One on One with Onyx Linthicum Founder of Vendor Nation

Photo (C) Dennis Drenner 2011
 Roger-How did you come up with the idea Vendor Nation?

Onyx-As a youngster I recall the large vendor expos that would frequent the DC area each year.  They were a great opportunity for small producers of products and service providers to introduce themselves to the community.  Many used these vendor expos as a springboard to test and even launch their products and services.  It was an affordable way to test the market and meet new customers.  Unfortunately, these expos are far and few these days and are only found at other events such as music festivals and fairs.  Though these are also great outlets, they don’t focus on the entrepreneur.  Vendor Nation focuses on the entrepreneur and their products and services.  Though there is entertainment for guests to enjoy, the purpose is directed toward those men and women in business for themselves to give them a platform to shine.

onyx with DJ KOOL and KANGOL kid


Roger- Name  of the events and conferences that you have produced?

Onyx– Since college my passion has always been to host large empowerment conferences including those that focus on small business.  I’ve always had a desire to help “the little guy” in ways that level the playing field or give them home court advantage.  We all know who the big players are but what we have to understand is how important those small players are in the game.  My goal is to assist them in finding recognition for what they produce, sell and service until they can leverage themselves to loftier success. In saying that, my background is in music and entertainment event promotion. My company has hosted several events in Rhode Island, Richmond VA and Washington DC.  The latest of these being an exclusive concert event with Jazz Pianist Marcus Johnson and R&B singer Miles Jaye performing a tribute concert to Teddy Pendegrass.

Roger- What are some of the conferences you produced and what makes them so good in your opinion?

Onyx-The focus of any event I produce is to give people an alternative to a typical night out.  I focus on what people don’t typically see because that is what they will remember most.  It’s the added value we provide that others don’t that separate us from other events.  Others produce events, we host entertainment experiences.

Roger -How can business be apart of a Vendor Nation event?

Onyx-We’ve streamlined the process.  They can simply send an email with info about their company, service and products. We’re inviting entrepreneurs from all over the nation – hence the name, to join us for this 2 day expo.  For example, though their product or company may be based in California, there’s a huge population on the east coast who don’t know about it.  This is how you gain that recognition by face to face interaction with your clients at events like this.

onyx book

Roger-  You are also best selling author tell me the name of the books that you have written?

Onyx- The Cherry On Top – Chocolate or Vanilla, He’s Still A Man was written not as a relationship book – there are way too many of those out there that apparently few people are adhering to because we still have too many unsuccessful relationships.  TCOT was written as an effort to help women understand characteristics of men before they enter a relationship with us. I want women to put the phone down and stop asking their single girlfriends how to understand men when they can’t seem to keep a man themselves.  I’m not telling you what to do or how to do it.  I’m simply helping you understand that “he responds or acts that way because….”  It’s a short and humorous read to some extent.  Many find it hard to put down and it’s gotten really good reviews on Amazon. I’ve gotten numerous testimonials on how it’s helping women understand men so they don’t fall into traps and continue to make the same mistakes.  That being said, it was worth the effort I put into it.  We invite people to join our Facebook group The Cherry On Top Conversations and tune into frequent radio blogs I host.  They can also check out the website at where I post different discussions from the book.

Photo (C) Dennis Drenner 2011

Roger-  You also created can you tell my audience what the platform is all about?

Onyx- was my very first website.  That is a story in and of itself but I truly believe it was God-inspired. Prior to saying “yes” to that project I was working on another web-based project similar to what LinkedIn has become and could not find resource the first.  It was frustrating and I’d worked on it since the early 2000s. Within a month of saying “yes” to God to stop the other project and pursue this one, I had every resource I needed.  Years of frustration ended when I said “yes” to God on this. It was truly a divine intervention. is another effort to help hurting people in a sense.  It allows people who don’t have a church home or who have been broken in a sense to connect with ministries from all over the country via the web.  As the slogan says “Now going to church is no longer a brick and mortar decision.”  Visitors to the site can enjoy messages from churches all over the country, hopefully finding a pastor and church home they are comfortable with and will eventually visit and join. It’s 100% free and we invite churches to add their ministry to the site by simply contacting us.  One thing I’ve found is that many of the most powerful and God inspired messages come from the small churches.  This is not a discredit to the mega-churches but these churches tend to be much more transparent because of their size.  As my former Bishop used to say, they’re not performing for an audience of millions they’re simply “performing for an audience of One” and if you don’t know who that One is, His name is Jesus Christ.

onyx with sinbad
Roger- What advice would you give some one that wants to start a business and be successful as you?

Onyx– Don’t stop!  It all starts with an idea.  You may not have the resources – financial or other but you have the most important component when you just have the idea itself. Know your purpose by asking God what it is. Pursue your passion.  God has already put a fire in us. That’s that passion you feel that you lose sleep over and think about all the time. That’s what he wants to eventually get out of us and it’s not just for you.  Your purpose is uniquely entwined with someone else’s and will have a direct impact on somebody else’s life.  If it’s all about you, it’s not going anywhere.  Ask God to show you how what it is He wants you to do can also benefit others. Check your circle of acquaintances and friends.  God has put and will put people in your path at different times in your life.  Some people have been there for ions and their true purpose is about to be revealed because it’s time for your purpose to be fulfilled.  Others will come as God sees fit.  Be anxious for nothing.  You can’t rush God’s plan or you WILL screw it up.  You can write a million business plans and I suggest that you do at least one but realize God has the master plan.  His plan may not make you a billionaire but I guarantee that how he blesses you will be more than enough because He specializes in abundance.  Abundance is overflow that trickles down to others.  You’re blessed to be a blessing and that is his ultimate purpose for granting any of us success.  Remember it’s never about just you.

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