Continuing a Family Tradition
Cea Green loves parties. She started helping friends and family plan events when she was young and quickly realized it was something she was passionate about. In 2012, she planned her own wedding and saved the linens and other items as inventory to start her own special events business. In 2015, Cea started Diamonds & Pearls Special Events, offering planning and rental services for weddings, parties, and special events.
In 2019, the business received an FFE-funded grant through Local Initiatives Support Corporation to make improvements to the 3-n-1 Service Stop building where it’s located. She installed overhead doors, removed trees, repaired asphalt, installed gutters, and added new signage to the building.
“It’s helped my business be more recognized and cleaned up an eyesore in the neighborhood,” Mrs. Green said of the storefront improvements. “People feel more freely to come in, look at displays, and spend time in our office now.”
Diamonds & Pearls Special Events was also able to take advantage of a Technical Assistance Grant and a Small Business Grant through the City of Kalamazoo’s Business Development Fund. The support was used to install a point-of sale system, for a website and marketing materials, and some office furnishings.
“It’s a really true blessing and I’m very appreciative of this support to help make my dreams come true. A lot of people tell me they don’t believe it until they see what's being done on that corner.”
Entrepreneurship runs in Cea ’s Family. Her parents first became business owners in 1968, and when they built the 3-n-1 Service Stop on N Westnedge in 1996, she joined the family business with her three brothers. She worked with her mother in the candy store that was where Diamonds & Pearls is now located. Her brothers and father ran an auto repair business and car wash out of the building’s three bays.
Cea is continuing the family tradition, with her mother and daughter as the other two employees at Diamonds & Pearls. Her three brothers are also business owners or entrepreneurs.
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