It is a well-known, albeit disappointing fact that only two cents of every dollar spent by Black people is put back into Black businesses. While there are many shop-owners of color throughout the world, and have been throughout history, up until recently there were not many outlets that would frequently promote them.
The past few decades have been trying for those of African lineage in business, to say the least. In this day and age, the support from all is appreciated, but more so, needed to bond the community.
In 2016, a woman by the name of Michelle Dalzon launched theBOM—The Black-Owned Marketplace—a space where Black business owners can not only sell to but meet consumers and teach them about their products. “My rule of thumb is quality of product and quality of story,” Dalzon relayed to Striver’s Row in regards to the selected vendors. “My concern is if they are positive individuals creating impactful, quality products and could benefit from my platform to serve as a launchpad.”
The social media-based company has aided in the highlighting of businesses that were once overlooked. TheBOM has created a community where people of color can interact with others while shopping for beauty essentials, clothing and home furnishings at their bi-annual pop-up shops. The good vibes make each and every person feel comfortable while networking—and even dancing—with vendors and fellow shoppers as they peruse the curated selections. Brands such as UNWRP, Cee Cee’s Closet, LIT Brooklyn, Skin BUTTR, Geenie Box, CRWN Magazine and G+Co. Apparel have been promoted on theBOM’s Instagram page, as well as been featured at their pop-ups held in Brooklyn. Each company is serviced by Dalzon and her staff when they bring their products and are given custom treatment when it comes to their displays.
Since its initial launch, Dalzon’s marketplace has thrived, but it’s to the surprise of no one—the young woman, born to two Haitian immigrant parents in Boston grew up watching them run their own beauty supply store. Michelle has worked at Essence, MTV and Turner Broadcast, excelling at the jobs with her expert marketing, social media and sales skills, respectively. She is working tirelessly to put back the 1.2 trillion dollars spent by Black people annually back into their pockets and has since broken the chains for others to do the same.
In Dec. 2017, The Black-Owned Marketplace celebrated their one-year anniversary, and now in March, Michelle is prepping to expand the brand’s online presence. In 2018, be on the lookout for theBOM’s e-commerce platform, as well as a blog to showcase the countless Black-owned businesses across the globe. And, as always, continue to support Black business!