As my wonderful daughter and I began planning her wedding she insisted upon hiring as many minority vendors as possible.
To my surprise, much of what we needed was within our network already! We actually knew people who had businesses and just needed a gig. I am overwhelmed with pride on this fourth day of Kwanzaa: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To share with you, our families experience with the Black-owned businesses who made my daughters day a dream day!
1. FOOD BY FRANCOIS: My daughter insisted on Chef Barry for her engagement party,and it was the best decision ever! For the wedding, the guest LOVED that even though it was buffet style the plates were presented well. If you’d like to experience his culinary expertise keep an eye out for a Living Social deal where chef Barry will come to your home, cook for you and a few guest and bring live music!
2. S STEPHENS VIDEOGRAPHER : Sarah Stephens was my co-worker who became a friend. Yet I had NO idea of the talents that she had in videography until I saw her working with Maxie Williams one of This cities most exciting Zumba instructors. I asked if she would do us the honor of documenting the day. Sarah and her team were amazing.The guest said they loved the personable touch she added to the event. She even offers teasers of photos she took on social media, making you excited to see the finished product! For Booking contact her at FaithisaLifestyle@gmail.com.
3. MARTIN THOMPSOM:ASCENSION IMAGERY: Search your social media network! @mrnikon_ has a wonderful social media presence and was easy to find. A student at UNC charlotte Martin is studying and working and it’s our responsibility to make sure we get him as many gigs as possible to build him up! By doing this, we support the 4th and 6th principle of Kwanza! He and his team were VERY, VERY professional with an eye for every detail.
4. EVENTS ON MADISON:DAY OF COORDINATION. LINENS AND DECOR: If you are a DIY bride, you NEED the same day coordinator. This mother, daughter, granddaughter team is everything you need. Lakisha J. Hash is the owner operator of this family business taking her mother’s well-laid foundation to the next level. Her mom, Nancy Northern, once featured in JET magazine has passed down secrets of event planning to both her daughter and granddaughter and it shows in how beautiful everything was set up when we arrived. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Sofistafunk Skirt Co. There is no way a weekend would be complete without a Sofistafunk creation in the mix! Not a Charlotte vendor she is universal! Wearing Sofistafunk during the Bridal Shower there was no mistaking who the mother of the bride was!
7.NATURAL HAIR CARE: This Bride has never had a relaxer, and usually wears her hair flat ironed. The mother of the bride has dreadlocks. Between them they have two natural stylists they trusted for this special day:
KINKY COIFS BY TERISHA: (The Brides wedding Hair) For over 10 years Terisha has been ahead of the curve in Charlotte NC when it comes to natural hair care and styling. Terisha is a TEACHER who loves the natural pattern of your hair! You can find her by leaving a message on her Facebook page HERE!
TEMIKA BLACK: (mother of the bride) Again, finding talent in your social circles is key to supporting Black business. @sweettart_86 gives your locks the edge and fun you may want, specializing in color she will make your locks fun and healthy! For an appointment email her at: email@example.com.
8.EXTRAVAGANZA: While this is not a minority owned business we think it should get a mention because let’s face it, not all businesses are minority or LGBT friendly. Our contact there, Jennifer was just as excited about our event as we were. Her customer service was outstanding and she worked within our budget. The team that came to set up and break down was also very, very fast, efficient and friendly.
9.LOCKHART MEDIA + MARKETING: Offering Marketing, Website Design, and Social Media strategies, this NYC styled Advertising Agency can give your event the unique, modern, boutique warm style you want. They also offer a vintage Mad-Men style of advertising that sets them apart from other local agencies.
For this wedding, Lockhart Media, consulted, curated vendors, and designed the wedding website. Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Margo and Daryle Lockhart they are a treasure trove of talent! If you are interested in hiring an excellent marketing team contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With these wonderful vendors we were able to incorporate Ujamaa the 4th principle of Kwanzaa, the idea of building and maintaining our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together, into our daughters holiday wedding and they made it a wonderful. The truth is I was being lazy, you have to look and ask around for referrals, you have to also be just as professional as they are. Yes, a few of these vendors are friends but you must treat them like the professionals that they are. Here are a few quick tips for us to help our community businesses.
1. BARTER EQUAL SERVICES: If you agree to barter, make sure you’re offering something of equal value.
2. DON’T TELL HOW MUCH YOU PAID: They know YOU, not your cousin. They absolutely should charge people the full price for services and goods!
3. BE AS PROFESSIONAL AS THEY ARE: Business is business, don’t be to familiar.
I would love for you to share positive experiences you have had with minority businesses in your area!