The City of Jackson Sponsors Six New Chamber Members
As a Community Champion Level Member of the Chamber, the City of Jackson has committed to sponsoring six Chamber Memberships for the next year. Jackson’s City Manager, Jonathan Greene, recently sat down with three of the six business owners whose Memberships they will be sponsoring. From businesses that have been with Jackson for over one hundred years, to startups that are just setting up their brick-and-mortar storefronts. Of the six, Peggy Russell (Peggy’s Custom Floral Designs), SharRonnie Garrett (SharRonnie Garrett Photography), and Latoya Smith (First Crown Hair & Beauty) met Jonathan Greene at City Hall to share a bit of background on what their businesses have to offer.
Peggy Russell, founder of Peggy’s Custom Floral Designs, specializes in silk floral arrangements. Her passion began when she created her own floral arrangements for her wedding. Then, during her 30-year career at Macy’s, she created arrangements for clients. Upon her and her husband’s retirement, Peggy decided it was finally time to pursue her longtime dream. After many thoughts and many prayers, she’s recently started her business and has even secured a spot in the Jackson Crossing Mall.
Like Peggy, SharRonnie Garrett has also been working on a storefront of her own, which she is in the process of remodeling. As the owner of SharRonnie Garrett Photography, she specializes in family and senior photos. She says kids are her niche, as she shoots a lot of milestone photos and birthdays. Some of her clients have stuck with her since their newborn shoot, continuously coming back to document each milestone. In her new studio, which she is remodeling with her husband, she is excited to have a creative space to play around. Even at public events, SharRonnie likes to pop in to shoot some photos for her portfolio. She has been spending the past couple of years continuously practicing and perfecting her art, and with the help of her mentor, Miame Jarrett, she has been able to find her own style. SharRonnie shared that her family never did any sort of photoshoots or portraits growing up, and she wished she had those photos to look back on. Now, as a business owner, she aims to reach people who can’t afford nice family photos and provide a service to them that is affordable.
Unlike Peggy, who started her business after retirement, or SharRonnie, whose hobby turned into her career, Latoya Smith founded her business when she was homeless. First Crown Hair & Beauty consists of all-natural skin and hair care products that Latoya makes herself. Many of the everyday products we use contain harsh chemicals and toxins, which, in the long run, can be harmful to our health. She uses a variety of natural ingredients, like avocado and coconut oil, all of which she uses on herself and her kids to ensure that she feels safe giving it to a customer. Some of her products include calming agents, like lavender, which help calm and relax your senses. She even shared that her lavender products help her kids sleep. She currently works the occasional pop-up shop and hopes to have a website to sell her products online soon.
In response to talking with each business owner, Jonathan explained that in his role as City Manager that, “We want to improve people’s lives. The City belongs to the people; I get to make it happen.” Investing in local businesses and helping new business owners get their businesses off the ground is a great way for the City to play a part in Jackson’s economic development. Both the Chamber and the City of Jackson are excited for what’s to come for these businesses in the coming year.