We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheri Jones and Tinicia Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheri and Tinicia, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Our business helps the community by providing a platform for Black owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals. We offer an online HUB for everything Black in our community. Customers, Citizens, Politicians, Business Owners, and more all gather in our group to discuss business and more. We help business owners increase revenue, we provide resources for businesses to elevate, we communicate where Communicate where Black events around the city are happening and we create note worthy partnerships with community establishments.
What should our readers know about your business?
Black San Diego: Empowering Our Community (Black San Diego or BSD) is a business that provides a platform for Black Owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals. We mothers, wives, sisters, cousins, who make take the time to listen to the needs and wants of our community members. We apply those needs and wants in a way that we feel can and will be most beneficial to the community. We are out in the community, circulating our dollars, encouraging other to the same, talking with business owners about what we can do to help them become more successful, and when we have the data we use the date to create systems that will benefit the Black owned businesses that we serve. We strive to educate Black owned businesses so that they can start, develop, and sustain and we also strive to make an enjoyable experience for the consumers. We are proud that we have been able to reach a wide variety of San Diegans. We have a membership base of over 36k and they are very active in the group. We LISTEN and we make the proper adjustments to serve our members. We did this authentically, by being ourselves and being for the community before anything else. This has not been an easy road. We have jobs, we have children, and we still make time to put our community at the top of the list of our priorities. We have over come challenges by seeking out assistance, looking for quality team members who can assist in making BSD a success. Along the way we have learned that maintaining a business is not easy however, it is very rewarding. Knowing that the work that we have set out to do has encouraged someone to obtain the proper paperwork to run their business or even start a business that they were too afraid to start before stumbling upon our group makes it worth it. We want the world to know that we do and can have high quality Black owned businesses in our communities that we can and should support. We started with a Facebook post asking folks to list the Black owned businesses. We started with a list of about 20 businesses and a networking event. We know have a list o cover 600 Black owned businesses and a Facebook group that has grown to over 36k members in less than 5 years. We have bee able to expand our business venture to include a mobile app, and we even started a nonprofit that will allow business owners to get business workshops for free.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friend would first have to download BSD’s mobile App to check out all of the Black owned businesses and community events in the town. Then we would be on our way to exploring the city. We would get settled in from the jet lag by visiting Stephanie J’ at Formula Skin Lab with a rejuvenating facial, followed by a mani pedi at Adrian’s Bosslady Nails, we would grab some Jamaican food from Island Spice, make that a beef patty with a small oxtail plate, extra plantin and a pineapple ginger drink, before the BFF lays it on down at the HYATT house for the night. The next day we will visit the Pop Up Art Gallery at Market Creek Plaza, before heading for lunch at the Spacebar Internet Cafe and a little shopping for some knick knacks at Melanin Made. Day three we take in some culture at the Worldbeat Center located in Downtown San Diego, and then head over to snack on one of the most glorious charcuterie boards at Boutique Vino while having a nice convo with owner Justus and since we would already be Downtown we would make sure to turn up in the Gaslamp at f6ix Nightclub. There is NO way I would let my best friend visit without making a stop at Louisiana Purchase to visit Chef Q, a few of my favorites on the menu include the Lemon Pepper Wets, Soul Rolls, Seafood Baked Potato and a Watermelon Daiquiri to wash it all down. Right around the corner we can catch up on old times as we sit at the beautiful NorthPark Nursery, surrounded by plants and a gift shop to boot. We would travel up the 15 North to visit Sip Wine & Beer to relax and play some board games. Next we can hit up Mission Beach and rent some Jet Skis from The San Diego Ski Dudes, which is a nice way to let the youngins and the grown folks soak up some sun and enjoy each others company. After a day of fun at the beach we would join the best BBQ in town with a family vibe like no other Bowlegged BBQ, the Chili, Cornbread and rib tips are all delicious but we absolutely have to have a slice of that sweet, moist, German Chocolate cake.n Depending on the weekend we would have to visit some of San Diego’s favorite vendors at the Soul Swapmeet, this is an ideal spot to shop for take home gifts to the family. Last but most definitely not least on the last Sunday of the month I would be most obliged to carry my best friend to BSD Presents: Daygo Eatz, where Black owned Food Trucks, caterers, chefs and food pop-ups get to display their culinary gifts for the public to enjoy! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would like to dedicate our Shoutout to our Board Members Chida from Black & Magazine, Lance from Growth 1031, JR from State Farm Insurance, and Kyra Our FaceBook page Moderator, who keep us motivated and give us the push we need to continuously reinvent ourselves and stay relevant with ever changing times. Others who deserve recognition in our story would include; Cassandra from Sip Wine and Beer who has encouraged us tremendously to gather our thoughts and put them to work in a way that we can monetize the business. Jasmine Sadler owner of The STEAM Collaborative always shows up for us in support and in alignment with our vision. Finally a HUGE shoutout to our members. Our members show up and show out. Whenever we are looking for support, recommendations, engagement and content they are there with a whole lot to say. =*)
Other: Black San Diego mobile app available on iPhone and Android email email@example.com
Vivid View Photography Saul Jordan Creative Nandi Nefertiti Mooney