Starting a business is no easy task, a challenge that LaShonda Johnson knows all too well. Better known as Ask Shonda, the Black female entrepreneur has been through the struggles of building a start-up with zero experience or connections. Still, Shonda has a vision in mind, not only for herself but also for a community of budding entrepreneurs.
While social media marketing and traditional advertising works for most brands, Ask Shonda believes that they are not the only promotional ways start-up entrepreneurs should abide by. As the founder of Hustlers Expo Events Inc., Shonda understands the power of showcasing products and services upfront and directly to consumers. By organizing nationwide pop-up shop events, the entrepreneur is uplifting an entire circle of start-up entrepreneurs, striving to make their marks in the industry.
Hustlers Expo Events Inc. was created to help start-up entrepreneurs showcase their products and services from one city to another. Ask Shonda and her team put together small business owners and allow them to build relationships with each other, network among like-minded people, gain organic traffic and followers, meet new customers, and ultimately, increase sales. With every pop-up shop event organized by Hustlers Expo, Shonda plays a pivotal role for entrepreneurs struggling to compete with big-name brands.
Before founding Hustlers Expo Events Inc., Ask Shonda started her own hair company called 360impressionz LLC. Unfortunately, the business failed, and the entrepreneur realized that she lacked one vital support system: a mentor. Since then, Shonda has corrected many of her mistakes and is now on a mission to guide aspiring business owners by providing them with a platform for their brands. “I feel that I create an impact on every city I pop up to by bringing 20-40+ small black-owned businesses together under one venue, working together bringing awareness to the small businesses that wanted to give up and did all they thought they could for their small business,” Ask Shonda said.
Furthermore, Ask Shonda argues that pop-up shop events bring more success than social media marketing alone. While the medium reaches broad audiences worldwide, social media impressions and reactions do not necessarily translate directly to sales. The entrepreneur also stressed that not every customer on the market is social media-friendly.
“Yes, social media plays a huge part in most big and small companies, but social media is not the only way to bring awareness to your small business, and one of those ways is Hustlers Expo pop-up shop events,” said Ask Shonda.
Additionally, as Hustlers Expo Events Inc. is built by a Black Female entrepreneur, it provides people of color with a new avenue to promote their small businesses. Ask Shonda understands that start-up entrepreneurs do not have the necessary credit line and are not granted loans right away. Hence, Hustlers Expo provides a temporary setting for entrepreneurs to join—no contract, no rent, no utilities, and no LLC is required for one merchant to become part of the growing community.
Hustlers Expo Events Inc. will also continually promote the brands and businesses that joined its community. “When you register to be a vendor with Hustlers Expo Events Inc., you’re tied to Hustlers Expo for life! We don’t delete pictures, videos, or any promotional material, so anyone visiting our website or social media pages will continue to be looked upon,” said Ask Shonda.
Besides being a business consultant and CEO of Hustlers Expo Events Inc., Ask Shonda is also a graphic designer, brand builder, online and offline business start-up mentor, logo designer, website consultant, and is well-versed with business branding. To add to her impressive list of qualifications, Shonda is also a credit repair specialist. Asked what her motto is when it comes to entrepreneurship, she shared, “Hustle Hard Like Your Lyfe Depends On It!”To learn more about Hustlers Expo Events Inc., visit its website.