Credits to Citizen Newspaper Group. Original article here.
By Tia Carol Jones
Wysonia Payton has reinvested herself a lot over the course of her life. After working as a hairstylist for 25 years, she decided she wanted to go into catering with Decadent Flavors. Decadent Flavors has been around for eight years, and Payton calls it her “new baby.” When she was younger, she loved cooking and even thought about going to culinary school while, she continued to work as a hairstylist.
Payton’s parents used to take her to the Illinois State Fair. She loved the mini donuts. She thought about bringing those kinds of treats – mini donuts and funnel cakes – to people’s events. She did her research and found an open market in live dessert stations at events. She started off small, doing corporate events and weddings.
Payton bought her food truck in 2019. She didn’t have a roadmap or blueprint. She had friends who owned food trucks. It took a lot of research and searching for information, especially for being a licensed food truck business in Chicago. Chicago has a reputation for being one of the hardest places to get a food truck license.
Decadent Flavors participates in food truck festivals and has participated in the Taste of Chicago and the Chriskindlmarket. She also participates in events in Indiana. According to Ibis World, the food truck industry is a $1 billion industry. Payton said she more than tripled her income working in the food truck industry.
Payton wanted to help other entrepreneurs become more knowledgeable in the mobile entertainment industry. It led her to create the Mobile Entertainment Summit. The one-day event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 30th, at Level K Events, 110 E. 23rd St. “I feel like my purpose is to help myself and other entrepreneurs become more knowledgeable in the industry and fully live,” she said.
Payton, who has always been an entrepreneur, knows the struggles of entrepreneurship and starting a new business. She wants to provide a roadmap for other entrepreneurs, so they don’t have to figure things out on their own.
People who attend will learn how to start a business in the mobile entertainment industry such as a cigar truck, food truck, game truck, and spa truck. They will learn the benefits of starting a mobile entertainment business and how to choose a lucrative niche. They will also learn about start-up costs and finance options. Guests also will be able to see what the trucks look like and walk through the trucks.
“I want people to be able to visualize starting their businesses, kind of like going to look at a new home. I’m a touch it, see it, taste it type of person. So, I want people to visualize their new business and also be able to ask whatever questions they want to ask about getting started,” she said.
Payton said the event is for people who have a career and are looking to do something else, someone who is a caterer or hair stylist and is looking to put their business on wheels or expand their business, or people who are looking for an extra stream of income.
Payton sees her company becoming a million-dollar business, then hopefully a billion-dollar company. For more information about the Mobile Entertainment Industry Summit, visit bit.ly/mobileentertainmentsummit.