Owning and operating a business of any size is hard—however, being a successful single- or few-person operation is darn-near miraculous and most definitely heroic. As I mentioned before in this post, the vast majority of U.S. businesses are considered small businesses and employ nearly half of all working Americans. But when discussing entrepreneurial outfits, I need to make this clear: THESE FOLKS PUT IN WORK.
• 69% of U.S. entrepreneurs launch and run their businesses from home.
• 82% source startup funds from him/herself, or family and friends.
• 77% lean on personal savings to initially fund their businesses.
• 40% actually make a profit, 30% break even, 30% continually operate at a loss.
• 50+% fail in the first four years.
The businesses that do fail usually do so because they lack the knowledge or expertise to achieve and maintain success—which means that those entrepreneurs who ARE doing well are either equipped with the know-how before they make a go of it or are learning on the fly and constantly applying that knowledge with each move.
As the Features Editor for Radiant Health Magazine, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several entrepreneurs over the last three years. Many of these folks had a day job while keeping late night hours and stretching weekends to the max to pursue their own businesses. The one common thread is that they had a passion—they couldn’t shake the desire to design clothing, or create cosmetics, or cook great food, or style hair, or ideate interior textiles, or launch a global magazine even though they didn’t initially possess a lot of knowledge on the business side of it. Those late-night hours and long weekends were spent studying and absorbing all the information they could to see their passions through. On top of giving themselves crash courses in their desired vocation, they were also juggling marriage, parenthood, …and possibly relocation to a new state or country…and possibly life-threatening health issues…and possibly the loss of a loved one.
THAT. IS. WORK.
On this past Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, I joined Radiant Health Magazine’s booth at Village Market ATL, a quarterly marketplace providing a platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their wares and services, and to network. Both days were cold, rainy and prime for DOING ANYTHING BUT hauling and creating a five-hour pop-up shop in downtown Atlanta’s Georgia Freight Depot. Still 100 of these entrepreneurs showed up and showed out on top of dealing with whatever was going on in their personal lives because Small Business Hustlers (SBH) PUT IN WORK.
A few shout-outs to special SBH:
Radiant Health Magazine is a biannual health and wellness coffee table periodical for today’s Afro woman. It is available in Barnes & Noble book stores nationwide and select book stores on four continents…and it ships globally. To learn more, follow Radiant on Instagram or visit radianthealthmag.com
I’m one of the creators/contributors to this magazine and I’m still blown away every time I pick up one of the issues. On top of each page being absolutely gorgeous, the information within is compelling, entertaining and extremely useful. This magazine really says, in every way, that it cares about me (a daugher of the African diaspora) living my best possible life. Dr. Nnenna Makanjuola, I’m glad to be a part of your vision becoming reality.
Dr. Locs is a homemade organic product line created for the loc, dred, and dredlock community. The entire line which includes pre-cleanse, shampoo, conditioner, loc spray, and oil is available at drlocs.com.
Chimere Faulk was one of the first people I met during Village Market ATL. She and her assistant kept the party going all through the event and I know exactly why: Faulk’s products are something to dance about! Finally a loc care system that keeps my locs well-maintained while not giving my hair or scalp a bunch of gunky build-up. Get this—it’s a loc spray that works better than a twist gel or cream. What?!?!? And it smells so fresh and clean. On top of how amazing the products are, I really like how each of the spray bottles has a little locking mechanism on them. Really comes in handy when my toddlers want to “help Mommy.” Holla!
Umi Feeds is a local nonprofit which rescues perfectly good food from local super markets and restaurants to feed to Atlanta’s homeless and food insecure. Volunteers and donations are always welcome. To learn more visit umifeeds.org.
I didn’t even know Umi Feeds was going to be at Village Market ATL, but I can’t say that I was surprised. Umi gets her hustle on. I’m friends with Umi and follow her on social media, so I’ve actually watched Umi Feeds grow and develop over the years into an organization that is really helping Atlanta’s community in so many positive ways. Recently, Umi Feeds established the Whitehall Terrace Community Garden/I SIP Earth in the Mechanicsville neighborhood. The garden will provide fresh produce to an area which would otherwise be a food desert. So many soul claps for this. I support Umi Feeds and encourage you to do so as well.
Tyesh Barnor is another lovely soul whose acquaintance I was blessed to make at Village Market ATL. After swapping stories about recognizing signs and wonders in the universe, I was very pleased to take home a bottle of the Oye Como Va and Breathe. I use Oye Como Va at home and Full of Energy at my office. I LOVE the aroma of both—they have distinct notes and are fragrant without being overbearing—and I’m not alone. Every time anyone walks by my office, they always stop and say, “Mmmm, it smells so good over here.” I especially love the way just a few sprays goes a very long way.
Vonetta Cosmetics is an all-natural skincare and makeup line. The line includes products from cleanser to toner to moisturizer to foundation and everything between. All items can be purchased at vonettacosmetics.com.
First of all, Vonetta Williams and her family look amazing. I’m talking clear, luminescent skin with nary a wrinkle or fine line. They seem to be aging backwards. When I met them at Village Market ATL, I was like, “Are ya’ll drinking baby’s blood?” What they ARE doing is using the products that Vonetta Williams created including the Truth Bar of which I scored two. I’ve been using this soap to clean my face for the past month and I love how it doesn’t give me that dry, tight soap face feeling. Plus, typically I break out every time I smell chocolate. I’ve eaten more Kit Kats than anyone should in the past month and haven’t had a single pimple. Hello!
On My Mother’s Shoulders is a non-profit that sources and gifts free toiletries to people in need. For the past two years, their initiative has been to establish toiletry pantries for students. To learn more about their program, visit onmymothersshoulders.org.
I learned about this organization at Village Market ATL as well and was deeply moved by their efforts to provide homeless college students with basic toiletry items. I remember being seriously broke while in college and struggling to find work that would accommodate my class hours along with any time I needed to study. I was incredibly fortunate to not have experienced homelessness or having to choose between eating and keeping myself clean while trying to improve myself. No student should ever have to worry about life essentials like that. I was happy to make a donation and encourage you to do the same.
Yo! I’m not quite completely vegetarian yet but I’m seriously moving closer to getting there especially with eateries like these in the Metro. I had their cauliflower chicken biscuit at Village Market ATL and I dreamed about how good it tasted that very same night. I also had their Rasta Pasta (too yummy, nom nom nom) and their Sea Moss (hella, HELLA delicious drink). Their food tastes good, is environmentally friendly and doesn’t leave me feeling raggedy after I eat it. (CPADS is not a good thing.) I can’t wait until they open a brick & mortar location.
Copyright © 2018 Nikki Igbo, Writing Goddess. All rights reserved. Do not use or reproduce without permission.