Northside Business Spotlight

Business Rock of the Northside

Can you talk about the scholarship program you started last year?

“I decided to put together a scholarship program where I was going to choose one African-American female and one African-American male and give them $500 each just to help out with college life expenses. I announced it through social media and someone from the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder got wind of it and reached out to me. Then Fox 9 News heard about it. From there, donations started pouring in. We ended up with over $5,000, and so instead of just giving $500 to 2 students, we ended up giving $1,000 to 5. I actually just met with them again. All of the kids came in and sat down and just kind of talked about first semester and how it went. I want it to be more than just giving them money and saying bye. I wanted to be able to reconnect with them. Also, being the first awardees, we’re going to find some way for them to connect with the next round of students. We’re gearing up for that again this year. We’re going to make the announcement for it a lot sooner than we did last year, within a couple of months.”

What's the message of your apparel line "Up Your Image?"

“I started the apparel line back in July 2018 and the tagline is “Up Your Image.” I wanted to put out a t-shirt with a message. It means you go in and clean out all that junk: all those negative perceptions you have about yourself, or other people. Reveal the new you. Therefore, you’re upping your image. We put together another slogan a few months after, “Black Love Rocks.” The red in the design is for the blood that flows through our veins, the black is for the skin, the people, and the green is for the land. The saying itself, “Black Love Rocks,” is kind of self-explanatory. Whether it’s me having love for people in my community, my family, my friends, intimate personal relationships. It’s just that Black love and how we feel about it: it just rocks. I also have hats that go with both designs and I’ll be expanding on that as time goes on.”