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Alexeia Garnett prepares her vegan “dessert egg rolls” and fills them with peach and apple filling in her home located in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Garnett created her company LJ Tasty Sweets January 2020 and has been invited to work at two Athens farmers markets since. (Photo/Sophie Yaeger syaeger@randb.com)

Alexeia Garnett is a fifth-year student at the University of Georgia, but school work isn’t the only thing she’s juggling—she is also a Black business owner. What started out as a “side hustle” recently grew into her established, online sweet treats boutique called Lexx Janelle’s Tasty Sweets, LLC.

For someone who has never heard of your business, how would you explain it to them?

I would explain it as a treats boutique. We have a variety of different options for gourmet desserts and chocolate-covered fruit.

Where did you get your inspiration to start your online sweet treats business?

Before I started it online, I made it as a second side-hustle, and it actually became really popular. I started it in January of this year, and then I went into doing Valentine’s Day baskets which were popular.

From there, my customer base grew tremendously. So from that, I made the decision to make it an official business and made it into an LLC and online dessert boutique.

How do you think we, as a community, can better support Black-owned businesses?

For a start, I think doing stories on Black-owned businesses is a great idea because I don’t think Black-owned businesses are advertised enough in Athens. I know there are many, but I don’t know where to find them.

And just having the community support us more. I’ve been hearing that a lot of Black-owned businesses haven't been able to get [the COVID-19 small business loans and assistance]. Making sure that we have an equal opportunity to get everything and getting the word out about black business is a step in the right direction.

What safety precautions do you take when preparing your sweets? Have you faced any challenges with COVID-19?

I will wash my hands, use hand sanitizer and then put on gloves. If I’m preparing orders, I’m usually not talking, but if something comes up and I do have to talk or I’m not able to silently work, I will wear a mask.

I don’t think I’ve come across any challenges. Because of COVID-19, more people are shopping online, so I think that’s why my customer base has grown so much.

How can customers order? Do you take customized requests?

Customers can place their orders on the website. I have three options where it can be shipped to your house, delivered if it’s within a 20-mile radius or you can pick it up from where I am based.

I love customized requests. A lot of people have been getting treat boxes for anniversaries or birthdays, and that gives me an opportunity to get artistic with my craft. I love mixing the colors in the chocolates to get the perfect color and decorating the boxes and treats.

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