Date ArticleType
10/14/2020 Member News

Celebrating Nine Women Making History at the St. Peterburg Pier

St. Petersburg, Florida – One Saturday, October 17th from 6 to 7 pm, the One Community Plan team will welcome friends and family for a socially distant champagne toast and celebration of nine women making history as the first African American business collective to operate at one of Pinellas County’s major tourist attractions (the new St. Petersburg Pier). 

For most of the 9 entrepreneurs, this is a first opportunity to have a standing retail outlet, thanks to the funding support of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the City of St. Petersburg and community contributions. For 3 of the entrepreneurs, the Pier expands their business to 2+ retail outlets.


The one-hour gathering will recognize partners as well, during brief remarks by emcee St. Pete City Councilmember Deborah Figgs-Sanders and St. Pete Area Chamber President Chris Steinocher, with a prayer of blessing by Pastor Louis Murphy, Sr. of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. The historicity of the venture will be rendered by Rev. Watson Haynes, CEO of Pinellas County Urban League. 

Hors d'oeuvres will be served, courtesy of Helena Josephs, Island Flavors and Tings (one of the 9 retailers occupying the stall). A second retailer – Keisha Long-Watson, InSparkleMe – will speak about the importance of the new stall to her firm. Just in time for the ceremony, a creative makeover is being spearheded by the mother and daughter co-owner team of the Switching Up Styles boutique - Catelia Yorker and Samolia Simmons

The 9 Participating Entrepreneurs 

  • Beatrice V. Morris, Owner, Virgini-Contour Eyewear Accessories (fashionable eyeglass frames & shades) 
  • Consuelo Mackey-Perry, Owner, Tabatha Exquisite Touch (hair care products & more) 
  • Helena Josephs, Island Flavors and Tings (Jamaican rum cake and mango bread, and catering services available) 
  • Keisha Long-Watson, Owner, InSparkleMe (custom apparel)
  • Renee Edwards, CEO, Skin Kandii (all-natural skin care products)  
  • Safrone Presley, Owner, Glow Up Body Oils and Saffron’s Gourmet (line of gourmet island sauces)  
  • Tahisia Scantling, CEO, Diesel Dog Apparel 
  • Tanisha Scantling-Williams, Owner & Operator, Agape Soles Shoetique (shoes for all seasons)
  • Toni Gallardo, CEO, Lounge Apparel (kimonos) 


Unique Facets of the 1Pier Project 


  • 1Pier is part of a larger equity initiative called the One Community Plan, a 10-year economic growth plan devoted to “growing the paychecks, bank accounts and balance sheets of African Americans in St. Petersburg.” One Community was created by the same team that fielded the successful 7-year 2020 Plan to reduce poverty by 30% in South St. Petersburg by the year 2020 (the most recent Census data show 45% black poverty reduction in St. Pete since 2014). 
  • 1Pier is a social enterprise concept designed to invest in participating retailers’ growth by covering roughly 70% of the total cost of operating the stall during its first two years. Each participating retailer contributes a monthly space-sharing fee, along with inventory investments, marketing support and at least five hours of volunteer time per month to staff the stall. The enterprise is led by Tahisia Scantling, CEO of Crossroad Consulting and Chair of the One Community Business Network and Esther Eugene, CEO of All Administrative Solutions and Interim Operations Director for One Community. 
  • 1Pier is financially supported by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and the City of St. Petersburg through funding to The 2020 Plan, which covers the cost of two part-time retail associates as well as merchandising and supplies. City of St. Petersburg Urban Affairs Director Nikki Capehart coordinates City support for the effort.