For Immediate Release
October, 2021
Person of Contact: Patrick Snyder, Executive Director
Phone: (414) 973-2334
Event Link:

Local Business Owners Shiquita Mann and Pierre Epalle Among Others to be Recognized at the BizStarts Event Celebrating Entrepreneurs on November 16th
Celebration honors dignitaries and startups in annual event at the Italian Community Center

MILWAUKEE (October 2021) – Entrepreneurism is alive and well in Southeast Wisconsin. Two local
business owners making an impact on their communities are Shiquita Mann, owner of Blossom Candles
and Pierre Epalle, owner of EcoClean. Each is being honored at the 7th annual BizStarts Hall of Fame
Celebration as Inspirational Entrepreneurs at the Italian Community Center on Tuesday, November 16th.

Each of these business owners has excellent stories to tell. Highlights include:

Shiquita Mann – Blossom Candles – Shiquita’s adventure started as a small candle company but soon
grew with the help of hard work, networking and some mentoring from John Florsheim of Weyco Group, one of this year’s Hall of Fame Honorees. Shiquita recently sold a large order of 200 candles and was picked up by Outpost retail outlets. With increases in revenue and customers, Shiquita has hired employees, making Blossom Candles a viable business with a positive economic impact on the

“Being recognized as a black woman in business is so empowering not just for myself but for my
daughter and every other woman / little girl who looks like me.” – Shaquita Mann
Shiquita Mann can be reached at:
Phone: 262.299.7555

Pierre Epalle – EcoClean – Pierre’s business began as a modest side-hustle, cleaning and detailing cars.
Soon, Pierre was expanding his business to commercial cleaning while featuring environmentally safe
products. Eventually, Pierre is considering leaving his full-time job to concentrate on EcoClean.
“The BizStarts program helped me think more strategically and develop a more in-depth understanding
of my customer’s needs, enhance my marketing strategy, gain additional customers, know my numbers
better, and increase revenues.” – Pierre Epalle.

Pierre Epalle can be reached at:
Phone: 414.364.6798

Shiquita and Pierre are two of this year’s Inspirational Entrepreneurs who hope to one day be listed as
Honorees. This year’s theme, “Dancing with the Start-Ups”, will showcase established business-people
along with aspiring entrepreneurs. The full list includes:

Hall of Fame Honorees:

  • Lou and Louie Gentine – Sargento Foods Inc.
  • Tom and John Florsheim – Weyco Group
  • Wayne Oldenburg – Oldenburg Group
  • Pastor Robert Pyles – McPyles
  • Paul Woelbing – Carma Labs
  • David Hatch – Hatco

Inspirational Entrepreneurs:

  • Keyah Bennett – Melanin Girls Heal Inc.
  • CaBeatrice Hart – Mystic Phoenix Art
  • Shiquita Mann – Blossom Candles
  • Monica Hubbard – Wingtique
  • Latia Ference – Love is Patient
  • Pierre Epalle – EcoClean

Information on the Hall of Fame event can be found here:

About BizStarts: Innovation. Disruption. Venture capital. These might be the terms that come to mind
when you think about entrepreneurship. But the normal model of entrepreneurship—requiring a lot of
education, capital and resources—is only one part of the startup story.

Equally important to Wisconsin’s economic well-being are the aspiring small business owners. Their goal is not to disrupt an entire industry or develop a revolutionary new technology but rather to make a
living and create opportunities and jobs in neighborhoods where options are limited. BizStarts has
turned its focus towards those entrepreneurs. Nearly 70% of BizStarts clients live in low-income areas,
and few can rely on family or friends for connections to the broader business community for
professional services, mentoring or guidance. BizStarts uniquely provides those resources free of charge.