You don’t know what you don’t know.
Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —
I want us all to do better supporting Charlotte’s Black-Owned businesses.
Three months ago, I didn’t know anything about Love Bolt. My experience changed my perspective, and I thought it was worth sharing. Last November, I was asked to help with an exhibition at the downtown Mint Museum. The event was to honor the work of Kitty Garner and her organization Love Bolt.
At the event, a group of beautiful individuals hit the stage. I immediately had to know who they were and what they were about. They were a group of black artists and business entrepreneurs throughout Charlotte. The main business was Black Market Charlotte. BLKMRKT is a creative, collaborative gallery/studio owned by two outstanding artists, Wesley Dammit and Sir Will of Simplistic Phobia.
As I started to learn about BLKMRKT, my world opened to the magic of art, color and creativity that connects other incredible black-owned businesses. In addition to BLKMKT, MacFly Fresh provided printing and embroidery to a line of clothing for the Love Bolt event.
I wasn’t familiar with Love Bolt until I was called to help design the spaces for its exhibit. I learned the mission of Love Bolt was to bring an honest conversation about racial inequality but, mostly, they encourage people to do something about racial inequality right now.
What we can do right now is support black-owned businesses.
The black-owned businesses in Charlotte are some of the most cutting edge, and exciting businesses the Queen City offers, like the upscale southern restaurant Leah & Louise. This Camp North End hot spot is run by husband and wife team James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Collier and business partner wife Subrina Collier.
I can’t mention black-owned restaurants without giving a shout-out to Lulu’s. It’s soooo delicious! Lulu’s serves what has been said to be the only true Maryland-style crab cake in Charlotte.
Another business that I know and enjoy is Caitlynandco.com a lifestyle blog for busy Mommas. Fellow blogger Caitlyn Philatre has lots of great stuff on her site.
When the weather warms up you’ll want to give Issa Vibe Adventures a try and book an outdoor adventure and reconnect with nature. The company offers guided hiking excursions, kayaking instruction, and even coordinated water balloon fights! How fun would that be?
A complete list of black-owned businesses for anything and everything is available at https://www.cltblackowned.com/cbo-directory
February is Black History month, and you can support more than 40 Black businesses at the NC Black Heritage Festival. The 2022 NC Black Heritage Festival honors the past, present, and future of Black culture and excellence. It will be held at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center on Feb. 19. The free festival also includes performances, arts and crafts and kid-friendly activities.
Now you know better. You know what to do next.