about. And we're, we're good with it. We're flexible with it. We were pushing hard for it. We want it. We have a plan in place. And we'll be doing that simultaneously with looking to expand into other university and stadiums. So I know I said a lot and that was a long way around probably answering that question, but I just wanted to give a little bit of background of how we get here and, and how we maintain what we have and push forward for the future. 


Pepper: Through Mama Posh Pop.


Jasmine: I  appreciate it. I just want to say one more thing to you. Thank you, Ebony, for all you do with your kids, your investment. And I also want to say I'm sorry, character over credentials always. So I wasn't necessarily looking for credentials. But just our understanding of the sustainability plan. So thank you so much for the history and letting us know where y'all are going. I am interested in investing. I have to go to another meeting, but I will follow up with Pepper to see how I invest.  


Ebony: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. 

Jasmine: Thank you. Bye. Bye. 


Pepper: All right. So I looked up the Tiger Tank challenge. Where are the ladies? All right, ladies. What grade are you in when y'all at school? You go to school, EBRPS or? 


Bailey: We're in Zachary, so I'm going to 9th.


Harper: And I'm going to 4th. 


Pepper: Alright we'll come back to that. But Nichola was asking about that and she's our teacher. Dropped off for another meeting as well. And Phil, so you know, there was a, there's an origami dinosaur and this really cool dog with its own leash that is in the chat. Something you might consider. I don't know how big these things are, but it entertains me greatly that the leash stands on its own. Do we have any other questions in the chat? Any questions that aren't in the chat? All right, folks, we've got we're coming towards before we get to community announcements. Y'all have done a lot of talking. I'm going to ask you one more time just to give us your pitch. Let us know what you need, where we can get how we can get it to you and anything else we need to know about contact information. I'm going to ask you to just drop that in the chat as well. You're up. 


Bailey Monet: What's poppin I'm Bailey Monet. 


Harper Juliet: And I'm Harper Juliet. 


Bailey and Harper: And we are Posh Pop!


Bailey: Everyone loves popcorn, right?


Harper: Right.


Bailey and Harper: But let's face it, butter, caramel, and cheddar are just plain BORING! 


Bailey: So what if we could offer you a Posh Upgrade to your popcorn? Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn is a magical mix of all of your favorite treats, 


Bailey and Harper: Such as cookies, pretzels, and candies. 


Bailey: Doesn't that sound good? 


Harper: Yes. 


Bailey and Harper: Great. Because these two sisters are ready to pop your pop. So you tell me who's ready to get a pop in. 

Bailey: And we were going to ask if we could put the direct link to Honeycomb either in the chat or send it to you.


Pepper: Yes, please put it in the chat. I want to say it's in there, but you can never have too many links, drop it, whatever you need. That's what I look, I didn't put any restrictions on this. If you need a ride, if you need people to deliver, if you need somewhere, if you want to drop the investment link if you need books from the lot, I don't care what it is. Let us know so we can, told me to,  so we can get it to you. 


Bailey: Yes, ma'am. 


Pepper: Mr. Hunt, please let us know what you need and how we can support you. 


Phil: Ways you can support me is following my Instagram. It is Blue of Wonders. I'm going to be doing origami tutorials. They're showing off my art and what I can do. Another way you can help is that I'm actually having a meeting afterwards at 11  with one of my One of the investors here, we're going to talk about setting up a website where people can purchase offline and purchase all the origami hats. That I have 


Pepper: Gorgeous. So yes, you as well. And I know I put it in the chat earlier, but please drop your IG, drop your Facebook, your Snapchat, whatever it is, put it in the chat. So we can get to YouTube. How do we subscribe?  Is it just a matter of watching the videos on IG or do we need to do anything so that you can mark it to us after the classes are over? We'll get back.  


Casey: Hey just for a quick thing Phil, in addition to your origami, you said that you also painted the hat that you're wearing right now. Are you doing a lot of clothes? Are you creating a lot of clothing or is that just something that's like a one off for you? 


Phil: Now I'm hopping on that kind of clothing, but not like really t shirts and stuff. You know what? I'm not. Actually, yeah. So not only have I been painting hats, but I've also asked my Nana if she can like put something on a t shirt. We'll have to see about that. That's like another big project that's up there somewhere, but the main thing I can do right now is just paint hats, 


Casey: Hey, I'm going to offer up a different canvas and it's no big deal if it works or if it doesn't work but after 13 years with the walls I'm ready just ceremoniously, take all my sports jackets and go burn them in the front yard. I'm tired of playing dress up. But instead, I actually have a couple of old blazers that I actually want to create into art. And so if you're interested in that as a commission then, maybe even throwing patches or you could, whatever you want to do with it. I'm open to letting you create it and see if it's something that you like. So have your mom hit me up on the side. 


Philip: Yeah. 


Casey: If you're interested. 


Pepper: All right. Thank you all much for being here today. I genuinely appreciate you taking the time on this  Friday morning in the middle of summer because it's a thing that summer is a time to relax and hang out we do have a request so anybody who is or knows an lsu Or southern student that can help work the posh pop stands during the sports seasons so that they've got a little bit more flexibility for their brick and mortar. Please reach out to Posh Pop directly. Is that right, girls? 


Bailey: Yes, ma'am. So you can reach out to us through Instagram for DM, or you can reach out to us on the business number, which is 225 305 9839.


Pepper: Yes, please. Thank you, ladies. Appreciate it. If Mr. Hunt figures out that he really does enjoy this idea of commissioning painting on clothes then perhaps we will come back and we'll have another layer of stream of income for what was it? Filigami


Casey: Yeah. And by the way, thank you to our speakers today. Thank you so much for sharing the space and inspiring us today. Pepper, on behalf of everybody on the call today, and you and Tia that put this together, thank you for giving us something so inspiring and positive this morning. And you should be commended for 60 minutes, giving everyone a break for one hour this morning and not having to talk about the presidential debate last night. What a gift that you just gave to us on Friday today. Thank you so much for bringing these young creators into our energy fields today. I really appreciate it. 


Pepper: We are so happy to have been able to do it. So as an FYI, y'all, today is June 24. Before we, and this is before, this is the announcement. We will not be meeting next week because it is July 5th and most people are gonna be on a long weekend. And, I will be driving. I will not you Manny's beard, but aren't you sick? Like, how are you working and you're sick? I don't understand you. You know what this overachieving it's too much for me. I will be in Baton Rouge next weekend for a little bit. Tis my birthday on Sunday. So if you see me holler at me, cause you know me and otherwise Tia is going to be stepping in and helping out a lot. I'll be out of town available, but mostly not for a lot of the month of July. So please between now and. The next time we spend together, let us know what's going on in Baton Rouge this weekend, y'all say one thing.


Casey: I don't think I'm off on this. I believe Morgan has a birthday coming up as well, but if I'm wrong Morgan, then. Tell me wrong, and then I'll just wish you way in advance. But tonight, Friday at the wall space, Reverend Anderson knows where the wall space is. You can find her part of there Monday through Friday all the time. But at 458 America Street the head of our mobile farm team, Jaquel Curry, is having his first  exhibit debut today. He is one of the most multi fascinating creators inside of the walls. He also taught himself coding through our futures fund program. And his wife with Presence is throwing the art exhibit tonight, 6 to 8 PM, it is free. It is all ages and we are on the corner of St. Charles. In America Street, at least for a couple of more months, and that will be an announcement for another time. But as I said, yes, please come out and support and share community tonight at the wall space from 6 to 8 p.m. 


Pepper: Reverend Anderson.


Reverend Anderson: Good morning, One Rouge. And thank you, Casey, again, because I make Baton Rouge better because you give me that space, that parking space. So let me just say that. Today was wonderful, but I'm asking everybody. I put something in the chat and some of you who follow me know this. We had an amazing young man, La’Brandon Lee who volunteered with the coalition and preach and he died. He was only 20 years old and his homecoming is going to be on Saturday. But I wanted to ask all of those who work with young people and those who don't work with young people to do something. We have lots of children who are amazing and talented as this call showed, but we have children that need people who model for them, who make space for them. One of the things that La’Brandon's mom said that meant so much to me, we honored his service at our in person meeting and we showed her and her family and the community all we had done with this young man. And she shared with us that she didn't think she'd ever seen her son smile or laugh as much as she saw in the pictures. And she didn't know he was capable of doing all the things he was doing  with the coalition. And I have a request. As we keep thinking about children in these very negative ways, particularly children of color, let's stop and think what doors we can open. Are our organizations opening up community service to young people? Are we making space for them? Not just to be in the back rooms, but at the table. And not just the gifted children, and not just the children that we know,  but the children that we need to know. I was blessed to have spent more than 100 hours with this young man. And he made everything about my life better. And I miss him every day. But I want his legacy to be what he gave to me and to the coalition and to this community because we made space for him. And so that's really just what I want to ask anybody who's never thought about offering their organization up as a community service organization, who's never thought about building in opportunities for young people to volunteer in the most unusual places and spaces. So thank you all so much for that. But for me, that is one of the gifts that. I have is that I like to model as most of behind the scenes, I do the work. 99 percent of what I do is behind the scenes. And this young man just gave me so much. So thank you. 


Pepper: Oh, Jesus. Reverend Anderson. When you said I like to model, the first thing I saw was you in my head on a catwalk. Please. I'm gonna need you to be more specific with your language because I can't on the Fridays. I cannot. 


Reverend Anderson: I did not mean to put that vision in your head. I'm so sorry, Pepper. 


Pepper: All right. Thank you. Yes. I'm too sexy.  Anyways, I'm so sorry. Thank you all so much for the Thank you all so much for spending your time with me. I really do appreciate it. You know how much it means to me on the Friday mornings that we start our day and our weekends together. Thank you to our guests this morning for taking the time and for putting all their information in the chat. Hopefully we have gotten some investors from the community. I will be looking at I'm sure y'all have something that you can, that I can read and what the investment looks like, where it goes. Do I get a share? Do I just get free popcorn? I don't know what's happening, but we are going to wait. We got a thing from Phil. What's going on, Mr. Hunt. All right. We're stalling.


Phil:  Wait one second.


Pepper: Okay. 


Phil: Yes, we also have their popcorn right here. 


Pepper: Stop it. Entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs. That's what was amazing.


Phil:  Hey look caramel is the best. Okay, it's at its best.


Casey: I like that cookies and cream element that like creeps around. Those are spicy ones too. Yeah. Yeah. 


Manny Patole: What if they had  origami things in the Posh Box. 


Pepper: Yeah. Ooh.  Like a little tag on top. 


Casey: What'd you say? What'd you say, Manny? 


Pepper: We got some cross pollination going on. 


Manny: Like in your cereal boxes, you just get the hidden toy. 


Casey: I was gonna say, like Cracker Jack style, right? Yeah. Ooh. 


Manny: And then you collect a series. 


Casey: Or you make them to, I always think, 'cause I have to buy all the company's insurance. I always think about like risk assessment. You could make edible little edible ones, which would be fascinating. Or little origami ones would be pretty, pretty incredible. A little limited series origamis, yeah. 


Manny: Rice paper Organic. 


Casey: Ooh, look at that right there. Whoa.


Pepper: No, we can sit here another five minutes and brainstorm how to expand on these businesses, how to scale tis up to you. 


Casey: But Bailey and Harper are like, please no more ideas. We already have  locations opening. 

Pepper: Thank you all so much. If you have to drop off, we'll go ahead and leave this in overtime. And we will see you on July 12th. 


Bailey: Thank you.  


Phil: Thank you so much. 


Casey: I cannot express the level of joy that this just brought, especially given like getting to watch. These are humans that have watched me grow up but also I've watched them grow up. It's cool. What's up, Marcela?  


Marcela Hernandez: I was in a mandatory  meeting and as soon as we finished, I said, let me log back into our One Rouge meeting because I just could not leave this meeting without saying thank you. Thanks. Everyone for coming on a Saturday. We had such a successful event, but it was because of people like you guys. Our event, our efforts, everything that we do, it will be impossible without the support of our friends, our allies, our families. So I just really wanted to take a minute to say thank you to everyone who came. I understand those who are not able to come. And I just want to say really from the deepest, the most sincere part of my heart. Thank you. Our community showed up and they were so thankful to our community partners with a huge amount of information that was shared.  I just, I don't know. I just want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank  you. 


Casey: Congratulations. That was like, that event was legit. It was legit. Like y'all it was, there's something beautiful about things when they're grassroots level, right? Like you can't, you can never replicate that in your backyard, literally where y'all are at this, but that was just such an elevation. Of the previous years. And it was impressive. Like it doesn't matter what city that was happening in, that was an impressive event. And. Absolutely per capita, the most joyous human beings in one concentrated place that I have been around in a really long time. And none of us really, a lot of us didn't know each other. So it was just a cool hang. I was thankful to see Bakery Connect. Manny was there. A lot of the community partners, of course, Reverend Anderson was in the front row. And Miss Marcela, y'all conducted such a great program. The music was fantastic. The food  Absolutely. No surprise. Amazing. And, I guess I don't want to lose credibility because I feel like all I've been doing is saying nice things today. So someone just bring up Governor Landry's name and I'll make sure and give the other side of my personality, but Marcela, well done. Well done.


Manny: It was, after two long weeks of, one step forward, two steps back, it was the best way to probably send myself away from Baton Rouge. Out of all the things that were happening, the amount of love that was shared during the event and People that were there genuinely helping each other out. I think Reverend Anderson also made a great point of, bye Philip. Have a great day. That was really interesting was Why aren't we having more summer events indoors in spaces that are unoccupied, right? More people were able to come out and maybe not pass out and have a place where they can use the facilities or just sit it you know made sense. So it was great. I also brought cash because I was expecting to pay for food and the fact that everything was  free was amazing. So I'll send some after party donation. But no, it was a great event just seeing everyone there that was able to show up and participate. I was there as a table set up for Bakery, but a lot of it was more about me than anything else. And it was just wonderful, like it was basically almost like a One Rouge party in real life. You mentioned that while we were saying that, because it was like me, it was Casey, it was Reverend Anderson, Lynn Daigel.


Casey: Jennifer Carlisle, Alexis.


Manny: Alfredo was there. There were some others like Dauda was also, you two were both on stage all the time, so I didn't get to say goodbye to you before I left, but no, it was a wonderful experience. And I wish more people saw that as what does it mean to be an immigrant in this country, rather than the news that other people like to portray. Thank you. And the community and life that people bring to, to make these lands a better place. 


Marcela: Thank you. And that's the reason why we do this because people have such a horrible  narratives against immigrants. And a lot of people, most of the people who have those perceptions are simply because They don't know who we are. They don't really know who we are as human beings. So the World Refugee and Immigrant Day allow us to share those traditions, our cultures, with other people and show them, educate them. So I just want to really say thank you and, thank you for coming and showing solidarity, showing love to us. And I can't wait to continue working with you guys. I just, I'm so thankful with you guys. So please, you know that you got my back as well. If you need me for anything, I am right here. If you guys want to come and now share with our summer campers, we just started summer camp this week as well. So we got 55 kids registered. We've got 12 countries recognized so far. We'll see what happens next week as the other campers come. But yes, if you think can help you in any project in any way. Please text me, let me know. I'll be more than happy to support your efforts as well. And let's keep on working really hard to make sure we have a safe city, a safe state that is embracing and welcoming of everyone, regardless of where they're coming from, the color of their skin, their socioeconomic status, anything that we have a place that really promotes love and safety.


Casey: You know, if I can build on first of all, you're welcome. And pleasure is like truly all of ours to support people that are so genuine and authentic as you are, Marcela. So it's easy for people to do that. Maybe he's got a really good point. It's just going to keep getting hotter during the summer. And we experimented this year with that, with moving our Juneteenth event in Dallas to an indoor space that was not as big as the river center. Yeah, I'm sorry. It was bigger than the River Center space we were in for the immigrant day. And it was a huge risk because it felt intimidating. But it's not, it's just a space, right? And so the idea of creating a freedom week, right? With a Juneteenth celebration on the Saturday and the following week with you all with your event, and you actually create that as freedom across the board and with pride on the following Saturday. I think that there's an opportunity to actually market Juneteenth. World Immigrant Day and Pride Festival all at the same time, because here's the secret, the walls was nothing at all in the first two years, other than all supporting everybody else's rights, supporting dialogue on race, Louisiana Alliance, Capital City Alliance for LGBTQ,  I'm sorry, at the time, LGB. It was just LGB rights at the time. And we built our following by supporting other people's things, and they supported us, and it created an ecosystem around that. If you take everybody who's around the margins of Baton Rouge, that's greater than the whole. That actually shows up. And there is a power, there's a power if we just understand, just like the book and the movie Origin, this is not, we're, it's not always about race. It's a caste system. We are locked in a caste system in America, and the only way to break it apart is to unite from the bottom. And the good news is, the 99 percent of us are all at the bottom. Come on down with the rest of us. And I just believe that there's a power in numbers there, Marcela, that I would love to explore, because we want to bring our Juneteenth model with partners. Other partners, the African American Museum, and other folks that are already doing things in Juneteenth into the River Center. So I would love to have that conversation about all three of those events being at the same place and creating a frequency. Manny, it's a really good idea. Thanks for being here.


Marcela: Let's start brainstorming now. We've got one year to, haha, to organize.  


Casey: And we could, the idea of all the health care people coming into the river center on a quarterly basis, we could actually put that in the middle of the week, right? Like on, whenever it doesn't fall with Juneteenth, the proper day, we could have all the health care people and create a huge resource fair at the river center and actually have that part of it, financial freedom, right? Economic freedom, social freedom. If we can just build in this moment in overtime.


Manny: Yeah, let's I would be happy to join on that conversation if you need some additional ideas there. I think also to the point that was made earlier this summer about the summer camps is that we only plan for stuff, the week before the fact that we're talking about it now to get it a year ahead to make it a thing. I, if you bring it in as a I think if you tie it into the four freedoms though, the ones from Roosevelt and stuff like that about. And how do you connect that to history? How do you connect that to what's going on now? There are a lot of people who are on the first and they're the ones who didn't show up at the event, right? The ones that say they're supporters the Instagram with the little filters, but they're not able to, but they're also some of them, I think are opposers and I'll say that out loud. But I think there's a lot of the folks that did show up. I would have loved to shown up. Have they. Had understood that it was an indoor event, right? Maybe, they could have probably loved to have been inside and sharing all that food and meeting all those new peoples and learning from all those cultures, right? The hall of countries, which is what I like to call those two tables or three tables where people are going by and seeing the food and the garb and the culture was great learning experience. But I like that the resource fair as well to make that as part of it. And it's a good opportunity for folks to sign up for the public assistance programs that they may not think they're eligible for maybe seeing the immunization naturalization attorneys that are there and set up like drop in hours for  Learning any legal issues that they're experiencing, so on and so forth. I did not know that EBR Libraries, which I got this little guy from, has a small business librarian. Did you know this, Casey?  The fact that there's a woman there who can answer questions for those folks who are trying to set up those businesses, part of that American dream, right? So those things that are there. So  I think it's definitely something worth exploring. 


Casey: Love it. Thank y'all for the time. I realized I'm late for my nine 45. I appreciate Thank you. Good people. Thank you, Marcela. We'll talk later. Receive big hugs for me. 


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