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Tulsa's Friendship Church highlights Black entrepreneurs

Tristen's Craft and Specialty Store
Posted at 4:27 PM, Feb 23, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa church is celebrating Black History Month by shining the spotlight on Black entrepreneurs. Senior Pastor Jamaal Dyer says Friendship Church is not only showcasing business owners but also inspiring the next generation.

“There is a vast amount of things that our community has, and so it’s beautiful for us to tell the story especially for the church to be the ones to share that information,” Dyer said.

Tristen Lark owns Tristen’s Craft and Specialty Store on Brookside. She says creativity is in her blood.

“I know I love it, because even when I’m done here, I go home and still want to make something,” Lark said.

She has had her shop for the last two years.

“It’s a total dream,” Lark said. “I never thought in one million years that I would have a store and not only that but on Brookside.”

Her business started with a request from a friend about five years ago for a custom bag. Now t-shirts, tumblers and jewelry round out her business model.

“I love to see people’s faces when I give it to them,” said Lark. “They’re always so excited.”

As she set up for a painting class, another offering from her shop, she told me her role as a Black woman business owner is to set an example for the next generation letting them know anything is possible.

“To come in here and see me, it lets them know that they can do it too,” said Lark.

Lark is a member of Friendship Church. She’s one of nearly 30 business owners Senior Pastor Jamaal Dyer is highlighting this month. It’ll culminate in the 2nd Buy Black Expo.

“Tulsa, Oklahoma is full of Black history continuously, and I believe it is our responsibility as the church and community at large to lift our voices and to tell our stories our way," Dyer said.

He said along with celebrating and supporting business owners, it’s also about showing the next generation the possibilities are endless.

“Seeing is believing,” Dyer said. “With them seeing these entrepreneurs they can have the hope and desire to one day become an entrepreneur.”

The Buy Black Expo will take place at Friendship Church on Sunday, Feb. 26 from noon to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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