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4 mins read

5 Global Trends Affecting the Fashion Industry

Fashion trends continue to evolve and change daily. A major key to being successful in the fashion industry is to identify these trends and act on them before your competitors. However, many fashion companies find it difficult to do this since they may not have a good understanding of the global trends affecting their industry. The revenue of the global apparel market for 2021 was estimated to be around 1.5 trillion USD, and it was expected to rise to about 2 trillion by 2026. The industry is quickly moving towards growth while these trends are still evolving. If you want

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1 min read

Grovara Is Transforming Global Trade With a Game Changing B2B Marketplace

Abu Kamara is the CEO and co-founder of Grovara, the first B2B global marketplace to connect food and beverage brands with international retailers.

To date, Grovara has raised $8.75 million on its quest to transform global trade.

In this episode, Abu shares:

  • The current state of global trade and US exports.
  • The current export process and how Grovara is disrupting it.
  • How they have raised over $8.7 million to date and what the fundraising process has been like.
  • Why he has been intentional about creating a diverse team.
  • Advice for brands that intend to expand into international stores.
  • Building an innovation center in Sierre Leone and mentoring the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

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1 min read

Black Owned Customer Service Platform Chatdesk Raises $7 Million to Support E-commerce Brands

Chatdesk is a Black-owned customer service platform that helps companies deliver better customer service with messaging and analytics.

Founded in 2018 by Andrew Olaleye and Aneto Okonkwo, Chatdesk aims to bridge the gap between customers and companies.

While most people believe that Artificial Intelligence will eventually replace jobs that are done by people today, Chatdesk helps create job opportunities for the “Superfans” of eCommerce brands while leveraging machine learning to enable brands to deliver best-in-class support.

The New York-based startup recently raised $7 million in a round led by Cultivation Capital, with participation from Harlem Capital, Serena Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Stormbreaker Ventures, and Fika Ventures.

This funding will enable Chatdesk to help more brands scale their customer service 24/7 and drive sales on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok.

Leading up to the fundraise, Chatdesk saw revenue growth of 300% year-over-year driven by a sharp increase in the volume of customer service tickets for e-commerce brands.

As the COVID-19 pandemic increased both the need for customer support and demand for remote work, Chatdesk has accumulated a waitlist of 5,000+ people that are excited to become customer support Superfans for the brands on the platform.

“We’re grateful to our customers and will use the new funds to grow our team, help more brands and create even more jobs,” says Aneto.

Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Saltbox Raises $10.6 Million To Provide E-Commerce Businesses With Logistics Support

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the global e-commerce industry. Not only are more people shopping online than ever before, more people are also starting online businesses. According to Shopify, one of the largest digital retail platforms, online store creation on its platform rose 79% in 2020 over 2019.

Saltbox is an Atlanta-based “co-warehousing” startup that provides space for small businesses and e-commerce merchants to operate as well as store and ship goods, all under one roof.


Saltbox has private “warehouse suites”, loading dock access, a self-service packing center, warehouse equipment for use, a photography stage, and more, all specifically geared toward e-commerce and retail entrepreneurs.

The startup was founded on the premise that the need for “co-warehousing and SMB-centric logistics enablement solutions” has become a major problem for many new businesses that rely on online retail platforms to sell their goods.

Many of those companies are limited to self-storage and mini-warehouse facilities for storing their inventory, which can be expensive and inconvenient, noted Saltbox CEO, Tyler Scriven.


Their Atlanta location opened in November 2019 and has 27,000 square feet of space, all of which is full, according to Scriven.

Recently, Saltbox raised a $10.6M Series A round to accelerate its expansion across the United States. They also recently opened a 66,000-square-foot warehouse near Dallas. The Dallas area location marks the first expansion for the company outside Atlanta since it launched in 2019. They plan to expand into Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles next.

Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Arsha Jones on Entrepreneurship & Building Her Million Dollar Businesses

According to Washington, D.C. native, Arsha Jones, she’s not an entrepreneur. She simply makes the things she wants to see in the world.
arsha jones
arsha jones
According to Black Enterprise, The Washington Post, and a rapidly growing Facebook group of over 20, 000 active members, she’s the go to source for heavily demanded products as well as advice on how to grow your own profitable business.
Black Enterprise Family Business of the Year Award
Arsha and her husband Charles, founded Capital City LLC, a specialty foods manufacturer that produces DC’s favorite chicken wing condiment, Mambo sauce.
Arsha is also the founder of Tees in the Trap,  an online retailer of apparel and home goods inspired by pop culture, hip hop and everyday life.
arsha jones
SB:Some business experts preach the importance of focus. They say focus on one idea and then move on.
As someone who has started multiple businesses, what are your thoughts on focusing on one idea at a time versus managing multiple business ideas at once?
AJ: I’d agree. People see these businesses I’ve created and want to do the same, not realizing that I started with one site that sold one product and had one page with a link to one Paypal button.
I tell people all the time, don’t compare your day 1 to someone else’s Day 3,502. Focus on one product. Build a team. Make sure that brand is profitable and successful, then move on to something else. Three half-assed brands mean nothing if they aren’t supporting your lifestyle.
SB: What advice do you have for couples who are in either in business together or own separate businesses?
AJ: Have patience. What helps us is having separate roles. I handle the design, marketing, social media, public relations and growth.
My husband Charles, handles everything that keeps the business running on a daily basis.  Our duties don’t usually overlap, so we both have a chance to be excellent – separately.
SB: You have found amazing success online with both of your businesses. If you could attribute that to one thing, what would it be?
AJ: Me being eager to learn more and willing to do anything to get better. I didn’t look for help. I didn’t look for a hand out.
When I wanted to learn something I spent hours online researching and loved every minute of it. I’m successful because I outwork most people.
Courtesy of Tees in the Trap
SB: What is the most fulfilling part of your entrepreneurial journey?
AJ: Seeing my children love what we do and be proud of what we’ve built.
SB: What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
AJ: Traveling this road alone and not having a business network to help me along the way.
SB: If you could wake up tomorrow with one superpower, what would it be and why?
AJ: Unlimited energy.
SB: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
AJ: Just start and don’t overthink. Part of the journey is making mistakes along the way. If you’re afraid to make a mistakes, then being an entrepreneur is not for you.

-Tony O. Lawson

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