• Rebound Mar 21

    ‘Would This Be Easier If I Weren't a Woman of Color?'

    As Mented attempts to gather more funding, CEO KJ Miller examines how other, non-Black-owned businesses performing worse than her company are able to raise more money from venture capitalists. Plus, as the nation deals with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others, Mented doubles down on its values and speaks out publicly about injustice.

  • Rebound Mar 17

    Rebound: There's No Limit With Lemonade

    Like thousands of small business owners across the country, the pandemic challenged Vicktor Stevenson, owner of San Francisco’s gourmet lemonade stand Gourmonade, in new and unexpected ways. But one thing hasn’t changed: a diehard following affectionately known as the ‘Gourmonade fam,’ who are so inspired by Stevenson that they go above and beyond to support the brand – even acting...

  • Rebound Mar 17

    Rebound: ‘Sometimes It's Not Up to Us'

    New partnerships with stores like Target and Ulta, plus a marketing shift, means more demand for Mented products. But you can do everything right and still be set back because of port delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Mented CEO KJ Miller and her small team must navigate expansion while continuing to try and raise funds to be able to...

  • Rebound Mar 11

    Rebound: Popping Balloons Before Champagne

    Business at Ava Party Designs has picked up considerably since the devastating pandemic shutdowns in the spring and winter. Owner Ava Sealey says while parties are booked and things are look up, she’s not popping any champagne just yet – there’s still plenty of work to do, and to keep everyone safe, we need to do things the right...

  • Rebound Mar 10

    Rebound: Businessing While Black

    As a Black father and business owner, Vicktor Stevenson has repeatedly faced suspicion and prejudice in his neighborhood. After someone called the police on Stevenson, suspecting him of breaking into his own shop, it fueled an outpouring of support from the community — and fueled Stevenson’s drive to create a lemonade empire.

  • Rebound Mar 5

    Rebound: Black, Proud & Rooted

    Facing heartbreaking stories and statistics, Ava Sealey says being a part of a racial reckoning actually gave her more confidence in herself and reminded her to be proud of where she came from, the business she’s built, and where her balloons are taking her.

  • Rebound Mar 1

    ‘I Don't Have a Manual': Being Pregnant and Running a Company During a Pandemic

    As Mented perseveres and expands during the pandemic, co-founder KJ Miller must balance work with expectant motherhood. In addition to the managing the stress of business, she is now dealing with severe pregnancy sickness and trying to not be overwhelmed for fear of harming baby Kayla.

  • Rebound Mar 1

    Rebound: Keeping Lemonade Dreams From Turning Sour

    As the raging pandemic continued to devastate Black-owned businesses, Vicktor Stevenson fought to protect his burgeoning lemonade empire by doubling down with a new brick and mortar location in Oakland, Calif. – but after losing the commercial space, Stevenson realized that in order to keep his business going, he’d need to pivot by expanding his company in unexpected ways.

  • Rebound Feb 28

    Rebound: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

    Vicktor Stevenson founded Gourmonade in 2018. Now, the pandemic is putting the squeeze on his gourmet lemonade business. In part one of our “Rebound” series, we join Vicktor and his family in the Gourmonade kitchen to see how they’re pivoting the business to stay afloat.

  • Rebound Feb 27

    Rebound: Back to Business

    While some businesses quickly found ways to meet coronavirus reopening requirements, Ava Party Designs had to rework their entire strategy. Owner Ava Sealey shared the difficult decisions she had to make about whether to even keep her business open and how to manage continued restrictions on event venues and gathering sizes.

  • Rebound Feb 26

    Rebound: Upstarting an Inclusive Makeup Company in a Pandemic

    After plenty of success selling makeup specifically made for people of color, Mented Cosmetics hits a roadblock of uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Co-founder KJ Miller explains the worry over possibly having to let go of employees, the shift in marketing her company had to make and the logistics challenges of constant factory and warehouse closures.

  • Rebound Feb 22

    Rebound: CT Balloon Artist Works to Bounce Back After Pandemic Shutdown

    “We’re all figuring out what next week is going to look like day to day.” How can a party-based business pull through a pandemic? That is the question certified balloon artist Ava Sealey, who owns Ava Party Designs in Bethel, has been facing since March. Many small businesses are struggling during the pandemic, but Sealey believes in her business’s...

  • Rebound Feb 16

    Rebound: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

    Lemonade is no longer just for sidewalk stands. For Vicktor Stevenson, owner of San Francisco’s Gourmonade LLC, gourmet lemonade is a passion project that has cultivated a loyal local following. But when the pandemic hit, statewide shutdowns gave his juice company the squeeze and Stevenson had to decide whether to focus on serving his “Gourmonade fam” or protecting his real-life...

  • Mexican food Feb 11

    Former NFL Player Makes Dream Come True With Mexican Café

    Like most San Diegans, former Charger player and Point Loma resident Israel Stanley grew up eating good Mexican food. Today, he’s sharing his love of the cuisine with his community, one dish at a time, at his family-owned restaurant.

  • Technology Feb 11

    Noticing Disparities in Tech, Afro-Latino Entrepreneur Launches Start-Up Incubator

    A first-generation Afro-Latino immigrant is making a name for himself in the entrepreneurial world and is using his talents to create a space for more people like him in tech.

  • Black History Month Feb 10

    Oakland Pastor Helps Launch ‘California Black Freedom Fund'

    An Oakland pastor just helped launch a new $100 million initiative to support Black-owned organizations and movements, fighting systemic racism. Pastor Ben McBride has been a long-time advocate and spiritual leader and he joined Jessica Aguirre to talk all things California Black Freedom Fund.

  • Black-Owned Business Feb 7

    Descendants of Black Pioneer Businessman Keep Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

    The Cotright family in the East Bay has embodied the term “entrepreneurial spirit” for generations, starting in 1954 when Otis Cotright started the first Black-owned business in Richmond’s downtown.

  • Black-Owned Business Feb 7

    Descendants of Black Pioneer Businessman Keep Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

    The Cotright family in the East Bay has embodied the term “entrepreneurial spirit” for generations, starting in 1954 when Otis Cotright started the first Black-owned business in Richmond’s downtown.

  • Black History Month Feb 1

    These Are the Black-Owned Restaurants to Watch This Year, According to Yelp

    Yelp searches for Black-owned businesses increased 2,400% in 2020.

  • Rebound Dec 18, 2020

    Are You A Black-Owned Business Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic? We Want to Hear From You

    2020 is the year of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s also the year of a social justice movement that gripped the nation.  Multiple tragedies spurred the rekindling of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and started a widespread conversation about race in America. Protests erupted in cities across the country, and support for Black-owned businesses skyrocketed as the coronavirus pandemic continued to...

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