MWBE Small Business Promotion Week: Shailaun
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 30, 2022, August 30, 2022

Arlington-based model, actress, singer-songwriter, and producer, Shailaun, went on a journey to find herself after a battle with mental illness and surviving an attempted suicide. She spent time in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities “spreading love” and decided she wanted to make it her purpose to uplift people using her gift of singing.

“Music is what empowered me,” said Shailaun. “India Arie is a Neosoul singer-songwriter. She plays the guitar and sings songs that make you feel whole again and make you want to embrace yourself. And she was filling me up with all these positive affirmations of myself and I decided, ‘that’s what I’m going to do.’”

Growing up she had always loved music and learned to play several instruments, starting with viola then alto saxophone, percussion and now guitar. She decided to bring this message and her diverse talents back to Arlington in 2015, wanting to spread love in the city she was raised.

“It’s really special to be here. I had always thought I was supposed to be somewhere else, the places I went like New York, Chicago and LA, places where people become famous,” Shailaun emphasized. “But now it feels like I am meant to be here to inspire and encourage the people in this community. And I mean that 1000%.”

Looking to do more for her community and promote the Spread Love message, Shailaun created a nonprofit for mental health awareness called The Spread Love Project, with the mission of eliminating the stigma and judgement around mental health in marginalized communities. The Spread Love Project is currently working on a scholarship giveaway and Shailaun is calling on Arlington students to apply. The Spread Love Scholarship will support students who plan to spend their careers creatively addressing mental health issues in Black and African American communities. To learn more about The Spread Love Project, visit https://www.thespreadloveproject.com/.

Shailaun released her first solo album “Spread Love” in February 2022, which focuses on her personal experience, and focuses on her story and how she made her way out of the darkness.

To learn more about Shailaun or to request a performance, you can visit her website https://www.shailaun.com/ or message her through Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/shailaun. Or you can visit the One Start Development Center, on the second floor at City Hall, during ‘Small Business Promotion Week’, August 29, 2022 through September 2, 2022, where the iCARE Ambassador team of the Planning & Development Services Department will be promoting this business as the Small Business of the Week. The department is also hosting Customer Appreciation Week during the same time and will be providing refreshments and bottled water for the customers visiting the Small Business Promotion table.

The City of Arlington is highlighting minority-owned and/or women-owned small businesses throughout 2022. Canales Furniture, another Small Business of Arlington, who has grown substantially in the last few years, wants to give back to the community and is sponsoring this program with the Planning & Development Services Department for the year 2022. In their new headquarters at 102 E. I-20 Highway, they have dedicated a training room for their growing community, including free English-speaking classes, citizenship classes, and teaching small businesses on how to utilize social media as a marketing tool.

Shailaun and Planning and Development Director

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