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Four black entrepreneurs to open Pause, an 'alternative wellness space,' on Short Vine

Posted at 7:31 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 10:38:39-05

CINCINNATI — A group of four black entrepreneurs will open up shop Friday in Corryville under one Short Vine Street roof. Their goal is in the name of the shared space: They want to encourage their customers to Pause.

All four of their businesses focus on wellness, entrepreneur Erikka Gray explained Wednesday. She owns District 78, where she sells handmade candles in scents “that make you think about relaxing or being on vacation,” she said.

Her partners are all about relaxation, too. Diamyn Rembert owns Diamyn’s Crystal Bar; Lolitha Perry owns Perfect Touch Helps massage parlor; Tim Harris owns Matunda Juicery.

“You can come into our space, get a candle, you can get some juice, a massage, plants, and you can get crystals and energy readings,” Gray said. “We really want you to come in and just take some time for yourself.” 

The quartet shares more than a business focus. According to Gray, they had all also struggled to find enough capital to open up permanent locations. It’s a common problem for minority business owners, who often have to fight harder and longer to accumulate the resources they need to start up.

Cincinnati’s minority business accelerator MORTAR was created to solve that problem. MORTAR brought Gray, Harris, Rembert and Perry together and helped them secure their Short Vine location.

Gray said it’s been a fruitful partnership. She’s excited to welcome Pause’s first customers at its grand opening Friday 4-9 p.m.

“We all have our own strengths, we are all really particular and great at certain things, so we allow each other to thrive in those ways,” she said of her partners. “And the way our businesses flow together, it’s really kind of a natural progress for us.”