Tag Archives for " Group Economic "

Brown Skin

Brown Skin

I’m dark brown… my skin is the color of a creamy rich Hershey’s bar and I am in love with it. I feel beautiful. I love the fullness of my lips and my big almond eyes. My short springy coils of natural hair are happy! I love to amaze my friends when I pull a curl and they say, “I didn’t realize your hair was that long!” “Shrinkage, I say”. I wear my shrunken curls as my crown. I am in love with her. She is beautiful, inside and out. She is happy. Fulfilled.

You might be wondering, “What does any of this have to do with supporting Black-owned Business?!?” We will get there…

When I was a little girl, I was much darker than I am now. The only “raisin” surrounded by a sea of light-skinned cousins and and lighter brown siblings. I felt a bit out of place. I remember putting a large towel on my head, pretending that it was long blond hair. I would swing it around and call myself Sally. I loved to look at the pictures in the magazines of the pretty blonds and imagined that I was one of them. All of my Barbie dolls were white. All of my baby dolls were white.  I didn’t have ANY toys that looked like me and I rarely saw a brown-skinned woman in the magazine. If a black woman did make it into the magazine or a movie she was usually of fair complexion. No one looked like me.

Fast forward to my December 7, 1999. I gave birth to a beautiful brown baby girl. When she open her big almond eyes, I saw a mini version of myself looking up at me. Those are my eyes! When my husband, her daddy, held her I saw a dark chocolate man holding his new little princess and I saw everything that I ever thought was deemed beautiful evaporate into that moment. I softly said to myself, “This. Is. Love.” From that moment on I made the decision that she would never feel like I did. She wouldn’t need to look to society.

To give her the definition of beauty. She could look in the mirror and love the reflection looking back at her.

My husband and I have since had another daughter and they are one the reason that we believe in supporting Black owned business! We make it a point to visit our local Black owned cupcake shop (Oh la la Elite cupcakes) that happens to be owned by black women. I love the look on my girls faces when they realize that “Hey, I can own a store too!”

When our youngest daughter was small and Disney released “The Princess and The Frog” we got to see the first BLACK DISNEY PRINCESS! My girls got to see someone that looked like them!!! A few years after the movie’s release, we visited Disney World at got to take pictures with Tiana. I wept. Like a baby as my girls looked up at the “Princess” in awe. They would never know a time when there wasn’t a Black Princess, or a Black President, or a Black Model on the cover of a magazine.

The little girl that hid in the house, trying to avoid the summer sun, in order to keep from getting “black” is gone. She is a happy, dark chocolate woman who is raising two equally happy women who are helping to change the face of beauty.

Until next time.
I’ll Holla
-C-

 

Shop. Share. Repeat.

shop,share,repeat

You’ve done it. You’ve found a few Black-owned businesses or products that you enjoy and have decided to patron them more frequently. You feel GREAT! You’re a part of the solution. You’re empowering your community. You sleep great at night; like a baby. But…you haven’t told anyone. Well, why not? We have the power to take our love for a product or business to the next level by telling others about it.

When I first went natural back in 2009, YouTube was my “university”. I went to “class” multiple times a day and as my YouTube “professors” would instruct me to purchase this clarifying conditioner or that super sealant moisturizer, I would run out and buy it. My linen closet could no longer hold any linens as it was overrun by all the stuff I NEEDED. There is nothing like “word of mouth” or at least a review from someone who has experience with a product or has patroned a business. Now that we’re making a real effort to support B.O.B’s let’s use our social media platforms to post about our experiences and/or about the product.

B.A.M. Founder and CEO, Sharee Cammon, recently visited Holley’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, in Houston, TX and posted about her experience there. She noticed that when she posted just a picture of the food there wasn’t as much interaction or interest expressed than when she posted a picture that included her at the restaurant with the food. It’s so important to share your experiences just make sure to include a snap of yourself or a shot of the place or product.

Just as important as it is to share your experiences with your friends you should also share those with the owner of the business if you have the opportunity. You enjoy a great meal ask to speak to the chef, manager or to see if your message could be relayed to them. Enjoy a product? Send an email to the owner. Great customer service? Let them know. On the other hand, if you have a bad experience let them know as well…in a cordial manner. Sometimes business owners may not know that the customer service or product is lacking if they’ve never been told.

 

Until next time.

I’ll Holla

-C-

 

So…Why Pay More?

Why pay more?

It’s true. The cost of products at many Black-owned businesses are higher than those at chain stores. Sure. You walk in, pick up an item and think, “Daaang, if I go to (insert chain store name here) it would be much cheaper!”

Folks, we must consider that most Black-owned businesses don’t have the size to command low prices from suppliers. Basically, supplier charges them more, we have to pay a little more. I’m all about saving a dollar. Trust me, I’m an avid couponer (crazy coupon lady here), but more than saving a couple bucks I want to empower my community! Raise your hand if you own a designer anything…
Mmm hmmm yeah, you can pay an extra dollar for some conditioner.

Another thing, many Black-owned businesses are privately owned and much of their resources are reinvested into the business. The income generated from sales is used to pay the rent, payroll, and to purchase additional goods. Quite honestly, sometimes, they don’t even bring home enough revenue to pay themselves!

Speaking of the rent: some of these business owners jump into leases and/or take out big loans that require a HUGE return on investment. They may even have large personal debt. All of these things, unfortunately, causes them to increase prices.

None of this is fair to the consumer, but it is what it is. And don’t get it twisted, this doesn’t only happen to Black-owned businesses but to businesses in general. In particular to small, privately owned businesses. Revenue dips, prices increase.

This is why The B.A.M.Market strongly supports and encourages consumers to patronize Black-owned businesses. Just as the lack of revenue is passed on to the consumer by higher prices, conversely, a significant increase in revenue can also be passed off to the consumer with lower prices (Who’s ‘bout that discount life? Holla!)

I believe that the businesses within our community can get to the point where they can demand lower prices from the suppliers! Where there are multiple locations of their stores with fully stocked shelves! I have a dream that one day, Black owned businesses and White owned businesses will stand side by side…I have a dream today! 🙂

It will happen. With your help!

So, next time you shop at your local B.O.B, just remember to bring a couple extra bucks and pay with a smile. You’re investing in your community. Yay!

Until next time,

I’ll Holla
-C-

 

Does This Make Me Look Black…owned?

Does This Make Me Look Black Owned?

Shopping. The favorite pastime of many of us. I know I enjoy a good stroll around the mall. The smell of new shoes, the feel of a new hand bag, the scent of my favorite fragrance, sigh…. (I digress)

So many thoughts run through my mind when I make any purchase, whether it be something to wear or something to eat. However, I can honestly say that I never question if my favorite products are “Black owned”- is the money I’m spending going back into my community or simply “Black endorsed” – catering to the Black consumer yet our community gains no return. In doing some research I was quite surprised at the number of “Black” products that aren’t owned by Blacks at all.

Black Entertainment Television! Black is in the name then certainly it’s black owned? No, no it’s not.The network was founded by an African American, Robert Johnson, in the 1980’s but in 2002, BET was sold to Viacom, which also owns MTV and VH1. Johnson became the first Black Billionaire with the sale.

Essence Magazine: The publication that was once the second largest black publication hasn’t been black owned since the remaining minority stake in Essence Communications Inc. was sold to Time Inc. in 2005. The corporation originally purchased 49 percent of the popular African American publication in 2000, leaving the style bible in the hands of a man more partial to Brooks Brothers than Carol’s Daughter.

Speaking of Carol’s Daughter, in 2014 the once African American owned company, founded by Lisa Price, was sold to L’Oreal. According to L’Oreal, Price will remain the creative visionary and spokesperson for the brand.  

My whole life has been a LIE (insert shocked emoji face here)…

So, instead of just telling you what businesses are not Black owned, here are a few that ARE Black

Alikay Naturals, founded by Youtube Natural hair Guru, Rochelle Graham, The brand offers more than 60 products focusing on Natural Hair Care, Skin Care and Bath & Body and can be found in Sally’s beauty supply stores and some Target stores!

For your magazine subscription needs check out Black Enterprise Magazine which was founded by Earl G. Graves, Sr. and is still owned and controlled by the Graves Family.

And of course, we can’t forget the Queen of T.V. Ms. Oprah Winfrey and The OWN network! Black owned, great shows (have you seen “The Have’s and Have Not’s”).

It’s time to support Black Owned Business, not just business that cater to black people. So instead of just asking myself “do I look fat in this?” I will be more conscious about asking “Will my community benefit from me buying this, watching this, reading this?”

I would be misleading you were I to say that everything I purchase will be from Black owned businesses; Shoot, I can’t! There aren’t enough out there!!! Imma need more Black owned businesses available in my area!!! Whew…I’m back. Hee Hee, I make the decision to support Black business, to support my community and to “be the change I want to see”.

We will discuss that further.

Until next time.

I’ll Holla
-C-