Dallas businessman Keith Fluellen recently went online and he came across something that could change His life.
Fluellen stumbled across a story about the Mavs Business Assist program and all its valuable benefits. Launched at the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, the program supports 100 diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners who call North Texas home.
The Dallas Mavericks have partnered with The Lonely Entrepreneur to empower business owners in the program with the support, tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the Mavericks Business Assistance Program.
Fluellen, owner of Dallas Fluffy Cupcakessaid it was the type of project he was looking for to enhance his business, which is located in downtown Dallas.
“I saw it on the Mavs website because I’m not only a Mavs fan, but a season ticket holder,” Floren said. “I see they’re giving local businesses this opportunity – I just need help figuring out if you’re going to work with light rain and Tiff’s Snacks – I need the right people to support me to expand and grow my business.
“It’s a great show. What the Mavs are doing is they’re leveling the playing field.”
Fluellen sat down with Mavs.com to discuss his business and the benefits of being part of the Mavs Business Assist program.
Mavericks: What are your thoughts on the Mavericks reaching out and offering this program?
Keith Flair: I want to thank and appreciate it so much because we all know what (Mavericks Governor) Mark Cuban has done in the drug plan, being able to get prescription drug coverage. You kind of know people’s hearts. Mavericks, they support the community. You know they care about the community, so I want to thank you so much because there are a lot of companies here — professional teams — and you’ll never see anything like this today.
Mavericks: What do you think makes this program so unique?
feather: What makes this unique is that this program is not a handout. We’re not going to support poor minority businesses and help them. It’s not about that. This is to help people who work hard and put themselves in the right place and deserve to be further than their business, but we don’t get the same opportunity to grow our business because of their race or ethnicity. No one is trying to sign up for another stimulus check. We just want the same opportunities as other businesses.
What this program does is give a college graduate – who has also worked for big companies and is a real estate agent/investor – an opportunity to establish himself Fluffy Cupcakes into one light rain or a Tiff’s Snacks.
It’s not just people who put a sign on the door. You must have the education and knowledge to run a business. I do this because I graduated from college. But when you own a business and you’re out there making those decisions yourself, you’re the lone entrepreneur. So, what the Mavericks are doing is giving me the opportunity to talk to marketing firms, CPA firms and people who own retail stores and let me know you’re not alone and these are the things you need to do to help you get to the next level.
Mavericks: How did you start your cupcake business?
feather: I started the cupcake business back in 2011 when I came across an opportunity to help the Frisco Plaza cupcake shop. The owner asked me to find space, and I did so as a real estate agent.I met bakers in the industry because I was helping them Find new locations. I found that after they went out of business, the opportunity came and they bought their store and reopened, so that’s what I did.
So, since 2011, I’ve been running a cupcake shop, kind of like a side hustle, because I’m a real estate agent and I’m an accountant. But recently I realized I need to take this business more seriously. Going through the pandemic and riots, and businesses that have nearly collapsed due to Covid, has made me realize the opportunities I have in this business and the obligation to grow it so I can leave this generational wealth to mine Children and my grandchildren.
Mavericks: What is your educational background?
feather: I was born in the Cochrane Gardens (public housing) project in St. Petersburg. louis. I graduated from Beaumont High School in St. Louis. Louis went to UT-Dallas.I continue to blockbuster – original blockbuster – I came to Texas and worked my way up to store manager. And then I ended up saying, ‘Hey, I have to go back to school because they’re not going to promote me without a degree. So, I went back to school and graduated from UT-Dallas.
Mavericks: What are your impressions of The Lonely Entrepreneur program?
feather: The Lonely Entrepreneur is a business platform provided by the Mavericks for free to participants. This opportunity through The Lonely Entrepreneur program is amazing. period. Thanks to the goodwill of the Mavericks for giving us this opportunity, it will give us the opportunity to evaluate our business and get it right to achieve our goals, whether it’s expansion, franchising, etc.
As the lone entrepreneur I am, you make these decisions yourself. You are not a company. When someone calls in sick, I have to go to the store to work and order supplies like everyone else. But the Lonely Entrepreneur Program gives you the tools to make your business better, and I’m grateful that they offer this program.
Mavericks: What are your long-term goals for your company?
feather: I have done everything I can to win the right to expand Fluffy Cupcakes. My goal is to put them in the American Airlines Center, so we’ll see how this project works out.
I’m about to open a store in Frisco and it’s critical that I do it differently. I need to build a team because Luka (Doncic), he can’t win alone. You need some players by your side.if i go to the western finals light rainI have to have a team around me.