Black Enterprise 2012 Small Business Award Winners

Small Business is Big Business

The BE Next Award is given to fearless entrepreneurs ages 21 to 35 who are tapped to be future business leaders.

Teman Evans and Teran Evans
New York City
Twins Teman and Teran Evans studied architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and upon graduating in 2004 launched their design company, DIOSCURI. Their high-gloss wooden bracelets, known as the Fruit Salad collection, were listed among Oprah’s favorite things. This garnered the duo shelf space in 200 stores around the globe.

DIOSCURI has evolved to specialize in the realms of interior and jewelry design along with brand consulting. The 32-year-old brothers did roughly $750,000 in revenues in 2011 and project to reach $1 million for 2012.

The twins are currently in negotiations for a reality TV series showcasing the behind-the-scenes aspects of their business. “We also have an upcoming meeting with Beverly Johnson to discuss how we might collaborate,” Teman says.

The Teenpreneur Award is given to entrepreneurs age 19 or younger committed to the tradition of black business achievement.

Amber Liggett
Amber’s Amazing Animal Balloons, Beaver, PA
Amber’s Amazing Animal Balloons was born when Amber received a balloon kit for Christmas from her grandparents at age 9. Today, the 16-year-old Liggett operates a business that entertains youngsters at birthday parties and corporate events. Within her creative skill set, partygoers enjoy creating balloon animals and shapes, face painting, making sand and spin art, applying temporary gel tattoos, and storytelling. Liggett even provides “balloons to go,” which are custom decorations pre-made and sold as takeout orders. Her revenues topped $5,500 in 2011.

Liggett is now looking to grow the business and is thinking about new offerings. “Not only am I in the process of adding party packages to my repertoire, I am training other young people to work with me,” she says.