From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) and the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) announced the “Alabama Small Business of the Year” and “Emerging Small Business of the Year” award winners during the CCAA-BCA annual meeting on Friday at The Harbert Center in Birmingham.
Winners were awarded at three levels, which included gold, silver and bronze awards in four different categories: Emerging business, and businesses with 1-10 employees, 11-50 employees and 51-100 employees.
In the Emerging category, the Bronze Award recipient was West Avenue Boutique, located at 410 Main Street in Trussville. The Gold Award recipient was Rack and Reel Sports Grill, LLC, located in Camden. MRaine Industries, LLC, located in Autaugaville, was recognized with the Silver Award.
West Avenue Boutique was started in downtown Trussville only a couple of years ago. While attending high school, Ashlyn West worked for a local arts and crafts business on Main Street. One day, a 10’x10’ space within the business became available. This young entrepreneur saw the potential in that small, empty room to open the business that she had dreamed of. In March 2016, she remodeled, decorated, and stocked the small boutique using the money in her own personal savings account she had saved as a child. She found her own suppliers, shopped for clothes that appealed to sense of style, then used the balance of her savings to purchase inventory to begin her new business. For the first four months, she was the only employee of her little enterprise. But within those four months, the boutique outgrew its location, and by July of that year, she had moved her business into a standalone location on Main Street. Last year, the business expanded yet again and now occupies a 2,400 square foot building on Main Street. Depending on the season, she now has up to five employees on staff.