In the city of Louisville, which was the center of civil unrest after the police killing of Breonna Taylor, Black businesses have been a source of empowerment during tough times—one Black-owned business is designed to help multiple ones.
Creators Savon Gray and Robbie Dobbs launched their service in 2020 as a means to bring people together.
“So while that was happening, we were brainstorm[ing] and we’re just like, ‘what can we do to make a difference in our city?,'” Gray said.
Upon researching their initial ideas, a staggering problem arose. The duo realized money spent within their Black community barely stays in the community.
“We found that we spend $1.2 trillion every single year, but on average, that dollar only stays in the black community for six hours, where it’s like days for other ethnicities and nationalities,” Gray said.
They introduced an innovative alternative that would encourage Black people to buy from Black-owned businesses, partnering with local businesspeople, and distributing their products such as a holistic Black skincare product line called Melanin Minerals based in Oregon and UBeauty Essentials, another skincare line that helps Black people with eczema and sensitive skin, based in Indianapolis.
“We have an online marketplace now with different vendors that you can just go on and shop from,” Gray said. “We sell our boxes that we curate with just different products or different businesses to kind of get them in your hand, which is what we consider the best way to market.”
With most of their efforts to promote Black businesses dependent on e-commerce, the duo pitches to small Black-owned businesses about building apps and coding.
“We’re really wanting to impact the world itself,” Dobbs said. “…just kind of change things for people that didn’t get a chance that they should have gotten.”