WHOA NAH!!!!! We hit our first GOAL!
Thanks to 317 folks, we raised our first 30K in 16 days! We've got about 13 days left to get to our Stretch Goal. If you missed the first train, no worries, there's another one leaving the station. You can help us get to $100K by midnight on August 30th. Contribute whatever you can. Tell your folks. Put you money where your mouth is. And last but not least...SHOPPE BLACK.
Until we reach that 100K...we're just going to let this ride...
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS
Although we were both in the Howard University's Class of 2000 (and one space away from each other in our Freshman yearbook, we didn't actually MEET each other until Tony slid into Shantrelle's DMs on Facebook. After much background checking, he got the green light, sparks flew...and we've been together ever since.
At the time, Tony was all about Black entrepreneurship in the States and on the Continent and Shantrelle was completely engrossed in a curatorial practice rooted in the aesthetics, history and culture of the Diaspora.
Through our love for Black people we decided to marry each other and our two interests.
We first founded SHOPPE BLACK in 2015 as a Facebook page to direct people to Black owned businesses as well as highlight excellence in our culture. As interest grew, so did we - by establishing our online magazine. It wasn't until our NOLA/Nigerian style wedding went viral (google #blackestweddingever or #jollofandjambalaya) that SHOPPE BLACK started to become a household name.
Since then, we've interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and profiled thousands of businesses on our site and social media platforms. The response has been incredible! Every week, we're getting emails, texts and calls from entrepreneurs who have told us that thanks to our features, not only have they received more recognition but that their revenue has grown tremendously. Not to mention, so many of you who are appreciative of being put on to so many great brands.
Why are WE raising this money?
While people have asked us to expand our content and offerings, over the past few years, we've taken the time to research what is and what's not working for us. So many years after the Green Book and national Black Book cease to exist, there is STILL a need for that GO TO place to find great quality Black businesses and services. So that's what we're here to do. Bring you that one-stop shop for all things related to Black entrepreneurship, businesses and so much more!
We're launching this Kickstarter Campaign to not only launch the PREMIER global business directory that you all have been asking for, we're also launching a boutique BLACK OWNED BUSINESS AGENCY that will help brands and businesses to not only survive but to THRIVE.
Additionally, when we say that we're GLOBAL, that's what we mean. Our network in the Diaspora is massive - thanks to Tony's Nigerian roots and Shantrelle's Diasporan travels and career. When we launch our directory, we want to make sure that we're sitting down with folks to find out what businesses and our communities need, not only in the US but in other cities across the globe. That's why part of our funds will be used to do on-the-ground Focus Groups in cities from New Orleans to Salvador de Bahia.
If all of that isn't enough, to take things a little further, next year we want to create a magazine that will highlight the best of what our community has to offer and more!
GOAL #1: $30K
If we raise $30K, we'll be able to launch the beta version of our global directory AND travel to London, Lagos, New Orleans, New York and Philly to host focus groups with entrepreneurs, brands, cultural activists and other folks invested in our community.
GOAL #2: $60K
If we raise $60K, we'll be able to launch our boutique BLACK OWNED BUSINESS AGENCY and take the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Tour to Paris, Amsterdam, DMV and Montreal.
GOAL #3: $100K
If y'all do the unthinkable and help us to raise $100K, not only will we launch the directory, the agency and go to Brazil, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago but we'll be able to hire a team to help us create and launch our boutique magazine as well!
But there a like fifty-leven Black owned _________. Do we really need another one?
YES! The reality is that despite what we've been taught to believe, there is room for everybody to win. That's why we've profiled so many of the companies and brands who are out here raising awareness about shopping Black. While there are countless directories, social media pages, websites and organizations that have been created to promote circulating money in the Black community, there has yet to be that one source that we all turn to for news, information, inspiration and business support. That's what we want to be for both the customers/consumers who want to SHOPPE BLACK and the businesses that are founded by people who look like US.
So you think this sounds DOPPPPE. How can you support?
1)You can PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS and contribute to our campaign. We talk all kinds of currency, especially the kind that folds (that's a Coming to America reference bka Shantrelle and Tony's favorite movie for those of you who may not know).
2) You can SPREAD THE WORD. Share, post it in your stories, tweet about it, write a press story about it, send out emails, tell your people. Let everyone know about what we're trying to do with your help.
3) You can submit up to TEN of your FAVORITE Black owned businesses anywhere in the world by going to this link HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/shoppeblackaugust
4) Lastly, make shopping Black a lifestyle. Spend your money where it counts the most. Follow us. Tag us and #SHOPPEBLACK.
PS: Do I have to be Black to support the cause?
Not at all! We want everybody to give us money. Your dollars, pounds, euros are just as green, blue, multi-colored as anyone else's.
Risks and challenges
CHALLENGE #1: Our biggest challenge is that we're a small team of two with volunteer help from our social circle who pitch in to write articles and/or consultants we contract for other design services. In order to make this work, we definitely need team of writers, designers, photographers and videographers who can create and contribute dynamic content while we focus on getting these other initiatives off the ground.
CHALLENGE #2: Although we've done lots of research we still have LOTS of data to collect in terms of knowing WHICH Black businesses are out there who deserve our support. But you've got us covered. Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing for a business and if you contribute to our database, we can get that directory up and running in no time. (Well some time).
CHALLENGE #3: Lastly, while we have an expansive social circle in the cities where we're taking the tour, we could use your help: in identifying who we should invite to be a part of the focus group, securing locations for our focus groups and meet ups, connecting us with people who are well connected in the community who also patronize and have great relationships with lots of Black owned businesses. We would also love to hire local photographers and videographers to document our experiences.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)