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Tau Theta Chapter of AKA sorority hosts entrepreneur panel as one of many “Skee Week” events

The Category: Big Koin$, I’m the Boss entrepreneur panel provided Stevenson students an opportunity to learn more about becoming a business owner
Maya Townsend
President Kayla Boykin and Vice President Kayla Hunter of Tau Theta Chapter, alongside business panelists Roy Cox and Dominic Snipes of Enidan Enterprises LLC & Anytime Fitness, Trinity Bonner of Infinity Lashes, and Jordan Robinson of Jrobcutz LLC.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, junior Stevenson student Joelle Gaines embarked on an entrepreneurial journey. She crafted and sold her distinctive handmade reversible and adjustable bonnets, leveraging the sewing skills she has honed since the age of 9. 

Gaines’ story is one of resilience and perseverance, as she grappled with the hurdles of continuing her small business amid uncertain times. Over the past few years, she has faced the uphill battle of maintaining consistency and rebranding her venture. 

“I started in 2020. However, I haven’t been as consistent,” Gaines said. “I would just like to learn to be more consistent.” 

However, a turning point in Gaines’ journey took place Oct. 25, when she found herself in the audience of an entrepreneur panel at Stevenson, hosted by the Timeless Tau Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. 

Gaines listened to the panelists’ inspiring stories and gained invaluable insights into business success. The event also ignited her determination to achieve her goals and aspirations. 

“I enjoyed hearing the advice of pushing through the fear of starting and when working through any adversity,” Gaines said. “Learning about the different questions to ask yourself when establishing your business and when restarting.” 

The “Category: Big Koin$, I’m The Boss” entrepreneur panel was one of five events during the Tau Theta chapter’s Skee Week (Oct. 23-27), aligning with their mission to build economic wealth. 

“I think it went extremely well. One day I want to own my very own business and become my own boss so there was a lot of valuable information I myself even took from the discussion,” said senior Kayla Boykin, president of the Timeless Tau Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and facilitator of the panel. 

The panel featured three business owners: Roy Cox, the proprietor of Enidan Enterprises LLC and Anytime Fitness; Trinity Bonner, owner of Infinity Lashes and an Airbnb Host; and Jordan Robinson, founder of Jrobcutz LLC. 

The panel delved into the panelists’ business experiences including the start of new ventures, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, understanding clients and competitors, pricing, effective marketing, consistency, rebranding, seizing opportunities, and knowing what sets you apart from those within your niche. 

“I believe it is always good to talk to other people who are going through similar things… Each panelist said some key points which I will take and apply to my company,” said senior Dominic Snipes, managerial intern for Enidan Enterprises LLC and Anytime Gym, accompanying Cox. 

Apart from his internship, Snipes is developing a landscaping business, learning from his own consistency challenges to improve when he launches it officially. 

“Business started to pick up the past summer but then went on vacation… it was a real hit, but I used it as a learning lesson,” Snipes said. “[I] plan to open an LLC once I have my prices set… everything will be in order to officially start.” 

In addition to the entrepreneur panel, Tau Theta chapter’s Skee Week ‘23 featured Beyoncé’s Renaissance Album-themed events like “Sweet Moments Like This” Table on Monday, their Pink Table Talk mental health seminar on Tuesday, a Talk on Ableism on Thursday, and a Breast Cancer Awareness Box Drive lasting through Saturday. 

Every event throughout the week highlighted each of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s prime initiatives of strengthening sisterhood, building economic wealth, empowering families, and advocating for social justice. 

“We hope for these events to be fun,” said Boykin. “Have a good time and you can learn more about the sorority that way” 

Every Skee Week event offered Stevenson students learning opportunities, but the entrepreneur panel was the spark that reignited Gaines’ business drive. 

“I received wonderful advice from the panelists,” said Gaines. “This event here has definitely helped me to learn the way of just going about business.” 

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