I am a proud, black, identify as she/her woman who has been fortunate to run my business for the past 7 years. The journey has been filled with many twists and turns but all learning experiences from which growth continues to come. With that being said, some of those obstacles frankly existed because of race and gender.
I am grateful for the support of family and friends who helped with personal loans, so that in the beginning, I would not have had to pay bank loans with interest rates upwards of 10%. As referenced in this article in the Star, the lack of access to capital is one of the biggest challenges black business owners face. As a result, many black business owners run their business through their personal accounts, which removes eligibility for government grants and funding.
One solve to the problem is to support black owned businesses. I have curated a box at Cher-Mere that will feature items made by BIPOC businesses – called the Callaloo Box. I grew up in Trinidad and there is a delicious dish called callaloo, which is a mixture of assorted vegetables blended together. Similar to this dish, the Callaloo box is a mixture of items from BIPOC owners that will delight you with the end result.
The first iteration of the box features:
- Hand Made Shea Butter based soaps from Aromariss
- Hemp and Cocoa Butter Lotion and Oil from Cher-Mere
- An African Print Masks with filter by PipiStyles
- A pair of earings from Skeleton Park Creations
- A cowl from Branded Blue Designs
As part of this initiative, proceeds from each box will be set aside to donate to an organization that supports BIPOC youth. The box will be curated quarterly and feature different makers. If you are a BIPOC business interested in being a part of this box, please email email@example.com.