Rego Park resident Courtney Wiggins is one of four women entrepreneurs of color selected this year Bank of America Small Business Focus Program Displays and sells her products at the Winter Village Holiday Store in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
Wiggins is the owner and artisan of Black’s own brand, charming pharmacist, creating small batches of holistic body products, from face and body oils to cleansing deodorants. Her unique scent combinations and products are designed to evoke the senses with floral, citrus and earthy notes.
As a beneficiary of this year’s Bank of America Small Business Spotlight Program, Wiggins will be selling her products at the Winter Village Holiday Shops’ rent-free booth through November 10. 13. Shoppers can visit The Winsome Apothecary booth on weekdays from 11am to 8pm The Small Business Spotlight booth is located near the fountain, near Bryant Park’s 41st Street and 6th Avenue entrances.
For Wiggins, she said, it was a great opportunity to showcase her brand and interact with other suppliers.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of this group of women entrepreneurs of color, and being able to build relationships with them is invaluable, and I’m so grateful for that,” Wiggins said. “Most importantly, I’m also able to Talking directly to my clients and getting to know them, they also get to know me and my brand. I am grateful to Bank of America for this opportunity to expand my reach and brand.”
Offering local entrepreneurs and businesses the opportunity to reach new customers in one of the city’s top winter shopping destinations, Bank of America pays store rent and coordinates store capital.
Last year, about 170 holiday stores, including four Small Business Spotlight vendors, generated about $30 million in sales this season.
“Small businesses are an integral part of New York City’s economy, and their growth and success positively impacts New Yorkers and local communities across the five boroughs,” said Bank of America President Jose Tavares in New York City. “Given the success of the past few years, we look forward to continuing to elevate local entrepreneurs with free access to the Small Business Spotlight holiday store space. This year’s selection joins a group of 13 other minority-owned small business owners in New York City network, and these businesses have benefited from the program since we launched it in 2020.”
Small businesses in New York City continue to grapple with the devastating impact of the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority businesses.
According to Bank of America’s 2022 Women and Minority Business Owners Spotlight, 59% of female business owners say they have to work harder to achieve the same level of success as men, with less than half (48%) saying that They currently have equal access to capital.
Designed to empower business owners by addressing the many inequalities and barriers to success that women and minority businesses often face, such as access to capital and resources, Small Business Spotlight will help drive economic growth and opportunity for these local entrepreneurs.
According to Wiggins, she first learned about the BOA Small Business Spotlight program shared on a message board by a member of the NY Handmade Collective, in which a group of artisans, such as herself, create products and share insights into local handmade products. love.
“I’m so glad I decided to apply. I was on vacation with my family when I got the call. I remember being really happy. I didn’t even tell my family before we got back to New York and I wanted to make sure that It’s true,” Wiggins said. “Once I realized it was true, I started to feel how huge the opportunity was.”
Wiggins has been working on creating her own essential oils and healing products, but she never saw it as a business opportunity. In 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic that will bring change and destruction to millions, Wiggins has created his own happiness.
“Winsome Apothecary was born out of creativity, necessity and my desire to bring the love I feel to others,” Wiggins said. “I want people to feel good and attractive when using my product.”
Wiggins’ homemade products include body creams and face oils, ranging in price from $25 to $30; coconut oil body scrub ($30), perfumed oil ($20), calming balm ($16), and a range of four Cleansing Deodorant with Ingredients ($10.50). She plans to release new products in 2023, including a hand cream for dogs, as well as a cranberry scrub and jasmine deodorant for the face.
As a small business owner, Wiggins has faced obstacles along the way, and says she’s still tackling challenges.
“Starting a business is something I’ve never done before on this scale. However, I was able to find resources online and I have a great business mentor, BOA and other banks provide very helpful educational resources for small businesses, ‘ said Wiggins. “It’s also about reading and listening to podcasts and making mistakes.”
Wiggins’ advice to those considering starting their own small business: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and be open to trying new things.
“You have to get out of this, accept the situation you don’t know, be open to learning and trying, and if it works, great. If it doesn’t, then turn,” Wiggins said. “That’s one of the things that helped me a lot – not being stuck with one idea, being open to everything, just trying it out and doing what you can.”