Blog Post - On visiting the North Dekalb Mall in Decatur, GA. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Keziah African Art & Design Gallery. The shop is located near the food court. It has an extensive selection of African art, clothing, and cultural merchandise. I was greeted as soon as I entered the store and I could tell that the staff was going to be attentive to my shopping needs.
I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of merchandise available for purchase. Mercy and Samuel Mensah, the owners, were born and raised in Ghana and now live in the Decatur area. Mercy says that she has been in that location for approximately two years.
I've included a few photos taken on that day so that you can see some of the variety of products that they offer. You can also learn more about them at http://www.keziahstyle.com
Make sure you check them out and support the entrepreneurs in our community!
Blog Post - BlackBusinessList.Com recently visited the Chattanooga Market in Chattanooga, Tennessee and found several Black business vendors who had traveled from Atlanta, GA to vend their products. One of the vendors in particular caught our attention. The owner of Marsha! Marsha! Marsha! Handmade Jewelry was very engaging and pulled us in quickly with her charming personality.
After conversing with her for a while, we learned that she frequents the Chattanooga Market because it represents a great opportunity for her to showcase her jewelry. We witnessed her make several sales while we were visiting her booth. We weren't surprised due to her warm presentation and great looking products. She told us that there were also other Black business owners who frequent the market and travel from Atlanta also.
We really admire her tenacity and drive as a business owner. Being willing to travel and go where people are ready to do business is a great attribute for a business owner to have. We've included a few photos of her booth and a few other photos from the market. If you are ever able to visit the market, check her out, and tell her that we sent you!
Turn on the news and you'll see all sorts of news stories of business owners of ALL ethnicities in trouble due to a bad business deal of some sort. Or, you may see stories of businesses shutting their doors because they can no longer stay in business. Being a business owner is tough, PERIOD. No ethnicity has cornered the market on bad business practices.
The reality is, that African American business owners may find themselves falling into bad business practices easier than others due to their circumstances. For example, you may find that a business owner is dodging your calls or not delivering on their promises. There are many reasons that may be happening. The owner could be on the verge of going bankrupt, or is overworked due to over promising on goods or services. This happens to a lot of business people. Statistically speaking, White business owners, are able to get loans or other financial products to help keep their businesses afloat more often than minority business owners. White business owners often have more access to consultants, planners, and other professionals that can give expert guidance to the owner. It's not that the Black or minority owner is more susceptible to being shady, it's more about their structure from the beginning and their ongoing access to professionals that can help them stay afloat.
Most Black or minority business owners want to offer great products and services to their clients and customers. There are MANY examples of minority owned businesses that are thriving and doing well. So don't fear doing business with a minority owned firm. If a problem arises, just be upfront and let them know that they can be honest with you about whatever challenges they may be facing. They probably have something that is preventing them from being able to provide good service. If you can, simply offer them feedback and let them know that you will appreciate a quick solution to the problem or you'll have to take your business elsewhere. No one can be upset with a client or customer like that. It may be your act of kindness that can be a big difference to the struggling entrepreneur.
What are YOUR thoughts about this topic? Share them in the comments!
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