"People don’t see the hours on top of hours that you sit and make sure a design is just right or you spending days trying to get the colors together to make a design damn near perfect, just for them to say, “you shoud have made it (insert color)” or “you should have did “xyz”. It’s kind of disrespectful. I get it, give the people what they want, but do you know how many times I’ve given people what they want and it’s been crickets on my website or apps? Lol. I’d be rich if I got paid for that. They don’t see how long you work on your social media content or hear the many calls made to make sure people get their things on time. They don’t see the years of research you do to make sure you get better at your craft or to make sure you use the best quality materials. It‘s way more to it than posting online or posting up to vend at events. They don’t see the many rejections from banks not giving our businesses a chance because it doesn’t make enough money yet (I know I’m not the only one that can relate to this). I really wish more people understood every single struggle of getting a business started/running a business. They’d probably respect our businesses more. Some of us really have to “get it out the mud” but it is what it is. I was built for it." -Erika Wilson, KnoMoor Clothing
Read the full interview with Erika Wilson here.
"I never envisioned I would be a business owner. I wrote my first book, “Dancing with Butterflies: Discovering Mindfulness Through Breathing” based on a writing challenge amongst some college sister-friends. They encouraged me to publish, which led me on that journey. Once I discovered the deficiency of diverse main characters, specifically Black main characters in children’s book, a fire was lit inside me. At that time, only 12 % of children’s books featured Black main characters in 2020 coming in third of white (50%) and animals/others (27%). This figure was troubling for me as children can connect with a story that includes them. Our children are worthy and deserving of having great stories with them in the forefront as opposed to being cast in the background. Ellena N. Gean Books was the answer to the call that our children need and deserve from traditional publishing houses." -Adrienne Barr, Ellena N. Gean Books, LLC
Read the full interview with Adrienne Barr here.
"I own and operate a mentoring organization (501(c)(3)) - Man of Steel Services (M.O.S.S) that is designed for young men ages (5-15) to teach life skills, mentor and encourage them while also incorporating sports training. Among the activities offered include how to tie a tie, motivational speaking, car basics (checking oil, changing a tire), Finance Basics, Vision Board Creation and much more. My ultimate vision for M.O.S.S is to be able to operate in my own facility full-time while offering before/after school programs in addition to summer camps. My mission is to positively influence and add value to the lives of the individuals who participate by developing positive attitudes and character while teaching them to take full advantage of their opportunities." -Philip Brady, Man of Steel Services
Read the full interview with Philip Brady here.
"The best part of starting my own business is being able to channel into creativity. Creating candles is a fun journey because you have the opportunity to blend fragrances, choose the look of the products, set the pricing according to the profit you aim to earn, etc. Seeing our candle friends’ reactions after purchasing products is a refreshing and wonderful feeling. Selling unique products that are different from the mainstreams such as Bath and Body Works is what makes this journey worth continuing." -Shaquita Joyner, S&Aj Candle Co.
Read the full interview with Shaquita Joyner here.
"Black-owned businesses can drop the ball in many areas. I have seen it personally in two ways. First, through price dropping and discounts. Black businesses need to release and know our worth. We don’t have to continue dropping our prices for business because we don’t think we are worth that price because we are. Our work speaks for itself, and customers will pay. Secondly, how Black-owned businesses treat their customers. As we continue to evolve and grow as business-owners, we must remember that we aren’t above anyone and we still need to show great customer service towards customers." -Tiara Campbell, Tee Designs & T's Tutoring Services
Read the full interview with Tiara Campbell here.