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INDIANAPOLIS — It's been 7 years in the making for S.H.E.
What began as a weekend involving a few girlfriends getting together sharing business ideas has turned into an emporium of ladies creating a marketplace for their merchandise and creating their own jobs.
S.H.E. stands for "She Has Everything." The event is held three times a year around Indianapolis specifically the first weekend in April, August, and December. The event also encourages kids to also set-up shop and sell their products.
13-year-old Alaya Gaudiaby creates her own bracelets and accessories under the name Bintou's Bracelets. They sell for $6 to $7 dollars a piece.
"I just want to be my own boss," Gaudiaby said. "I wanted to have control over what I wanted to do and not be run by somebody else."
The latest event was held at the Avondale Meadows YMCA located at 3908 Meadows Drive.
The facility was packed with vendors from Indianapolis, Atlanta, Georgia, and other cities.
The event is not only selling items, it’s also about networking. Women are encouraged to start a buddy system and serve as mentors to others who may need the help or may want to team up. Katina Washington is the remaining founder and organizer of an event that currently has a waiting list of more than 100 women.
"There are jobs being created here at the S.H.E. event every time," Washington said. "There are individuals here who hand-make their items and I tell them, 'Hey you need to come be a vendor.' We guide them through their LLC and all that information to run their business legitimately."
Vickie Adams has made it a point to set up shop at S.H.E. events, building her brand and back-up plan should the economy sour. Adams sells handmade bracelets under the name Jewelz by LadyKupcakes.
"I do work a full-time job with the industry today you never know what's going to happen and nothing's promised so you always have to have something to back yourself up and it’s a great way to network with the community and encourage other entrepreneurs," Adams said.
Another big component of the gathering is to award scholarships to young people at every S.H.E. event. Two young people received $500 each to use for school. In December 2018, two scholarships for $1,500 were handed out and in August 2018, another pair of kids received $1,500 each.
The next S.H.E. event is set for August 3 at Lafayette Square Mall.