Memphis Entrepreneur Tina Birchett Passes Away

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She blazed a trail that shined a light on minority women.

The word "no" was not an answer, at least not for her.

Entrepreneur Tina Birchett died Sunday, leaving behind her legacy as the founder of Grace magazine and the Sisterhood Showcase.

Interesting. Tenacious. Talkative. Energetic. Encouraging. Empowering.

All words used to describe the powerhouse that was Tina Birchett.

Her friend Howard Robertson, who owns Trust Marketing, said she saw a niche market and went after it.

"She did not believe that there was anything she could not do, Robertson said. "The magazine and the showcase are extensions of her personality."

The 53-year-old was the founder of Grace magazine, which features successful black women.

She was the mastermind behind the Sisterhood Showcase, a spotlight of businesses operated by African-American women.

Thousands of people spent two days every year weaving in and out of the booths where they saw paintings, healthcare and beauty items, things that interested women.

Fabian Matthews, who taped footage and ads for the showcase said, people loved her tenacity.

"Anybody who knows Tina knows that Tina will hound you until she gets what she wants, what she needs."

Robertson agreed.

She had a tremendous ability to get people to do things that they may or may not have wanted to do in the first place," he said. "She could sell ice to an Eskimo."

Birchett was also assistant secretary for the Riverfront Development Corporation.

It will always be the magazine and the showcase that Memphians will remember as her greatest accomplishment

"The Sisterhood Showcase...that was powerful, that was one of the most powerful things we had going on in this city and that was Tina."

Birchett leaves behind two children.

Her friends say she died from cancer, though we haven't gotten an official cause of death.

Funeral arrangements are pending.