Black-Owned Lafayette Businesses Experience Growth Locally

Symone Graham

@symonegraham_

Feature Photo: Carly Leday (left) and Bailee Irvine getting their scrub jars for the first time in Baton Rouge on August 2019. Provided by Noire Bath and Body.

As support for Black businesses grows around the country, Lafayette Black businesses have also experienced growth locally.

Recent Black Lives Matter protests have increased the support for Black-owned businesses, according to Forbes.

Three local, Black-owned businesses successfully provide their services online.

Recent reports showed “July’s Black Out Day,” a day in which Black Americans spent their money only on Black businesses, also spiked support for Black-owned businesses. 

Black business owner and founder of Maven Marketing Agency, Destinee Trahan, said she turned her hobby into a full-service, digital marketing agency that creates logos, website designs, account management and anything to help market a business.

“I wanted to create a brand that catered to anyone wanting to partner with me,” Trahan said.

According to Trahan, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement had a positive impact on her business. 

“I’ve connected with much more Black businesses since the BLM (movement) has started and noticed an increase in exposure since the movement began,” Trahan said. 

UL alum Destinee Trahan working in Downtown Lafayette on March 1. Provided by Maven Marketing Agency.

Trahan said she believes the support of Black-owned businesses is essential to the success of minority populations. Through her marketing business, she hopes to continue to share the importance of investing in as many Black entrepreneurs as possible, Trahan said. 

Bailee Irvine and Carly Leday, Black entrepreneurs and owners of Noire Bath and Body, focus on selling various soaps, body and lip scrubs, body creams and bath salts. Irvine and Leday said they hope by selling their products, people can gain a self-care routine, regardless of it being five minutes or an hour. 

Irvine and Leday have been partners in entrepreneurship since they were young and decided to make their dream into a reality, according to the duo.

“We are finally living in and trying to shape a world where minorities are coming into their own and empowering others to do the same,” Irvine and Leday said.

According to the two owners, their business has diverse customers from all over the country and have had major support since the “#supportblackbusinesses” movement online. As a result of their engagement in protests and using their voice to highlight their stance on the national matter, the duo said they saw a spike in the growth of their business.

Kelsie Elizabeth, owner of Perspectives Appeal, an online lifestyle clothing boutique also said the BLM movement helped to make her business more successful.

According to Elizabeth, she has also seen an increase in sales. Elizabeth said she believes the Black community is starting to realize the importance of supporting one another. 

Boutique owner Kelsie Elizabeth at a summer pop up shop at the Omni Center in Lafayette, Louisiana on June 30, 2019. Provided by Perspectives Appeal.

After stores began to reopen following recent pandemic restrictions, searches for Black-owned boutiques increased by 331% since the same time last year, according to a Yelp report.

“We need to support Black businesses because the black dollar is no longer in flux within its own community,” according to Elizabeth.

According to a National Geographic study, small, Black-owned businesses are more vulnerable financially than larger businesses.

Elizabeth said she believes Black people supporting each other can close racial wealth gaps and celebrate Black culture simultaneously.

According to Trahan, it is important to show young, Black females and entrepreneurs that no business venture is unattainable.

“Breaking the mold that society had made for us is the first step to true change,” said Irvine and Leday.

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