April was filled with celebrations because I played auntie to a little girl, Buy From A Black Woman turned seven, I ran my 20th half marathon, got to celebrate the graduates of the Black Women Accelerator Program and much more. It was a beautiful month!
Celebrated Seven Years
It wasn’t until this memory popped up that I realized I’ve really been doing this for seven years. We celebrate Buy From A Black Woman’s anniversary on the 25th of April every year, but April 19th is when we became official official! I had filled out the 501c3 tax exemption paperwork myself (which I do not recommend!) and our letter of recognition arrived that day.
It actually arrived just as I was getting ready to call our very first Black Woman Business Grant recipient, Shanae Jones, of Fylest (which was called Ivy’s Tea Co. back then). And in that moment I knew what I was doing with Buy From A Black Woman was something real and what I was supposed to be doing. The timing was confirmation. And Shanae has gone on to do incredible things with Flyest, she’s a true Living Example of how Black Women Business Owners can truly excel with the right support.
I’m so grateful to be able to do this work and will always do everything I can to help those coming after me, so I wrote 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In The last 7 Years for all my founders and entrepreneurs.
Spoke At H&M’s Sustainability Forum
I was invited to speak at H&M Sustainability Forum: Social Impact and share the work that we’ve been doing with their sustainability, and inclusion and diversity teams with the rest of the company. Our partnership with H&M began in 2021 when they reached out to me because they saw Buy From A Black Woman’s commitment to using our platform to support economic participation and growth. And since then they’ve sponsored initiatives such as the Black Woman Business Accelerator Program, the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour. the Buy From A Black Woman Holiday Market, our Living Examples docuseries and more.
We’re proud to be aligned with a brand that’s truly committed to social impact and community development, and connecting with our friends at H&M is always a good time.
Shared Some Numbers With Canvas Rebel
I did an interview with Canvas Rebel and got to share how we helped drive over $2.7 million in revenue last year. Black Women Founders earn an average of $24,000, which is five times less than other women founders. This limits their ability to invest in marketing, the development of their businesses, take advantage of opportunities, earn a living wage and even survive. It’s why only 3% of Black Women-Owned Businesses make it to five years.
So to be able to have a direct impact on Black Women’s ability to generate revenue in a recession, a pandemic and despite the structural racism and gender bias they face is something that we’re very proud of. Our work is working.
Helped Set Black Women Up For Success
After six weeks with our third cohort of The Black Woman Accelerator Program, we had an event in Atlanta to celebrate their success. Our theme for the year is “Black Women Deserve Success” and removing the obstacles so they can get MBE certified and access the opportunities that come with that is just one way that we’re helping set them up for success.
I cannot wait to share what updates these Black Women will have later this year.
I also got to speak at Spelman College and pour into our up and coming leaders as a part of Dr. Lee and Professor Selby’s Unbossed & Unbothered class. Working with young women and mentoring them is one of my favorite parts of my job, so this was definitely a highlight!
Activated Auntie Nikki
Speaking of young women, I was on full-time auntie dutie for a couple of days this month and it was eye-opening. I took care of my friend’s daughter for about a week. She stayed with me, so it was school runs, keeping her entertained, a night-time routine and all the things that come with caring for a child. And I am a Mother, I have an amazing son who’s grown and out the house, but balancing caring for this little girl while managing the daily demands of running a business just made me even more aware of a few things.
The narrative that you’re failing if you can’t balance everything, or that you’re selfish for going after your dream while raising kids is problematic. Some things aren’t that simple. It also reminded me of the fact that having a community of support is so necessary in order to be successful. Also, people really do trust me. I want to get deeper into this and am working on something, so subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out.
Stepped Out Of My Comfort Zone
I got to vend at the Atlanta Streetwear Market with Shanae and Flyest. Vending isn’t something I usually do, and it was a whole experience serving customers and making sales. I might need to do a separate post on this and share what I learned, because there were a lot of lessons that day.
While Shanae was here in Atlanta we also did a speed dating event and test drove a Porsche. The speed dating was an experience! I won’t do it again, but I think everyone should try it once because it was wild. And if you see me around town driving a Porsche, mind your business.
Did State #20
I visited Boise, ID briefly to run the Boise River Half Marathon. This was race no. 20 for me. I’ve been running long distance ever since my doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to and I set myself a goal to run in all 50 states. Running helps me stay grounded and it keeps me healthy because I have to take care of myself to be able to run.
I’d probably be a health and wellness advocate in another life because I think it’s important for us to move, eat well and be very intentional about what we consume, so I talk about health a lot. Follow me on TikTok if you want more on this, I go live sometimes and make my morning smoothie!
Read Some Books
I missed my reading goal this month and only read two. One being The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steve Covey. This book took a great deal of time because there was just so much to take in. And I caught a podcast with Austin Kleon on it and wanted to know more about his process, so I grabbed Steal Like An Artist. A pretty quick read.
How Was Your April?
How was April for you other than submitting your taxes? Leave a comment below to let me know. I always enjoy hearing from you and do my best to reply. What did you get up to?