The digital publication, Urban Girl Magazine hosted their first ever ‘Black Business Crawl’ on Saturday, December 11th 2021. The blogazine organized a crawl for locals to attend with intentions on shopping at small black owned businesses in Newark and the surrounding area. The idea was to expand on the idea of a bar crawl by visiting a variety of businesses owned by black people.
Desiree said the idea was born out of the high engagement she observed from her blog’s TikTok account. “We noticed earlier this year our niche on TikTok was black owned business reviews. Whenever we posted that type of content on TikTok our engagement numbers increased and so did our follower count. I figured why not make this an ‘in person’ experience for everyone to enjoy!”
A total of about 17 attendees boarded a shuttle bus provided by Party Bus 360 New Jersey. Everyone received a gift bag provided by Urban Girl Magazine filled with products from an array of black owned businesses.
Starting out at 3pm the first stop on the crawl was the Sistah Shop located at the Mills at Jersey Gardens. Upon arrival every attendee was given an additional gift bag provided by The Sistah Shop full of products created by black entrepreneurs.
“It was our incredible honor to have the Urban Girl Magazine Black Business Crawl stop by The Sistah Shop. Our store features 90+ Black Women-Owned Businesses from around the country daily, plus local pop-up vendors every weekend. So, when you shop with us, you are supporting so many #sistahsinbusiness. The Black Business Crawl was well-planned and executed and we were excited to have the group with us! We look forward to next year!” said Aisha Taylor, Owner of the Sistah Shop.
After the first stop it was on to the next, Boss Blend Coffee. Boss Blend is a cozy coffee shop tucked away at the lower level of 25 Halsey street. The exposed brick and art work on the wall provided by local artists gives this shop a true urban feel. Attendees ordered coffee and tea and stayed a while to chat with one another and the owner before visiting the next business. “The Urban Girl Magazine Business Crawl was amazing. This was a great opportunity for people to know that we are located right in their backyard. We had an amazing time chatting and answering all the questions the attendees had. We can’t wait for the next one,” said Kalisha Carmichael, Owner of Boss Blend.
Following this stop attendees walked down the street to 45 Halsey St to Plantivia Wellness Newark, a newly opened CBD product store. The employees and owner educated our participants on the benefits that can be found in CBD products while they shopped. The Owner of Plantivia enjoyed having the attendees shop stating, “The guest on the Urban Girl Mag tour were super engaged and ready to shop! We thoroughly enjoyed having them at our store and hope to see them very soon”.
A few stores down was the 4th stop on the crawl, Brownmill Company located at 49 Halsey. Brownmill is a clothing store filled with custom clothing pieces, much of it is made in store. Stop number 5 was the The Source of Knowledge Book Store, located at 867 Broad Street, Newark, NJ. Here guests were welcomed with open arms by the owner Patrice McKinney. Attendees purchased books, and returned to the shuttle for the next stop, the Newark Winter Village. The Village is located at Mulberry Commons Park downtown Newark. The Winter Village has ice skating, baked good provided by local bakery Tonnie’s Minis, heated igloos for customers, and a vendor market located inside of the Iron Side Newark building. The last and final stop was Neptunes Bar n Grill where a specialty ‘Urban Girl Cocktail’ was added to the menu just for the day.
“I didn’t know what to expect during the Urban Girl Magazine Black Owned Business Crawl but what I experienced was pure joy and amazement for the City of Newark. I didn’t realize how may black owned gems were located within the community, from purchasing things from coffee to CBD products. The crawl gave me a moment to pause and take in the beauty of the city and more options as to where I can spend my hard earned dollar,” Esmay Richmond, Yoga Instructor and participant on the crawl.
Urban Girl Magazine’s next Black Owned Business Crawl will take place around the Spring/Summer of 2022. Stay tuned to Urbangirlmag.com and to the Urban Girl Mag social media pages for updates on new dates. Follow their instagram and TikTok accounts for updates @UrbanGirlMag.