Thursday July 15, 2021 | 2 a.m
Felicia Parker made gift baskets for her mother, a real estate agent, to give to clients.
The baskets were so well received that it wasn’t long before Parker decided to turn his basketry skills into a business, Any Occasion Baskets.
That was about six years ago.
On Tuesday night at Allegiant Stadium, Any Occasion Baskets was recognized as the winner of a small business competition co-sponsored by the Las Vegas Raiders and America First Credit Union.
As the winner of the contest – there were seven finalists from a pool of 160 contestants – Parker will get a one-season Raiders sponsorship package valued at $ 100,000, including signage inside Allegiant Stadium. , radio ads, and placement on the team’s website and mobile app.
Parker was posting a photo of one of the company’s finished baskets on Instagram in March when she spotted a notice on his feed announcing the competition for businesses in Nevada or Utah with annual revenues of less than $ 10 million. of dollars.
âI thought I should apply for it,â Parker said. âI just said, ‘Lord, please let me win.’ … I don’t know the chances I gave myself. I was just praying to win.
Entrants were required to submit business documents for the competition. Once the finalists were selected, they met with leaders of the Raiders and America First online.
In a statement, Raiders president Marc Badain said the team is proud to support local entrepreneurs.
âThe Small Business Showcase offers local businesses like this year’s deserving winner an important opportunity to be successful in achieving their goals,â said Badain.
Any Occasion Baskets has three employees and offers gift baskets for any occasion a customer can imagine, from baby showers to birthdays to “just because,” according to its website. Gift baskets and packages start at around $ 30 and can go up to several hundred dollars.
The company, Parker said, has prepared baskets containing everything from a barbecue starter kit to meats and cheeses and even baby diapers. Parker said she previously delivered a gift basket with adult diapers.
She said she wanted the company to offer gifts that were different from the traditional bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine.
Parker says she is grateful for winning the contest and hopes to continue giving back to the Las Vegas community as her business continues to grow.
âIt was nerve-wracking, but so exciting to be able to go from round to round,â Parker said. âMy dad has always been a Raiders fan so he was so excited. I think he was a bit shocked.
Parker’s mother Jacquelyn Brown was also visibly excited when Any Occasion Baskets were announced as the winner at Tuesday’s event, which was held in the Shift4 Club area of ââAllegiant Stadium.
âIt’s so awesome to see. I remember when it was announced that the Raiders were moving to Las Vegas, we talked about how good it would be to have your baskets inside the stadium, âsaid Brown, whose family has moved to Las Vegas. from Southern California when Parker was young.
Parker said winning the competition would help give the company a “level of exposure” it hasn’t had to date.
“It blew up the box of what we had a million times,” Parker said. âWe’re going to find ourselves in front of so many different people. It will help our business a lot.
Lincoln Kennedy, a former Raiders lineman who hosted the event and also owns small businesses, said the award would do wonders in terms of branding.
âJust imagine being on a billboard at Allegiant Stadium at a Raiders game when you see your marketing, your product showcased; it’s high time. This is great news, âhe said.
Parker said Any Occasion Baskets, like many small businesses, struggled during the early days of the pandemic.
âI took the time to pray about it and understand what we wanted to do. I didn’t want to close, âParker said.
To stay open, she said the company has turned to making baskets for frontline health workers.
âI decided we were going to give back,â Parker said. âWe were going to serve and honor God. I’m a Christian and that’s what I believe. We had a product with no business, and we decided to give back.
Now that the pandemic has abated and people have largely returned to work, Parker’s company is making baskets again. Now Any Occasion Baskets has the added benefit of the $ 100,000 Raiders package to help you out.
To other struggling small business owners, Parker offered some simple advice.
“Don’t listen to the naysayers and don’t listen to the doubts that may creep into your own head,” she said. “There can be some really wonderful things on the other side.”