Last week we launched our new merchandise here on blackgirlswithpurpose.org. The news was received with such excitement, that I decided to give everyone a little insight into why we decided to add gear to our business and what we’re hoping to get out of it.
A quick history lesson about the Black Girls with Purpose organization. Black Girls with Purpose launched unofficially last year after the publication of our book The Black Girl’s Guide to Living on Purpose. I’ve shared many times over that I didn’t really think God would do anything with this book, I just knew He was calling me to write it. But in typical God fashion, He blew my mind with the opportunities He created as a result of my obedience – opening up doors for me to do workshops and events on both high school and college campuses which eventually led to the publication of The Black Girl’s Guide to Living on Purpose workbook.
Again, still not seeing the possibilities of a full blown organization I continued to do book signings around the city of New Orleans and booked occasional speaking gigs with organizations here and in my home state of Texas. But God expanded that vision this year and showed me that Black Girls with Purpose was going to be my full-time business.
I took Marie Forleo’s B-School, got crystal clear on our profit streams and then started to create a plan for how we’d get the word out about what we’re doing. It’s around this time that my husband, Geordan, and I celebrated our 1-year anniversary. In the bae-est of bae moves, “G” gave me designs I could use for promotional pieces. Oh, the joy of having a guy who supports your dreams.
So I did the research on what it would take to launch a merchandise arm of our business and after talking to my “brother” and Dope Rebellion founder, Philip Garner, decided to outsource our fulfillment to a company I’m really digging so far, Printful. They print, package and ship goods and we receive a portion of the profit!
Now to state the obvious, these products most certainly represent a form of income for this business. But, more than that they represent the spark of countless conversations. My hope is that women will put on our shirts or caps and walk with a little bit more pep in their step. That they’ll grab their new favorite coffee mug and get excited about the day ahead.
It’s so hard to think bad thoughts about yourself or others while wearing a shirt that declares to the world that you are a black girl with purpose. What’s more, by wearing it, you’re making the decision to be in company with the lovely young women we’ve been able to feature here on our blog. These women own businesses, start movements, host podcasts and most importantly are deeply connected to why it is they exist.
So if you do decide to buy a t-shirt, mug, phone case or dad cap, understand you’re buying so much more than that. You’re buying a message. One that says “our stories are just beginning and our lives are not an accident.”