Judge Derrick Dash, Orangeburg County chief magistrate, has known Evelyn Haye-Primus owner of Creative Expressions and Gifts for 14 years.
Over that span of time, the former colleagues at Elloree Elementary School have continued to support each other in their professional endeavors.
Dash was one of several friends of Primus who nominated her to receive recognition as Entrepreneur of the Year during the 5th annual People’s Choice Awards.
Competing in a pool of 25 business owners across the nation who advanced to the second and final round of voting, Primus is the only participant in the Palmetto State.
Voting for the award sponsored by Business Owners’ Idea Cafe has already begun and ends on Jan. 15.
Business Owners’ Idea Cafe is an online business networking website started in 1995 by Francie Marks Ward.
Both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have touted the website as a reputable source for small business owners.
“Evelyn is a hard-working individual,” Dash said. “She personalized several books and clocks for our family and she is known to go out of her way to satisfy the needs of her patrons; she is the epitome of what hard works signifies.”
Since launching her business in 2010, by turning her garage into a specialty gift shop and with the help of $3,000 microloan from New America Corp., a community development organization in the state, the South Carolina State University graduate continues to garner new orders and has expanded her loyal consumer base.
Elizabeth Lee-Crawford, vice president of production at Crawford Legacy Development in Lexington, said she nominated Primus because “she is one of the best in the creative and personalized gifts sector. Her expertise in personalized coffee cups, gift basket and floral arrangements is superb.”
Primus, a retired school educator of 27 years, was also the 2014 grand prize winner of the Black Enterprise Small Business University powered by AARP.
Now with her sights set on the award as entrepreneur of the year, Primus said winning would be about bringing more recognition to the county.
“My purpose is never about me,” Primus said. “It’s about being a light to others by encouraging them to follow their dreams whatever they may be and generating more business opportunities to our area.”
To cast your vote, visit businessownersideacafe.com/awards/2014/voting/company/CreativeExpressionsGifts
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