Supporting Black-owned businesses for #BlackoutDay2020
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Ever since the death of George Floyd and the start of the Black Lives Matter Movement, there’s been a push across the U.S. to support Black-owned businesses more than ever.
July 7, 2020 was recognized as #BlackoutDay. It’s a day where African Americans encouraged everyone to spend money only at Black-owned businesses, and every week, for more than 200 people in Lincoln, that means walking into a salon to get a haircut.
Addis Browne has been a hair stylist for over 10 years, and in August of 2018, she became the owner of Roots Collective Hair Salon in downtown Lincoln.
Addis is an African American woman but was adopted when she was younger by a white couple. She says for her, she’s always had support from others, including many from the white community here in Lincoln, especially when it comes to supporting her business.
In Browne’s Black-owned salon, you won’t see only Black people getting their hair done, and the same goes for her diverse hair stylists. Browne tells 10/11 she hand-picked every stylist herself, keeping in mind that their clientele would come from different backgrounds and have different hair textures.
For #BlackoutDay and in the future, she hopes others will choose to support black-owned business and understand why it’s important to do so. Browne says, “Supporting a Black-owned business is not just for Black people. It’s not just for white people to do. It’s important that as a community, we’re just there for each other in every way that we can be.”
Browne tells me she’s overwhelmed with the support she receives from the Lincoln community continuing to for her business. She says her hair salon would not be as successful as it is today if it weren’t for the encouragement from her loyal customers, both new ones and regulars.
Browne shares with 10/11 that it wasn’t always easy starting her salon, saying it took lots of hard work and dedication to overcome obstacles being a Black woman in business.
Browne tells 10/11 she was quite excited to see the initiative put behind this year’s #BlackoutDay saying, “There are a lot of people that are surprised to hear that I own a business, and I think it’s because of the color of my skin or because I’m a woman, or maybe all of those things. I want to normalize that, especially for my daughter who’s six years old who knows that she will be doing her own thing in the world.”
After being aware of #BlackoutDay, Browne says hopefully now, more people will choose to support other Black-owned businesses going forward.
Browne's 6-year-old daughter has been one of her biggest motivations for being a business owner. She says one day, her daughter wants to become the scientist in her mom's salon, creating hair products.
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