One of the major inspirations for Genara is a feeling- that feeling, that energy when you’re hanging out with a group of friends, trading recommendations so fast and it feels like someone should be taking notes. While it started with “Oh you have to try this candle I’ve been burning for months” and “Here, this face oil will save your dry skin” our current moment demands recommendations of a different sort entirely.
The murder of George Floyd ignited a fire in this country, a necessary one. In the weeks since May 25, we have seen a sudden surge in resources being shared so quickly and fervently. This is a time to protest, teach, learn, grow, and share. Have you seen the NY Times Bestseller list lately?? Honestly, I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the abundant resources available and didn’t know where to start. Then I came across the Justice in June Google Doc from Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace. It breaks down resources and actionable items into a thirty day syllabus. I hope to see more from this duo, as I appreciate the structured guidance.
Next rec: Watch the 2018-2019 HBO series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas, now available in its entirety on YouTube. Season One focused on policing and discussed topics like a police trainer leading trainees to feel they’re “at war” with civilians and one idea getting a lot of air time these days: abolishing the police. Season Two’s focus was on education and also an enlightening watch. Cenac travelled to different cities to discuss problems and the solutions people either created or were trying to implement. In 2019 Cenac said, “At a time when it feels like public discourse is toxic and change is a thing that only happens with elections or impeachments, it was cool to meet folks working to create change in their cities. Not definitive solutions, but ideas to build from that could be replicated.” I love that HBO made the entire series available for free; I would also love if they resurrected it for more seasons (please?).
Have you heard about the 15% Pledge? While intended to call out major retailers like Target, Whole Foods, etc and get them to stock at least 15% of their inventory from black-owned businesses, I signed it as a small business owner. As a non-white woman in this “lifestyle shop” industry, walking trade shows can be an isolating, frustrating experience as it is not the most diverse crowd. I’m tired of perpetuating the problem and I commit to growing our roster of small, independent brands by mindfully choosing new black-owned businesses to work with. It’s going to take some time to add on the necessary partners- COVID-19 has disrupted so many aspects of the industry: from supplying necessary ingredients and supplies to being able to ship safely to simply having the capital to fund a business.
One of those trade shows is Shoppe Object. I’ve been to every Shoppe Object show since they launched the event and I’m glad they announced a new initiative offering ten free booth spaces to black-owned businesses at the next show (October 2020). The cost of a booth is significant and this is a great opportunity for a young business. I’ve been on the wholesale/ maker side of things and it can be so daunting to take on a cost like this. If you or someone you know may be interested, be sure to apply! I would love to see who’s taking the leap with pursuing their passion.
Last but certainly not least, I have a question for you: You’re registered to vote, right?
With love. With gratitude.
co-owner & founder, Genara