According to statistics, Black American Consumerism averages over three hundred billion dollars and there are only a small fraction of black business owners. It is time that everyone is welcomed to the table and offered a chance to create wealth for themselves and their families. It is important to uplift and support a community of individuals who are often pushed aside. Thank you to the Coleman foundation for gracing these business owners and many others with opportunities that they so richly deserve.
I interviewed four African-American Entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Far South CDC Market Place. They all aspire to create a culture of positivity, peace, and harmony. They also hope to serve as a catalyst to motivate others to realize their potential. The one thing they all have in common is that the COVID pandemic inspired them to trust the process and take a leap of faith. Although challenging, they clung to the belief that they could succeed. Almost three years later, they see the fruits of their labor.
Aries Rising – is owned and operated by Jennifer Givens. She is a law professional and has been unemployed for eighteen months since the COVID-19 epidemic. Her business includes mixed media resin art and motivational speaking. She began her journey in 2020 alongside her set of twelve-year-old twin sons whose canvas art is among the items for sale. She creates all things resin, from journals to wine glass holders, that will last forever. She admits there are pros and cons to being a sole proprietor. The con of ownership is that it could affect one’s mental stability. To overcome the daily stress, she says one must identify their triggers and find ways to lessen their anxiety. The pros to ownership are that it will produce more connections and the potential to learn new skill sets. Her advice for those wanting to start a business is not to doubt themselves and know what you can do. She also advises you to follow your passion, not let people veer you from your purpose, and utilize your business to give back to the community. Aries Rising aims to empower individuals on their journeys of self-discovery and growth. For more information, visit theariesrising.com.
Body and Soul Experience is an aromatherapy and scented candle company specializing in holistic remedies to reduce anxiety and depression through candles, journaling, meditation, and candle-making sessions. Owner Taharia Randolph knows firsthand how aromatherapy can transcend one’s mental state. As the mother of 4 daughters, she revealed that losing her job during COVID led her to depression. She also noticed that her daughters were heading in the same direction, so she researched different herbs that would reduce stress and anxiety and reduce feelings of depression. Together, they began experimenting with various herbs and flowers. They then started making candles from the scents they created. Taharia also conducts workshops for those interested in making candles. What I love most about her products is that the labels have positive affirmations. She says her best seller is named “I am expensive.” However, the one I connected with the most was “I am Worthy.” Sometimes, we forget that we deserve the best life offers. Her advice to aspiring business owners is to celebrate the victory and journey towards success. She says it’s time to break the generational curse of lack of wealth. To heighten your senses while being reminded who you are, visit bodysoulexperience.com.
Cosmic Creole is a holistic health service run by clinical herbalist Antoinette Garland. Her tincture line aides the mind, body, and spirit through medicinal plants. Her journey began in November 2022 after being laid off from work. Her line of products consists of sleep aides, pain relief, anti-inflammatories, sinus relief, Anti-anxiety, PMS relief, and many other ailments. Add a few drops of the tincture to tea, and you will feel the effects within 1-2 hours. The products are holistic, so if you want to enhance your memory, reduce sinus pressure, release tension, or get rid of migraines naturally, these are products worth trying. Antoinette wants to tell others never to doubt themselves and to know their capabilities. She says to follow your passion. To naturally revitalize your mind and body, visit cosmiccreole.com
Javez Java Coffee Roastery is an independent roaster using only high-quality beans with spicy, nutty, fruity, and earthy notes to provide customers with well-balanced coffee. Entrepreneur Cortez Wash considers himself a coffee Connoisseur. 2020, during the pandemic, he was devastated when Starbucks closed. After complaining about not having the coffee he wanted, his ten-year-old daughter challenged him to create his own. He admits that at first, he felt that she was being facetious, but then he realized she was right. He then began researching coffee beans and educated himself on the regions and the flavors he wanted to make. His goal was to develop flavors unavailable in the local grocery stores. His beans are from Ethiopia, Hati, Indonesia, and Columbia. Cortez is very knowledgeable and ensures his patron receives the best quality. He only roasts and grinds his coffee beans when ordered to guarantee his product’s freshness. He has a variety of flavors, including chocolate, cherry, blueberry, and cognac. To have your tastebuds elevated, place your order at javezjava.com.
Photos provided by Elizabeth Neukirch