2 Dayton-area businesses featured in social media gift guide

Credit: Submitted Photos

Credit: Submitted Photos

Two Dayton-area businesses, JaeLuxe Shoetique and Simply Savory by Rachel, are featured in Meta’s holiday gift guide. Meta Platforms Inc. is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

“This holiday season don’t just buy gifts. Buy gifts with impact,” Meta wrote in an article announcing the gift guide. “Find new inspiration for your holiday shopping in our 2022 Smalliday Showcase — unique gift ideas from diverse small businesses in the Meta Boost Leaders Network.”

JaeLuxe, a shoe, clothing and accessory retailer at The Greene Town Center, 78 Magnolia Lane in Beavercreek, debuted online in May 2014.

April Hancock, owner of JaeLuxe, said she started her business when she was pregnant with her daughter.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“It really kind of started off as like a second stream of income to give me a little bit of time before I had to go back to work and then it actually continued to grow and it just took off,” Hancock said.

When she first started, her business solely carried shoes because it was an item she would search for whenever she traveled to a new state. Hancock said she eventually expanded to clothing and accessories and then opened her brick-and-mortar location in 2017.

Hancock is a Chicago native, but her husband is from the Dayton area. She says it is important for her business to give back to the Dayton community.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

JaeLuxe features a variety of items not typically found at your local retail store. From a variety of puffer jackets to a sequin jogger set, you can find a little bit of everything.

“We really cater to our customers and really make them feel like it’s more of an experience and not just you come in and spend money,” Hancock said.

She told Dayton.com her favorite part of having a small business is letting her daughter grow up in the store.

“This is something that I’m going to pass down to her when she’s of age,” Hancock said. “I just love the fact that I’m creating generational wealth for her.”

Dayton entrepreneur Rachel Blanks, owner of Simply Savory by Rachel, said one of her favorite parts of owning a small business is being an example to her daughters and students.

“It’s more than just seasonings and spices,” she said. “It’s this whole idea of having my students looking up to me, having my children looking up to me … and them seeing that this is something that they can do.”

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

In addition to owning a business, Blanks is a fourth-grade teacher in the Dayton Public Schools.

She told Dayton.com Simply Savory by Rachel officially was born in 2019, but her requests for recipes and seasonings had started years before when she was living in Tallahassee, Florida. It was there where she said she had a weekly cooking segment called Whip it up Wednesdays with the Domestic Diva on a local TV station.

When she and her husband were married in 2011, they gave all of their guests a vial of her multipurpose seasoning and had even more requests then.

She said her plans to release her seasoning blend were put on hold after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Her first blend released was the “Gem City Blend,” a multipurpose blend of herbs and spices for poultry, veggies, beef, pork or seafood. She now has several other blends including the Churrasco Blend and Cajun Lagniappe.

“They’re inspired by things that I cook, flavors that I like and just different experiences,” Blanks said.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

She explained cooking is second nature and she enjoys seeing how people react to her food.

“I wanted everybody to have that same feeling of being able to have that success. Cooking shouldn’t be a secret society,” Blanks said. “A few shakes is all it takes and your food will taste great.”

Simply Savory by Rachel also is available at Gem City Market on Salem Avenue in Dayton.

This is the first gift guide to feature both entrepreneurs. Each business has a code in the gift guide for customers to receive a percentage off their order. Simply Savory by Rachel also is giving customers a mini-cookbook when they use the special code. To view the gift guide, click here.

For more information about JaeLuxe Shoetique, visit www.jaeluxe.com or the business’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

For more information about Simply Savory by Rachel, visit www.simplysavorybyrachel.com or the business’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

About the Author