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Chamber Up | A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs Championing Small Business Success



Elton Hollis, III and Joe Tant team up for a program highlighting small businesses and fostering their growth in the local community.

In today’s fast-paced and often impersonal world, it’s refreshing to stumble upon a story that reminds us of the power of community, friendship, and giving back. Meet Elton Hollis, III and Joe Tant: two entrepreneurs with a shared vision of uplifting local businesses through their innovative “Chamber Up” Program. United by their passion for small businesses and their belief in the principle of doing for others, they’ve created a platform that’s making a real difference in their corner of the world.

The Chamber Up program partners with local chambers of commerce to highlight their members, no matter the size, and does so free of charge. The idea is to help businesses that might not have a massive marketing budget gain exposure, and in turn, thrive. Hollis and Tant recognize the importance of supporting small businesses, not only for the benefit of the business owners themselves, but also for the local economy. In fact, small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of the economy, contributing to job creation and innovation.

The roots of Chamber Up can be traced back to “Small Business Friday,” a weekly radio program Hollis and Tant started in 2019. The show, now a podcast, serves as a platform for small business owners to promote themselves and share advice. With over 3.7 million viewers and a presence on Spotify and 10 other social media sites, the program has become a go-to resource for entrepreneurs.

The dynamic duo behind Chamber Up is quite the pair. Joe Tant, a staunch advocate for small businesses and equitable access to resources, is the Vice President of Finance, Administration, and Education at The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, among other roles. Elton Hollis, III, a respected expert in business growth, safety, and training, is the owner of Hol-Tech Resources, LLC, and the General Manager of RT Technical Solutions LLC.

Tant and Hollis both bring impressive credentials to the table. Joe Tant holds a Business Law and Human Resource Management Degree from Cornell University, as well as a Bachelors of Business Administration and Marketing from Baylor University. Elton Hollis, III boasts 26 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Construction field, providing Consulting, Training, Executive Coaching, and all facets of Safety Management and Compliance services to clients in the Industrial, Commercial, and Small Business industries.

What sets Chamber Up apart is the genuine care and interest Hollis and Tant show for each business they work with. They’re not just in it for the publicity or the accolades; they’re in it because they believe in the power of small businesses to shape communities and change lives. And they’re more than willing to lend their expertise, resources, and connections to help others succeed.

Both Hollis and Tant have had their fair share of successes and recognitions in their respective fields. Elton Hollis, III has been featured on the cover of various magazines such as Global Millionaire Magazine, InLife International, and Global Elite Entrepreneur. He was also named in the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in Texas by the VT Post and received the 2022 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics Award for Microbusiness. Moreover, Hollis has published two books, “Creative Problem Solving” and “Buy Into Yourself First,” which outline successful business development tactics.

Joe Tant, on the other hand, has devoted his career to advocating for small businesses, making a name for himself as the voice of small businesses in the area. Tant currently sits on several boards and utilizes the “Small Business Friday” podcast with cohost Elton Hollis to amplify the voices of small business owners. He is also a dedicated father of three daughters, Brooke, Ariana, and Jacelyn, and a proud owner of a yellow lab named Coffee.

One of the ways Chamber Up encourages support for small businesses is through regular events and partnerships. They’re teaming up with Atmosphere, a marketing platform, to promote events in Southeast Texas that drive economic growth. Some of the upcoming events include the Southeast Texas Industrial Contractors Golf Tournament on October 6th, 2023, and the Chamber Up Program with the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and the Sour Lake Chamber of Commerce.

And they have a simple yet powerful message for people who want to support small businesses: Shop locally and commit to doing one small thing for a favored business each week. It could be as simple as making a purchase, writing a review, or giving the business a shout-out on social media. Supporting small businesses each week will not only give you peace of mind but will help the owners and the economy.

Hollis and Tant are shining examples of what can happen when people come together to create something bigger than themselves. The Chamber Up program is not just about promoting businesses; it’s about cultivating a community where entrepreneurs can support one another, share their stories, and grow together. By working with local chambers of commerce, they foster an environment where small businesses can access the resources, advice, and networks that will help them prosper.

The “Small Business Friday!” podcast, which forms the foundation of the Chamber Up program, is a treasure trove of valuable insights for entrepreneurs. Featuring interviews with local business owners, experts, and advocates, the podcast delves into a wide range of topics, from marketing and finance to management and growth strategies. With each episode, Hollis and Tant continue to build a strong community of small business supporters and inspire others to join their cause.

In addition to their work with Chamber Up, both Hollis and Tant are also deeply involved in various philanthropic and community-building activities. For instance, Elton Hollis, III is a co-founder of the Golden Triangle Industrial Group and Vice Chairperson for the Contractors Business Development Group, both of which aim to promote business growth by providing project information to local companies. Meanwhile, Joe Tant serves as the Executive Director of The Port Arthur Education Foundation and the Managing Partner of Southeast Texas Business Referral Group, further demonstrating his commitment to the betterment of the community.

In their personal lives, both Hollis and Tant are dedicated to their families and hobbies. Elton Hollis, III enjoys exploring the Texas Hill Country on hiking trails and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He’s even written a song titled “Kirbyville,” which describes his youth growing up in small-town Texas and how it relates to his life now. Joe Tant, a loving father and dog owner, also cherishes the moments spent with his family and friends.

The Chamber Up program is a testament to the power of collaboration, community, and the human spirit. By dedicating themselves to the success of small businesses, Elton Hollis, III and Joe Tant have created a lasting impact that will continue to resonate for years to come.

To learn more about Chamber Up and the “Small Business Friday!” podcast, check out the following links:


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Hype Clash Agency Rides the Wave of Social Media Influence



Hype Clash / Marketing Agency

The neon lights of Times Square flicker as Travis Minks, founder of Hype Clash Agency, steps out of a yellow cab. He’s just wrapped up another marathon strategy session, his mind still buzzing with hashtags and engagement rates. Welcome to the world of influencer marketing, where likes are currency and trends change faster than New York minute.

Hype Clash burst onto the scene in 2022, riding the wave of a grant that helped them develop their secret weapon: a proprietary platform boasting 270 million influencers. “It was like hitting the jackpot,” Minks grins, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Suddenly, we had this goldmine of data at our fingertips. It was go time.”

But let’s rewind a bit. Picture this: a cramped office, whiteboards covered in scribbles, and a team fueled by dreams and way too much coffee. That’s where Hype Clash was born. “We were total noobs,” laughs one of the first employees. “But we had this crazy idea that we could shake up the influencer game. And you know what? We kinda did.”

Fast forward to today, and Hype Clash is managing a cool $100 million in marketing budgets. Not too shabby for a company that’s barely old enough to order a drink, right? But in the world of viral trends and fleeting fame, three years might as well be a lifetime.

Just ask Jake, a prominent TikTok personality. “One day you’re blowing up, the next you’re yesterday’s news,” he shrugs, idly scrolling through his phone. “But these Hype Clash folks? They’ve got their finger on the pulse. They know what’s gonna pop before it even bubbles.”

Hype Clash’s approach is a three-act play that would make Shakespeare proud. Act One: Define objectives and scout talent. Act Two: Strategize and execute. Act Three: Track results and optimize. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But as any marketer worth their salt will tell you, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

“It’s like herding cats,” chuckles a brand manager who’s collaborated with Hype Clash. “Except the cats are all Instagram influencers with their own agendas. But somehow, Hype Clash makes it work. It’s kinda magical, to be honest.”

And work it does, from the hipster cafes of Brooklyn to the sun-soaked beaches of Rio. Hype Clash has gone global. They’re like the United Nations of content creation, bringing brands and influencers together in a kumbaya of sponsored posts and story takeovers.

Travis Minks / Hype Clash Agency

But it’s not all about the big fish in this pond. Minks leans in, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper. “You wanna know what really gets me jazzed? The little guys. We once ran this campaign for a mom-and-pop business in Queens. Next thing you know, they’ve got lines out the door. That’s the good stuff right there.”

Of course, in this game, it’s not just about the warm fuzzies. It’s about cold, hard cash. And that’s where Hype Clash’s platform comes in clutch. It’s not just a fancy Rolodex; it’s a one-stop shop for everything from influencer discovery to getting that bread. “It’s like Tinder, but for brands and influencers,” quips one user. “And hopefully with less ghosting.”

But let’s keep it real for a sec. The influencer marketing world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and agencies like Hype Clash are always hustling to stay ahead of the game. “It’s exhausting,” admits one team member, dark circles under their eyes betraying late nights crunching numbers. “But man, when a campaign goes viral? It’s better than any high.”

As the sun dips below the Manhattan skyline, casting long shadows across the Hype Clash office, the grind continues. Phones buzz with notifications, laptops glow in the dimming light, and somewhere, an influencer is crafting the perfect caption for a product that might just break the internet.

In this concrete jungle where dreams are made, Hype Clash is carving out its own little empire. They’re not just riding the wave of influencer marketing; they’re making waves of their own. And in an industry where the only constant is change, that’s saying something.

So, what’s next for Hype Clash? Minks leans back in his chair, a mischievous glint in his eye. “We’re just getting started,” he says, tapping his temple. “The best is yet to come. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeve that are gonna make the industry go ‘Whoa!'”

In the meantime, brands and influencers keep flocking to Hype Clash like moths to a flame, drawn by the promise of that sweet, sweet viral magic. And in the city that never sleeps, Hype Clash keeps burning the midnight oil, ready for whatever curveball the digital world throws their way next.

As night falls on the Big Apple, Minks steps out onto the street, the city’s energy pulsing around him. A notification pings on his phone – another campaign just went live. He smiles to himself. In the world of influencer marketing, there’s no rest for the wicked. But then again, who needs sleep when you’re living the dream?

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Atelier des Sens | Embodying Emotion and Elegance in Every Bottle



Atelier des Sens

Atelier des Sens, a brainchild of Andrei Vlad, the accomplished perfume artist and CEO, has redefined the essence of haute perfumery. Roots planted in the sun-drenched landscape of Grasse, the South of France, this perfume sanctuary is more than just a fragrance-making haven. Each carefully crafted scent is an elixir that transports you beyond the realm of the ordinary, weaving narratives of ancient mythology and modern artistry into an intimate olfactory journey.

The fragrances of Atelier des Sens are more than formulas; they are exquisite blends inspired by timeless tales, ancient lore, and the divine power of mythological gods. Each scent is a vortex that connects epochs, a bridge built of aromatic notes that guides the soul through a dance of shadow and light. When experienced, these fragrances whisper tales of regal sovereignty and embody an aromatic kingdom of allure that lingers in the memory of the beholder.

In its commitment to conscientious craftsmanship, Atelier des Sens dedicates itself to a sustainable approach to perfumery. Premium ingredients are sourced in harmony with nature, promoting transparency that traces the journey from soil to scent. This carefully considered approach not only enriches the olfactory experience but also stands as a testament to the atelier’s commitment to preserving our environment.

Atelier des Sens brings to life Andrei Vlad’s vision of creating fragrances with stories that capture the imagination. The artistry extends beyond perfume creation to engage fragrance appreciators, forming a mosaic of shared experiences that evoke deep emotions and immortal memories. This collaborative essence lies at the heart of Atelier des Sens, blending the dreams of perfume artists with those of their discerning clientele into a unique aromatic treasure.

On the horizon, Atelier des Sens introduces three inaugural fragrances: Zino, Rozzo, and Spiros. Each perfume, contained in an elegant bottle, is an olfactory masterpiece. Zino, inspired by the Aegean Sea, enclaves the scent of tobacco, honey, white flowers, and cherry. Rozzo is an ode to the duality of existence, capturing a lingering kiss with notes of peach, oud, and roses. Spiros evokes life’s joyous moments with a comforting blend of watermelon, amber, vanilla, amberwood, and cinnamon. These are crafted for those in search of exceptional and rare perfumes, bringing the charm of Grasse perfumery to the digital age.

This year, Atelier des Sens is set to debut at Beauty World 2024 in Dubai, one of the most prestigious beauty and fragrance exhibitions worldwide, spotlighting their dedication to sustainable perfumery and meticulous craftsmanship.

Join Atelier des Sens on a sensory journey that transcends mere perfume discovery. Embrace a voyage that encapsulates emotions, moments of joy, and olfactory memories designed to last a lifetime. Visit Atelier des Sens through their website and follow their Instagram to be a part of this world where emotions and fragrances constantly unfold.

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Army Veteran, Ray Ferguson, Helps Military Entrepreneurs Transition into Business World



Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ray Ferguson, Founder and Owner of Boots in Business

After serving in the U.S. Army for 29 years, Ray Ferguson turned his entrepreneurial passion and expertise into a platform for supporting transitioning military personnel. Through an initiative known as “Boots in Business”, Ferguson guides military veterans to channel their unique skills into prosperous careers in the realm of business and real estate.

Ferguson, who retired in 2017, brings considerable life experience to his current role, having served deployments in Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. During his stint in the Army, he also spent considerable time in academic settings, teaching at Officer Candidate School, Command & General Staff College, and Lincoln University ROTC Program.

His stellar service record in the military is paralleled by his achievements in the business arena. As the 2024 incoming President of the Southern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Ferguson has been recognized as the 2022 Business Person of the Year both in Petersburg, VA, and by the SOVA Chamber. His entrepreneurial acumen ranges from real estate development to mentoring over 125 business owners and real estate investors.

Among his notable undertakings in the business world, Ferguson spearheaded more than 100 live and in-person real estate meetings between 2017 and 2024, witnessing a growing membership of over 1,500 individuals. As a real estate developer, he successfully flipped over 50 properties while still on active duty or retired.

Today, Ferguson is utilizing his experiences and leveraging the power of digital media to reach and enrich the entrepreneurial journeys of military personnel across the globe. Through the Boots in Business initiative, services like podcasts, blogs, and courses are offered, equipping military members with the skills to transition confidently into the business sphere.

Ferguson’s current projects include the Boot Camp: Real Estate Investing Basics Course and the Basic Training: Entrepreneurship Course, set to be completed by June 2022. He also plans to launch a subscription-based Community Networking group offering weekly real estate and entrepreneurship webinars, in-depth Q&As, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Customers are already applauding the initiative’s effectiveness. Anna Barlow, a realtor, asserts that “Boots in Business is tailored for military members, empowering you with the knowledge and tools to succeed in real estate investing.”

With a mission to aid the smooth transition of military brothers and sisters into the civilian business world, Ferguson’s endeavor seems poised to shape the future of military entrepreneurship.

To learn more, you can engage with the project through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Spotify.

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