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Editor’s Note: During the final week of Black History Month 2021, Vickie Babyak is taking a look at some local community leaders and entrepreneurs.
Emmau Crosby holding up two of her hand-crafted, custom ordered trays. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)
Emmau Crosby is a McKeesport business owner, a mom, an artist, entrepreneur and the CEO of Sour Puff Girls LLC. “I love my diverse roles and consider it a win-win situation, even though everything is a balancing act,” Crosby says.
Crosby finds herself extremely busy with three children, ages 10, 6 and 8 months old. She manages her home, creates art, and markets her merchandise at trade shows.
“Other women have told me that I’m an inspiration,” says Crosby. “It gives me a sense of pride to know I can encourage others.” She stays focused and her motto is “Powerful Women with High Standards.”
Custom-ordered trays and a smoking tray crafted by artist, Emmau Crosby. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)
Crosby creates novelty items, multi-purpose trays, ash trays and collectible items using an epoxy resin casting method for most of her products, which helps make her items heat-resistant and waterproof.
Her customer base includes patients qualifying for medical marijuana, as well people that enjoy unique art for home or office decoration. They find her products attractive as well as useful.
Crosby considers her art a self-healing technique to relieve stress and she enjoys creating her work.
One of the driving forces that helped Crosby decide to start her business was the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries. She did some research and found there weren’t many women or African Americans in the CBD field. She saw potential, tapping into the possibilities, and began creating artistic accessories.
“Being in this particular field is touchy,” admits Crosby. “I have to make sure I am following regulations and catering to the medicinal side of the business.”
Crosby also creates custom designed products for individuals and small business owners. In the future, she hopes to expand her product inventory with natural ingredient body butters and air fresheners.
Vickie Babyak is a photographer and freelance writer from Dravosburg. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published February 23, 2021.