May 04, 2019
Hey, Do you know what today is…?! *Cue Tony Toni Tone*
Exactly a year ago today, I posted my first social media posts for Black-Owned Syracuse. I was completing my Master’s in Journalism Innovation at Newhouse (Syracuse University) while pushing through the pain of a really tough year. My vision of Black-Owned Syracuse at the time was limited to a directory, online courses, e-books, business spotlights including video. I thought this would be a fulfilling side project. It wasn’t until last fall (before officially completing my Master’s) when I sat down and ended up filling up an entire notebook of ideas for events, programs, speaking engagements, and much more. I knew I needed a team. Since January of this year, my team grew from one to four. We’ve had a couple events (like our first #BuyBlackSYR pop-up at Wildflowers Armory!), and we’re preparing for major ones like the first annual CRAFTED festival (hosted by Wildflowers Armory and Rail Line June 1st-2nd) and our first food and drink festival (August 9th-11th!).
Our directory is growing (150 plus!). Our online marketplace will launch this year. We are putting together membership programs, volunteer programs, internship and ambassador programs. We have two major speaking engagements, partnerships and more BECAUSE OF YOU!
Thank you to the Black entrepreneurs of Syracuse who get out of bed everyday to hustle despite living in a city listed year after year as the worst place for us to live. I created this with you in mind. Thank you to community members who understand the importance of Black wealth. Thank you to Black business owners who trusted me with their stories: Tyrone Dixon of Aroze Through Concrete Consulting, Artist Jaleel Campbell, April Williams of A Perfect 10 Hair, Waliek Betts of All Money Spends Clothing, Alana Hughes and JT Houston of H2FITNESS #SpreadLove.
Thank you to business owners and community members who have showed consistent support: Travis Robinson of Tru Soundz Entertainment, Melquea Smith of Pretty Kitty Commissions, Lauren Malloy of Blooms PR and Events Firm, Jai Reese of ThasRed Decor, SeQuoia Kemp of Doula 4 A Queen, Nikki Jones of Nikki R. Jones Communications and Renee Jones Art, Yolanda Derby, Trenton Sparks, Rhison Williams, Candi Patterson, Chef Day Howard, Chef Royce Daniels…your likes, shares and other forms of support does not go unnoticed. There was so many times when the love you showed was the “only” reason I didn’t stop.
Thank you to Michael John Heagerty (Wildflowers Armory) and Dallas Bryson (Syracuse CoWorks and The Venue) for approaching me with great partnerships that is understood as mutually beneficial. I look forward to our future events!
Thank you to my team: Tonia Torrence (Events), Precious Walker (Volunteers/Interns), and Chris LueChung (Photos) for all that you do!
Black-Owned Syracuse saved me. It’s my Baby. Thank you all for helping water my baby. It’s growing!
Happy Anniversary, Baby! Wishing us many more years! #BuyBlackSYR
Black-Owned Syracuse Founder & President