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If You Don’t Understand Our Vision, This Is Not For You

How a Black woman-led organization is creating space for Black queens in the Bay Area

by Danielle Brown, Brand Marketing Manager, Diversity & Inclusion @ Google | @iamdaniellebrown

Image provided by NAABW

Taking a look around the Bay Area, there are few spaces for Black queens to come together to bask in magic and excellence. However, one organization is making that a reality. Springing into a new season, the National Association of Adventurous Black Women (NAABW), gathered 75 creators, entrepreneurs, and business supporters to Oakland’s Au Lounge for an afternoon of sharing, ideating, and brainstorming all things business and adventure.

“…Our NAABW mission is to empower black women through sisterhood, global community service, and exposure.” — Julia Weatherspoon, a chapter lead for the Bay Area.

Inspired by Solange’s A Seat at the Table, For Us, By Us served as the launch event introducing the formalization of NAABW’s San Francisco chapter. “I personally have met so many amazing black women here…but still there aren’t really many safe spaces for [us] to connect on a larger scale. Our NAABW mission is to empower black women through sisterhood, global community service, and exposure.” says Julia Weatherspoon, a chapter lead for the Bay Area.

During the mixer, I had a chance to connect with five Black woman owned brands who shared their respective visions for their products, services and offerings. I was already familiar with most of the businesses, but as a Black woman who works in tech and lives by tech, I decided to approach my conversations with them a little differently. Over wine and popcorn (of course!), I met with a few of the ladies and asked:

“How do you use technology to connect the magic of your brand to the needs of women of color?”

Image provided by Kimberly Gant

“I love technology for its ability to connect people around the world. I share my story, my experiences, and my content with a variety of audiences through my online platform and various social media channels. I showcase my love for exploring, capturing, and creating in hopes of inspiring other women of color to find their inner creative and make every second count.”

Kimberly Gant, Creator of All That Is Kim | @allthatiskim

Image provided by Germanee Gerald

“I utilize multiple social media platforms to help showcase my work with faces and figures that look like [us] and are largely underrepresented in magazines and other fashion platforms. Technology allows me to educate my clients on trends, find their personal style, provide them with style inspiration, and be accessible for all their personal styling needs.”

Germanee Gerald, Founder & CEO of ThePrada-G+Co Styling Services | @_theprada_g

Image provided by Amber Janae

“Technology is all about storytelling. It’s about finding a way to creatively share my personal stories and experiences to connect on a personal level with women who look like me. It’s less about using technology for trends and more about building a community for me. Creating a space women rely on and becoming a voice that women trust. I find it important for me to continue to share the magic that I create and remaining a reliable resource for women of color who are seeking better ways to care for themselves emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

Amber Janae, Founder & Editor in Cheif of Amber-Janae.com | @whoisamberjanae

You Had Me At Black and Smile A Day were also featured brands at the event. I’d encourage everyone to listen to their stories and look into the richness of life through the lens of a smile.

Image provided by Selena DS, Founder of Smile A Day
Image provided by Martina Abrahams, Founder of You Had Me At Black

According to Fortune, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US. And those who are truly innovative prioritize bridging the digital divide– applying technology to their business model to make their products and services more accessible to everyone.

Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US.

If you’re interested in pursuing your own dreams and building a brand for yourself and your passion, I suggest you take notes from these ladies. For more from NAABW, like their Facebook page and follow the latest happenings on Instagram.

Want to become a member of Black Tech Women, request to join our facebook community. You can also support Black Tech Women by following us on instagram and twitter.