ALBUQUERQUE, NM — For this year’s June 19 celebrations, the city of Albuquerque brought together several Black-owned businesses.
Aleitress Smith, owner of Aleitress Moblie Restroom, said she took a leap of faith last year to start a new business.
“So I had to close a business during the pandemic, unfortunately, but it really gave me the opportunity to be a serious entrepreneur and really try to come up with a different concept,” Smith said.
Its different concept is that of high-end mobile toilets that people can rent for events. At today’s June 19 celebration, she says they were a big hit.
“So we started doing parks and different things and skating outside, and we kind of moved to being mobile and putting our roller rink in different places, and doing these kinds of fun events,” said Malcom Shelby, owner of Throwbacks Mobile. Skating.
Much like Smith, Shelby has created a booming business during the pandemic. He was a full time banker looking for something fun to do when everything was closed so he started his own mobile ice rink which is now his full time business.
They say representing their community year-round as business owners is even more rewarding.
“You know, that’s been a really good thing as a black business owner because I’ve had a lot of feedback from young kids who aren’t always exposed to a business owner who looks like them,” said Shelby.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans after the Civil War. This year’s theme was healing and unification, and the celebrations will continue until 8 p.m. at the Civic Plaza.