The Milford shop keeps the financial dream alive for black entrepreneurs

MILFORD — Tia Woods dreams of showcasing black brands and helping those in her community build and maintain wealth.

With her business, ITS The Room, Woods, an author, small business owner and elected official in her hometown of East Hartford, now showcases the latest in black-owned brands in a new space inside the Connecticut Post Mall.

“ITS The Room was launched with a common goal — to help other creative professionals start and establish their own successful ventures,” said Woods, who launched the business in 2019 with her daughter, Tiana Allman.

ITS The Room is a retail company focused on expanding and exposing black brands while giving designers an opportunity for legacy and wealth building, Woods said.

“We give people the opportunity to build wealth and leave a legacy,” she said. “The goal is to attract people to come and shop and help keep money in our community. I want to help people in our community build wealth.”

ITS The Room offers black business owners of all kinds – from clothing brands and beauty products to works of art – the opportunity to sell their products year-round in storefronts and online. The store offers a large selection of ever-changing local, small-batch or independently-designed products that showcase the best of Connecticut and beyond, she said.

Her hope is to support other small businesses by “encouraging and helping designers grow their sales—not only with a physical location to display their products, but also with a thriving online presence that provides business owners with the essential tools and skills to gain a larger audience and stronger brand recognition.” she said.

What started small has grown to some 27 vendors, with products ranging from pocket books, knit hats, shoes, clothing and oils. There is even a small library that offers books by black authors, from children’s books to self-help options.

“I’m happy to give space to people to put their items on store shelves,” Woods said.

To help drive traffic to her mall location, Woods has hosted poetry readings and book signings, but made a big splash with her latest effort — a runway show at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 on the mall’s central courtyard.

The free exhibition will feature around 10 designers who will take the stage for ITS the Room to showcase their designs. There will also be a VIP event at the store after the show. For show or after show information, visit or email [email protected]

Woods said the show is dedicated to bringing together diverse designers of all skill levels. These designers will showcase their work in five categories — Urban Wear, Haute Couture, Evening Elegant, Urban Active and Casual Nightlife.

The event will also feature two award-winning poets, T’challa Williams and her daughter Tiana, and comedian Micha Jean.

“I found my purpose. My heart goes out to my community and I want to see all of us thrive,” she said. “It’s scary, it is. But if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.”

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