When Anima Iris CEO and MBA student Wilglory Tanjong began making luxury handbags in February 2020, she did not expect Beyoncé to be wearing one of her purses a year and a half later.
Anima Iris handbags are made by a team of seven artisans in Senegal. Tanjong told CNBC MakeIt that in her plans for the company’s future, “most importantly, I want us to really remain made in Africa.”
Tanjong is not the only one whose side hustle has become a lucrative business. Helena Faustin, who runs the popular food blog That Nurse Can Cook, makes $117,000 a year cooking Jamaican food out of her home’s kitchen.
As a first-generation Jamaican American, Faustin said she was “surrounded by a plethora of Caribbean influence.” She developed a passion for cooking from a young age and learned how to cook by watching her mother.
Her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? “If you have a talent, harness that talent, learn as much as you can from it, and monetize that thing.”
Domonique Brown, an artist and founder of DomoINK, monetized her talent by creating a $267,000 art, apparel and home decor business. Having grown up not seeing imagery of other Black women in stores, Brown intends for the brand to be “a representation of those who are always underrepresented.”
“You can bring your own seat to the table,” she said, “or you can make your own table.”
Like Brown, Paulana Lamonier turned her passion into a business designed with Black Americans in mind. Lamonier said her business, Black People Will Swim, is a “call to action” to make the swimming space more inclusive. Its mission is “to smash the stereotype that Black people don’t swim.”
Black People Will Swim conducts swimming lessons on Long Island and is trying to raise enough funds to build its own swimming facility. Lamonier hopes Black People Will Swim will allow “Black and brown people to see themselves and see that it’s possible.”
Watch the video to learn more about how these Black female entrepreneurs are building wealth.
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