In March I did karaoke with Karen Hunter, hosted a panel at SXSW, won a contest, got through six books, ran a half marathon through downtown Philly, launched an accelerator program with H&M and the NYNJ NMSDC, and more! Continuing on my personal challenge to share more about what happens behind the scenes (check out my February journal), here’s what I got up to in March:
Hosted An Afternoon Tea
We celebrated International Black Women's Day with a tea party with our dear friends over at H&M. It was an intimate gathering for Black Women Business Owners to share space and enjoy being served for a change. We were serenaded by a violinist, while enjoying delicious afternoon tea eats on monogrammed crockery — yes, we’re this serious about what Black Women Deserve!
Black Women Deserve to be seen, heard, supported and served.
Highlighted 70+ Black Women
I created a guide with 28 SXSW events for and by Black Women. I was doing research for the festival as I was prepping and getting ready to go, but I couldn’t find anything specifically for Black Women, so I created it.
I ended up having the honor of highlighting over 70 Black Women who were presenting on a range of topics, from the creator economy to Web3. And the way it took off on LinkedIn and Twitter is a small indicator of the positive impact making your event accessible to Black Women can have. I was getting requests to add events to it and it became a living document that everyone was sharing, contributing to and using while on the ground at SXSW.
And while at SXSW, I got to moderate a panel on how Wellness Shouldn’t Imply Whiteness. Shanae Jones of Flyest tea company wrote a SXSW recap for us over at BuyFromABlackWoman.org, so you can read more about it there.
Did 6 Interviews
Spreading awareness on the challenges Black Women Business Owners face, while also highlighting the amazing work they’re doing is a big part of what I do as a Black Woman Advocate, so of course I did a couple of interviews:
Black Women Unmuted featured me for Women’s History Month and Equal Pay Day, and I spoke on the importance of supporting Black Women-Owned Businesses
Gloria Ward’s I’m Loving Me Project shared my experience as a Black Woman in the business world
And I got to interview two incredible Black Women CEOs who are making history right now:
April Showers of Afro Unicorn, who told us what it really takes to run a successful global business
Folasade Ogunmokun of Unskrypted TV, who told us her inspiration for creating her media company and shared what being on Founding In Color Season 2 has been like
And you’re going to have to check back for the last two interviews because they aren’t live yet, but I wanted to mention them here as an example of how the work we do sometimes takes a little time to manifest. So check back next month!
Launched An Accelerator Program
One of the highlights of my month was definitely launching the third Black Woman Accelerator Program in partnership with H&M and the New York & New Jersey National Minority Supplier Development Council. This year we’re helping 15 Black Women Business Owners secure their Minority Business Enterprise Certificates, to ensure they’re properly equipped to compete in an increasingly challenging landscape of dwindling D&I dollars.
I’m excited for them to learn all about how to leverage the certification and make their businesses stand out, so stay tuned for more on this journey!
Did “Karen-Oke” With A Live Audience
I got to join an amazing collection of comedians that Karen Hunter assembled for Foolishness Friday Live!. Karen has been a longtime supporter of Buy From A Black Woman, so getting to support her while she was in Atlanta for her tour was an honor. We made curated gift boxes with products by Black Women for the first 75 guests and then I got on stage to lead a session of “Karen-Oke,” which was very spirited and hilarious singing.
If Karen’s coming through your city or to a city near you for her tour, get yourself a ticket. You won’t regret it!
I did this event on the same day as the Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon and I would do it again! It was my 19th race in my 19th state (I’m running a race in all 50 states). I ran through Philly with 11,000 other runners, collected my medal, caught a plane back to Atlanta and then hopped right on stage with Karen and friends! It was such a good time.
Got Some Community Work In
I spoke at the Stephenson High School Volleyball Banquet and spent some time with our emerging leaders
I became a SCORE Mentor and will get to serve the 11 million small business owners and entrepreneurs in their network
And I’ll be serving on the The Gathering Spot Community Board for my second year
I also got some love from the community via Garrett Popcorn. (I had no idea they were Woman Owned!) The wonderful Dr. Sharon Jonhson nominated me for an International Women’s Day contest highlighting inspirational women:
I never know what to say when I see messages like this, I’m just so blessed to be doing this work. Garrett Popcorn sent over a huge box of snacks and I’ve been sharing it with my neighbors and everyone I know!
Went To The Air Premier
Everybody who knows me, knows that Shoe Dog by Nike’s creator, Phil Knight, is one of my favorite business books. I read it every year and I even included it in my blog post on 23 Books I'm Reading & Re-Reading In 2023. So of course when I first heard about Air I already started planning which sneakers I was going to wear!
And in addition to the incredible cast, the costume designer for the film is the talented Charlese Antoinette Jones. We interviewed her back in 2019 when Spike Lee’s Netflix film See You Yesterday (which she also worked on!) came out. And the advice she shared with the BFABW community was, “ Keep working towards your dreams, defend your ideas and be good to people always.”
So getting to see her work in a film which will probably go down as one of the best of our time, feels like a beautiful full circle moment. If she isn’t on your radar, follow her @charleseantoinette on Instagram.
And I Read 6 Books
This month I read and/or listened to:
Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire Paperback
The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World, which I also mentioned in my blog post on books that I’m reading this year
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean & Impressive
Lead to Win: How to Be a Powerful, Impactful, Influential Leader in Any Environment
Bring Yourself: How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly
The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging
Tell me about your March, what did you get up to? I’d love to hear about some of the things you’re proud of. Please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to reply! And whatever else you do, don’t forget to Buy From A Black Woman.