(Image: Nailah Ellis Brown)

It’s been a few years since Nailah Ellis-Brown ran her natural tea manufacturing company, Ellis Infinity Beverage Co., from her parents’ basement and sold her beverage product from the trunk of her car.

She is the 28-year-old founder and CEO of this bottling operation that required a $150,000 investment. Today, her Ellis Island Tea brand is sold at regional Whole Foods Market outlets. It is also receiving orders from other such retailers. Sales have grown from $27,000 in 2014 to more than $60,000 in 2015. She projects revenues to reach $200,000 this year.

[Related: New Study Explores Troubling State of Minority-Owned Businesses]

Ellis-Brown’s original plan was to earn a business degree from Howard University and then make her fortune on Wall Street to seed a future enterprise. Overwhelmed by the enormous student debt she would incur, Ellis-Brown decided to drop out of college and return to her hometown of Detroit to start a business. “I am pro-education


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Source: Black Enterprise » Small Business