15 May Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself, Melanin Money
It’s Melanin Money Monday…
It has been really difficult for me to get started with this blog series. Every week two or three different things have happened, since deciding to transition #melaninmoney into a blog, that I want to discuss and it’s difficult to decide where to start.
If this is your first introduction to the Melanin Money concept, WELCOME! Initially melanin money was introduced last year. I wanted to create a way to share our experiences and create a more positive view of black business specifically across social media. So often I hear negative comments about black and minority businesses and usually it’s prefaced by “See this is why I don’t fool with black businesses,” or a paraphrase of this sentiment. I have even caught myself at times preparing to say it.
What I began doing was reprogramming my thoughts and what I was putting out into the atmosphere. Why? Because what I noticed is that most of the complaints were not issues that were exclusive people who were black. So I started by asking myself one question, ‘is this problem, was this infraction exclusive to black people?’ Thus far my answer has been, NO. The reality is that you had a bad experience and it happened to be with a black business. I saw this post on social media and it was one of the realist things I ever saw.
I have experienced bad service from people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicity. It just boggles my mind that as black people we automatically run straight to we aren’t supporting a black business, any black business, because you have a bad experience with one. The even crazier part when I hear this from a black business owner.
So listen everyone makes mistakes. Small businesses, all small businesses make them. There are a few things that I think need to happen on the business side and on the consumer side that could help resolve this issue and that is why I initially created Melanin Money. I think, if business owners became better consumers that would solve some issues. One of the top suggestions is that we have better dialogue between the business and consumers. I do believe this will be the most difficult part of this journey. I ask one thing to those reading this. Do not post your grievances on social media before giving the establishment an opportunity to fix your problem. As we move through this blog series I will share more of my thoughts on how we can do better but this is where I am beginning.
Before I close, I’ll start and be transparent. I struggle with communication when I don’t have the answers. I hate saying ‘I don’t know’ when it comes to something being delivered. One of the downfalls to my product is that it leaves my hands for about a month to two months before I receive a finished product to give to the world. So if any of my third party vendors such as my printer is being non-responsive I genuinely don’t know when I am going to have something in my hand. I know find a new printer. If only it was that easy. I would probably be better off buying a printer and a building based on the experience I have had thus far with the search. I have had a shirt printer run off on me before with my money and to this day I have not received the product or the money back. When you know better, you do better and I was being completely taken advantage of in terms of the cost of those shirts. Thankfully, I didn’t have anyone who had paid for a shirt looking for shirts but I did have people who wanted shirts that I couldn’t supply because my money was gone. No idea what to say in that situation. It was always, I’m working on it. I was genuinely working on it but that answer was less than satisfying for all parties involved. I had another printer quadruple my price the day before going to print. Those are just a couple of my experiences, but I will share this with you, of those 3 vendors only 1 of those vendors were black. Plus the reality is this, when you are wanting to purchase a magazine, tshirt, notebook or anything else from me, you could care less about the issues that I am having. You just want the product, so I can tell you these stories every time one of them happens but at the end of the day LeKeisha/ Ambition is unable to deliver. So me telling you that these white owned businesses are blowing it really doesn’t matter. So why do we tear black businesses? Why can’t it just be, business XYZ blew it?
I apologize this is a little longer than I initially intended but there is so much for us to cover under this melanin money and I am excited to jump in. Share your experiences with me. I seriously want us to create more positive visual of black businesses on social media. Supporting them is a big piece and there are tons of layers to that and we are definitely going to get into them. Until then, what are your thoughts? I only have one request, provide constructive criticism!