Black Southern Belle launched over a year ago. Founder Michiel Perry created the web site to fill a need for more black vendors in the area of good food, black art, quality merchandise, home decor, and slow southern living. She actually stumbled across the idea when planning her wedding. Within just four short months, Perry secured $50,000 in sponsorships.
Discovering a need grows into a profitable company
Like many entrepreneurs, Michiel’s company was created to fill a need. As she was planning her wedding, she noticed how few black vendors there were for decor and southern lifestyle decorating, which is her passion and something she is very good at.
Her research showed a lack of Black vendors for ideas and products for the home. In planning her wedding and future home, she wanted to support businesses owned by Black women, but she was frustrated by how little information was out there. So she created a web site that would provide a list of black-owned vendors that offered information on products, projects, and events.
More than just a web site
As an event planner and relationship manager for Google, Michiel knew the importance of event management and sponsorship and applied that knowledge to her own newly-found company. She comments, “It’s important to have online consumers meet in person and engage with the brand.”
Her web site provides information on how people can meet each other, network and collaborate at her branded events. “Curated events will distinguish us from another brand and create loyalty among our target audience,” she explains.
Perry advises other entrepreneurs to invest in their business, hire good talent — you can’t do it all yourself — and the money will come. It’s also important to find your niche. For her, it was creating positive images of African-American families and individuals with a Southern connection.
For more details about Black Southern Belle, visit www.blacksouthernbelle.com