Rising Tide Capital honors challenge-winning companies

A Jersey City market that specializes in things from jewelry made of animal bones to taxidermy was the big winner of an annual competition by Rising Tide Capital.

The nonprofit is dedicated to transforming disadvantaged communities and lives through entrepreneurship.

Emmy Award-winning composer Peter Buffett held a private concert to benefit the program.

“We are proud to support the transformative work that Rising Tide Capital is doing in some of our nation’s most economically vulnerable communities,” said Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “The work of Rising Tide Capital aligns perfectly with the mission of the NoVo Foundation in that we are committed to developing the capacities in people — individually and collectively — to help create a more equitable society.”

“RISE: To Expand Opportunity” served as the culminating event for Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something Challenge, with Brittany Graziosi capturing the $10,000 top prize for her Jersey City Oddities Market, which focuses on the niche oddities community.

Graziosi, who makes jewelry from animal bones, started the market last year, and hosts more than 100 rotating vendors, including taxidermists, artists and tarot readers.

Djenaba Johnson-Jones, founder of Hudson Kitchen, received the $7,500 prize for her business that helps other food entrepreneurs overcome hurdles, including getting access to industry experts.

Aiesha Phillips took third prize of $5,000 for her Pink Pearl Naturals, which offers handcrafted bath and body products.

JPMorgan Chase presented the checks. Over the past six years, more than 500 individuals from across the state have entered, with $150,000 in grants awarded.

“We’re so proud of our support of Rising Tide Capital and humbled by the incredible work they do every day,” said Jeanique Druses, vice president of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “Empowering and supporting local entrepreneurs is a vital component of transforming underserved communities, which is why Rising Tide Capital’s work is so needed.”