Updated: Apr 20
Photo: Kayleon Dortch-Elliott
The Black Owned Network (TBON) is continuing its mission to join Black-owned businesses together and help Black entrepreneurs gain exposure in Eastern, North Carolina, and beyond.
For this Black History Month, TBON is spotlighting our amazing members by celebrating their businesses and successes in their respective industries.
We’re closing out Black History Month with our second entrepreneur feature, Kayleon Dortch-Elliot. She is the owner of By Grace Not Perfection LLC.
We spoke with Dortch-Elliott about her life as a Black entrepreneur, her business, and why consumers need to support Black business owners during Black History Month. Check it out below!
Can you tell us about your business?
By Grace Not Perfection is a multi-dimensional company dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs with personal, professional, and brand development. Through consulting and design services, BGNP takes clients from idea to implementation while promoting grace in a culture that often just says hustle.
What inspired you to start it?
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I interned as an administrative assistant for a consulting firm based in Maryland. The experience affirmed my passion for creative expression, design, strategy, and individual consulting.
Tell us about your products and services?
Services include strategy sessions, web design, podcast guest booking, and social media assistance. I also offer promotional video creation, graphic design, and web audits.
Featured products include courses and official merch (mugs, apparel, essentials, canvas prints, and notebooks). Also available in the store are planners, the One Day At A Time devotional, and the 45-Day Keepsake Journal for NICU Mamas.
Photo: By Grace Not Perfection LLC logo.
What does it mean to you to be a Black business owner?
To me, being a black business owner means encountering more hurdles than counterparts running the same race but attaining a level of success that no one can say they loaned or handed to you. Being a black business owner is a declaration to the world that we are more than our buying power; we are worth investing in.
Why is it important for consumers to support Black founders in general?
We live in a society where in the not-so-distant past you could be killed for as much as speaking to someone who didn’t look like you. Now that we can openly support minorities and their businesses, I believe every opportunity should be taken. Though resourceful, minorities are not always granted the same opportunities, access, and resources as others. Furthermore, a large portion of minority-owned businesses fails due to short-term revenue, lack of funding, and cultural stereotypes that keep potential consumers from buying. Ultimately, the answer to why it’s important to support black founders is the same as why it’s important to support anyone in business.
Why is it important for consumers to support Black entrepreneurs during Black History Month?
Our nation wouldn’t be what it is without the contributions of African Americans throughout history. Innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness are ingrained in our roots, but in the past, we’ve had to be invited to tables. The support of consumers during Black History Month not only pays homage to black entrepreneurs that have paved the way in shaping our society but shouts to the world that black history is more than an annual observance of the past. With over 2 million black-owned businesses in America, history is being made every day.
Who is your favorite Black entrepreneur?
I don’t have a favorite, but one I admire is Madam C. J. Walker. In addition to being the first female self-made millionaire in America, she was a philanthropist and social activist.
As a way of honoring Black entrepreneurs across the country, TBON founders Quinton and Breonna Baker shared their take on why spotlighting our members is so important.
“The Black Owned Network is a newly established organization (August 2020) that focuses on providing resources, educational materials, and exposure to minority-owned businesses,” the Bakers said. “We will continue to spotlight our members because we recognize the power of support and unity. Just as the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” it will take a village for minority-owned businesses to become established and not extinct. The Black Owned Network plans to continue this movement for more Black History Months to come because Black History is Black-Owned.
Are you looking to be a part of a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who are trying to build the Black business landscape? Become a TBON member so that you can be a part of history 365 days of the year. Click here to join.
This blog post was written by Brianna Rhodes, the founder of the writing and editing platform, Brianna Rhodes Writes. To learn more about her services, please visit here.