When Syreeta Hutchins accepted a job in North Carolina, the couple had to relocate, and she never imagined she’d find herself in the party rental business. What started as a side hustle of renting chairs for events, turned into the adventure of a lifetime. There wasn’t a local place where people could rent all they needed for parties and celebrations, so in 2018 Pomp Posh opened with the mission to help people throw the best event possible.
Pomp Posh covers all types of celebrations – from weddings and birthdays to corporate events and video shoots and commercials. The COVID-19 pandemic brought celebrations to a screeching halt. Hutchinson shares that, “For us, 2020 was a gift and a curse. Literally the whole world closed and with that, events closed. We cater to large gatherings and if you can’t gather, then we can’t do anything.”
Hutchins said there was a lot of improvising and a lot of planning to see how they could service their clients through different avenues, enter drive-by events. “We started getting calls to help people set up their driveways and sidewalks,” she said. “That allowed us to simply keep the lights on in our warehouse.”
Even though events weren’t happening, Pomp Posh still had overhead, and as Hutchins said, they had to keep the lights on. She was helping someone set up for an event when a Kinetic employee mentioned the Black Business Support Fund (BBSF). “This grant helped us pay our rent on the warehouse, and allowed us to free up cash flow to purchase new inventory which in turn helped with the needs of our clients,” Hutchins said. “That grant money was god-send because we were literally in over our heads on how we were going to pay our rent and still get items to cater to our customers' needs. Clients were doing small, in-home events and we needed to purchase smaller tables and chairs to cater to those gatherings.”
Hutchins said that events have picked back up and Pomp Posh is thriving. She sees many clients every day at her warehouse and thanks to Kinetic high-speed internet, she’s able to stay connected on her phone or laptop anywhere she’s serving clients. “We have a huge online presence and I have to stay connected,” she said. “I don’t use a traditional desktop in the showroom, I have a laptop. I’m able to be in the warehouse and have a customer with me and we can do orders right there – no matter where I am in the building, I’m always connected.”
Though 2020 was tough, Hutchins and her team got innovative and continued Pomp Posh successfully. So successful in fact that Hutchins was recently able to quit her full-time job and focus solely on Pomp Posh. Her advice for other business owners out there? “Stay the course. Don’t let anything get you down,” she said. A recent Harvard Review article revealed that 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses. That’s compared to just 10% of white women, and 15% of white men.
Kinetic is proud to support Black-owned businesses like Pomp Posh and many others. The BBSF has helped Black-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by donating more than $125,000 in grants.
If you're a Black-owned business in the Lexington, Kentucky, area, the Charlotte, North Carolina, area or if your business is located in Kinetic’s service area of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania or New York, click here to see if you qualify and apply. Stay tuned this month for more highlights from our BBSF awardees as we celebrate Black Business Month.