Welcome to part four!
“Shopping Black” is a growing lifestyle change that everyone is trying to adopt as awareness has grown to the injustice black people face at big chain stores. It is obvious that there is a black business equivalent to everything, even shoes!
Sole Purpose Shoetique, LLC is a shoe shop that provides affordable but quality footwear that was started by Ce’Coya Paulk, a junior majoring in Public Management and double minoring in Health Administration and Nonprofit Management.
Paulk was inspired to start this business because she wants to break generational curses such as poverty and homlessness and have “multiple sources of income for myself and future children/grandchildren”.
Sole Purpose Shoetique, LLC sells a variety of shoes for every style and will soon have a men’s collection. Paulk said, “I want my brand to be as inclusive as possible.”
Paulk faced a couple of challenges while starting and running her business. “My first challenge was building the brand itself; coming up with a brand name, getting a logo created, etc,” she said. “Another challenge I’ve faced while running my business is lack of awareness. I realize as I am a new business woman it takes time to get a following, and create customers. However, that will not deter me. I will just continue to promote and spread awareness of my business via social media, word of mouth, and with business cards.”
Her shoetique has received more sales in light of recent events. “I believe that people are now realizing how much small businesses matter and lack the support they receive and that it is essential to support them,” Paulk said.
In 2015 The US Census Reported that there were 2.6 million black or African American-owned businesses nationally in 2012, up from 1.9 million or 34.5 percent from 2007. Black owned businesses are steady rising and so is the importance of them.
“I think running a black business is important as it encourages other black girls and boys and shows them that it is possible. You can come from a poor background and still create an amazing life for yourself with hard work and determination,” said Paulk.
Ce’Coya Paulk encourages future business owners to never be afraid to create something that will better you as a person. “My words of encouragement for those who want to start a business would be the sky’s the limit. Work hard, think smart, and never to give up! You may experience bumps in the road like not making sales or being overwhelmed. Just take a deep breath and persevere. Also remember it’s okay to sell popular items. It’s not a competition there is room for all of us to win together and support each other!” she said.
Be sure to follow @solepurposeshoetique and visit https://www.solepurposeshoetique.com for all of your stylish shoe needs!