Co-Owner of Eye See Me Bookstore / Recipient of We Buy Black Grant
Pamela Blair, Co-Owner of Eye See Me Bookstore and a recipient of We Buy Black Grant, offers literature so that African American children can see themselves in books. Blair’s store, located in St. Louis, is the only children’s bookstore devoted exclusively to promoting positive African American images and African American history while advocating for academic excellence. It was created to help bridge the cultural divide, so that African American children can benefit from exposure to literature that mirrors their images, their culture and their families. “We believe that competent, caring, and properly supported teachers and parents are essential to student learning, she says. “EyeSeeMe is here to help provide that support.”
Owner of Emojis Grilled Cheese
Hope Green, Owner of Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar, has an innovative way to teach homeless youth life skills. Green uses her fleet of food trucks, based in East Austin, Texas, to teach job and life skills to homeless teens and youth aging out of foster care. This amazing food truck takes traditional comfort food combinations and transforms them into unique Grilled Cheese combinations.
Owner of Akwaaba Inns / Recipient of
We Buy Black Grant
Monique Greenwood, Owner of Akwaaba Inns and recipient of the We Buy Black Grant, provides a refuge for rest and relaxation for all. Monique realized her dream of owning four historic bed and breakfasts, with 32 guest rooms, on the East Coast in Washington, DC; Brooklyn, NY; Philadelphia, PA and the Poconos. Combining all of her passions - interior design, meeting new people, entertaining and helping others create wonderful and lasting memories - has been the foundation for her dream that took flight 25 years ago.
SM Fellow / Owner of Harlem Candles
Teri Johnson, The Harlem Candle Co. Owner, brings the aroma of the world to your home. As a child, Teri grew obsessed with her favorite aunt's collection of exotic perfumes and travel stories. These memories planted the seed in Teri’s heart for a long-lasting love affair with travel and fragrances. Her six-year-old company started in her kitchen after she discovered the power of scent and its ability to transport you through time and place. Her passion has developed into a business where she designs fragrances alongside award-winning perfumers to produce beautifully scented candles inspired by the richness of Harlem, and nearly 70 countries she has visited through the years.
SM Fellow / Owner of KinkyCurlyKaki
Vivian Kaye, Founder and CEO of KinkyCurlyYaki created a product that makes women feel gorgeous, naturally. She’s always been proud of her natural hair and how her curls look when she gives them the attention they deserve. But like many women, she also loves experimenting with protective styles such as weaves, wigs and braids. About a decade ago she searched for natural textures that looked like hers, but her search came up empty. So she filled the niche. “I decided to create a company that not only sold high quality, kinky, curly and natural-looking textured hair extensions,” Kaye says, “but one that also celebrates the women who wear it.”
SM Fellow / Owner of Jolie Jordan
Lori Land, Owner of Jolie Jordan boutique encourages clients to take fashion to the next level. Land is no stranger to the fashion industry. Jolie Jordan is her second retail store since opening her first award winning boutique in 2009. She has a long history of working with luxury stores and coveted brands. Over the course of her career she has developed a signature style by combining casual elegance with exciting touches of the newest trends. This slight push away from traditional looks encourages their clients to take risks and have fun creating their own individual style. Taking risks also leads to excellence. Being innovative is why Land was one of ten entrepreneurs to win the 2018 SheaMoisture fellowship to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She's also been awarded Best Retailer in Westchester County and 914 Magazines 'Top Women in Business' for overcoming the hurdles of retail during a downward economy.
SM Fellow / Owner of Lenzy Dermatology
Dr. Yolanda Lenzy, Owner of Lenzy Dermatology and SheaMoisture Fellow, focuses on hair and scalp disorders and skin disease in skin of color. There is no stronger love than the one between Black women and their hair. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Lenzy is well aware of this relationship and she has developed a 12-week course to equip cosmetologists, trichologists and barbers “with the pearls needed to better serve their clients suffering with various forms of hair loss,” says Dr. Lenzy who recognizes the value of community-based partnerships between dermatologists and hair stylists. “I realize that stylists are on the front line with the ability to pick up hair loss in their clients in the earliest stages.” Dr. Lenzy owns the largest hair loss center in Western Massachusetts and is committed to providing her patients personalized care. Her books, Hair Diet and Getting to the Root, address many ways to treat multi-ethnic hair, scalp and skin challenges.
Owner of The Bark Shoppe /
Recipient of We Buy Black Grant
Melissa Mitchner, Owner of The Bark Shoppe and the recipient of the We Buy Black Grant, offers precious pets a meticulous grooming that is second to none. Since opening her doors in 2012, with a loan from her grandmother and other self-funded sources, Mitchner’s business has been deemed a premier pet care facility specializing in grooming, boarding, daycare, and dog walking. Her Harlem-based business mantra “Your pet. Our Priority” is why clients rave about the products and services that are based on the expertise of leading pet care professionals. The Shoppe’s signature soap-free shampoos and water-based, hydrating body sprays infused with natural essences are safe for pets and vegan.
Owner of Women’s World of Boxing / Recipient of We Buy Black Grant
Reese Scott, Owner of Women’s World of Boxing and recipient of We Buy Black Grant, provides a space in New York City where women can find their most powerful selves. In 2003 Coach Reese traded in 70 of her 220 pounds for a new life of confidence, and developed inner-strength when boxing became her newly discovered transformer. Now, she shares this life changing sport with other women at her Women’s World of Boxing Club. Her total body, mind and spirit transformation gave her the courage to choose her life’s purpose of opening the first women’s boxing gym in New York City in 2018 and provide a safe, uplifting environment to learn the sport of boxing.
SM Fellow / Co-Founder of CeeCee’s Closet
Uchenna Ngwudo, Co-Founder of CeeCee’s Closet NYC and SheaMoisture Dartmouth Tuck School of Business Fellow, celebrates the beauty of West African prints. Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo create their unique accessories in the spirit of all women who boldly decide to pursue their passions. Their stunning head wraps, jewelry, waist beads, handbags, clothing and more are fit for Queens. “Our accessories are designed by us and handmade by artisans in Nigeria,” they say. “Having our accessories made in Nigeria allows Cee Cee’s Closet NYC to have a transformative impact on the lives of our artisan partners.”