After watching an episode of 60 Minutes featuring Nikki Porcher, someone called me to ask if I had ever heard of her. I wasn't familiar with the name, so I hung up and did my googles.
I was struck by the intentionality and heart-work this woman has put into advocating for, empowering, providing a platform, and extending resources to the large, but under-supported community of Black Women owned/created businesses.
With Christmas just around the corner, I felt like God personally delivered this person's name to me on a silver platter specifically so I could share it/her with all of you. So, if you're still in the gift buying stage, you just struck gold.
Nikki Porcher is a Social Justice Advocate for Black Women, founder of Buy from A Black Woman and The Black Woman Business Directory, as well as, host of ‘A Black Woman’s Podcast’(available on all streaming platforms), who, in essence, couldn't find a support network for Black entrepreneurs, saw the need, so she created one.
A central tenet of her work is her desire to see retailers and the communities they claim they wish to support and uplift, develop more authentic relationships and genuine collaborations. That is what birthed her nonprofit; this drive to see Black women both launch and scale their businesses.
For her, sustenance goes far beyond adding a line about "us" to discussions, reactionary hiring, sending out a tweet, or posting a solidarity photo on Instagram, when they are able to swiftly and directly address inequities. She believes a true method of supporting black-owned businesses does not involve taking that kind of passive action. In most cases, those are merely performative acts of support, which don't translate into long-term, sustainable gains.
REAL support occurs when people of influence, organizations, systems, and other stakeholders extend and provide the resources that will empower and energize their communities. We can only boost our communities' growth and development by allocating money and establishing a conducive environment where all can thrive. That’s the answer. That’s the answer to most of the problems in this world, but I digress.
The mission of Buy from a Black Woman is to help educate, empower, and inspire Black women business owners and the people who support them by providing the tools and resources that will allow Black women business owners to be successful.
That's all I needed to read. An initiative like this is one I can support. An initiative like this is one I DO support. An initiative like this one, I encourage ALL OF YOU to support. During today's reading, I invite you to check out The Black Women Business Directory and Buy from Black Women.
The platforms offer retailers and consumers an array of resources, including holiday sales, accessories, art, beauty products, books & paper goods, candles, décor & furniture, children's items, drinks, food, events, fitness, hair, health, wellness, personal and professional services, skin care, and travel.
The notion that Black women are the fastest growing entrepreneur community has been reported and discussed over the course of the years, but that has never really stood out to me and what I am exposed to every day. So, it’s wonderful to know this space exists for me to tap into and share amongst others.
It's also worth noting that Ms. Porcher is teaming up with H&M for these Holiday Markets in Times Square where you can shop black women's businesses! Therefore, if you are in New York City or the Tri-State area, make sure you check out the Holiday Market. The last one will be held on December 18, 2021.
Here’s a list of the businesses/vendors that will be present. Click on the business name to be redirected to their instagram pages:
Blondery [Food & Drinks]
After a decade-long career in fine-dining, Auzerais launched Blondery in November of 2014 and sold over 500 orders of her pecan and salted caramel blondies in two weeks. Her goal is to reshape the world of fine dining by giving opportunities for advancement to people who are notoriously marginalized within the food industry. Click to learn more about her company.
conditionHER [Health & Beauty]
Wendy Berry & Eugenia Marshal are no strangers to ensuring that they are taking care of every part of their body. Every part. conditionHER is moisturizing cream that has been scientifically formulated for external intimate area. It helps reduce the appearance of ingrown hair, soothe irritation from chafing & razor burn, without disrupting healthy vaginal flora & pH levels. Click to learn more about their company.
Stephanie Dean is the founder and creator of Stepstitches & the 2020 BFABW Project Grant Winner. She creates high-quality handmade goods to delight and inspire customers. Cinnamon Annie Dolls® are a delightful modern version of the beloved classic Raggedy Ann Doll. Click to learn more about her company.
SamCol By Hicks [Books & Accessories]
Inspired by her children, Stevie Hicks created SamCol by Hicks™️ as a way to sells fun & funky enamel pins, stylish literature, invigorating prose, and novelty items for the seen and unseen reading connoisseur. The goal? To enhance the luxury of owning fashion pieces and great books that keep you poppin’ and well read. Click to learn more about her company.
Flex-N-Fly [Travel & Wellness]
Stretch, relax, and get ready to take off. That’s a mantra that Flex-n-fly founder, Youmie Jean Francois shares with the world through her company Flex-N-Fly. Flex-N-Fly is a wellness company that make products and provides yoga classes for the minimalist traveler on the go. With eco-friendly machine washable mats, you’ll never miss a chance to exhale again. Click to learn more about her company.
Alycia Washington is a veterinarian with a passion for beauty and honey bees. She combined these interests to create Cobalt Honey Skincare - a line that combines goodies from the hive with clinical ingredients to provide clean, effective skincare. Click to learn more about her company
Copper and Brass Paper Goods Ariel cultivated a love for all things paper, details and pretty little things. While some teens work their first jobs as a babysitter or in fast food, Ariel wrapped gifts in a department store. Ariel started Copper & Brass Paper Goods in 2017 after noticing a lack of diversity in the paper goods industry. She started with wrapping paper and put her company on the map with a Black Santa gift wrap. From there, her business grew to an assortment of office supplies featuring Black imagery. Click to learn more about her company..