Dometi Pongo the iCan Collective #blkcreatives Chicago The Culture LP Square The Future Is Built In Chicago Chan C. Smith

Ten gems from Chicago Black creatives that you didn’t know you needed

If “teaching you how to stand on your own two” were a city, for our Founder Melissa Kimble, it’d be Chicago. As a kid born on the Southside, she learned pretty quickly the value of hard work through her community – whether it was the lounge her grandma ran or the church her grandaddy led every Sunday or how her other grandma kept the kids in her schools fed – every single person she knew hustled to make sure that everybody around them was good.

It’s the exact same energy we came across during last week’s Twitter chat in partnership with Square and The Culture LP

Together we shined a light on some Black Chicago entrepreneurs who are working towards the future, and paying tribute to the importance and influence of Black entrepreneurs all over the country.

Read on below to see all the gems we picked up from that chat, we hope they help you to stay the course in your creative journey.

Danni Owner Semicolon Chicago bookstore #blkcreatives Square The Culture LP

“It’s easy to follow and get lost in the plans you’ve made for your business/brand, but if there’s anything the panny taught us, it’s that all the planning in the world won’t save you if you’re not open to change.”

– Danni

“Businesses have to be mindful of what ‘better’ looks like for them. More visibility? Community impact? Increased revenue? And what do we need from the people in the city (customers) to reach our intended goals? Our forward motion should be mutually beneficial.” – Danni

"All the planning in the world won't save you if you're not open to change." – Danni of @SemicolonChi via @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

Adrian Octavius Walker #blkcreatives Chicago The Culture LP Square The Future Is Built In Chicago Chan C. Smith

“A starting point w/ keeping the dollar in the community is by having a collective presence not only w/ the local businesses but w/ one another. Get to know ur neighbors + share resources w/ each other.

Capital isn’t always green, it’s also info that helps others up the ladder.” – Adrian

“Being mindful of the talent around you and working with your friends / family to keep things as natural and authentic as possible makes everything better.” – Adrian

"Capital isn’t always green, it's also info that helps others up the ladder." – @AoctaviusW via @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

Lisa B. Experience #blkcreatives Chicago The Culture LP Square The Future Is Built In Chicago Chan C. Smith

“I’ve seen Black business owners liberate themselves because they had time to customize their work load, prioritize their mental health for once, and slow down.

Sometimes all we need is a little time to figure out THEE thing that takes us to the next level.”

– Lisa

“We need to be mindful that we aren’t perpetuating harmful work practices that are rooted in White Supremacy. What’s the point if we back on another plantation?” – Lisa

"We need to be mindful that we aren’t perpetuating harmful work practices that are rooted in White Supremacy. What’s the point if we back on another plantation?" – @lisabexperience via @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

Dometi Pongo the iCan Collective #blkcreatives Chicago The Culture LP Square The Future Is Built In Chicago Chan C. Smith

“Black business helps to lay the framework upon which the rest of our (economic) power is built. Specifically at the crib, most of our strongest businesses serve as social enterprises as well, giving resources back to the ppl.

We lose when we stray from that.” – Dometi

“Strongly recommend revisiting the methods for bolstering our communities used by those that came before us like S.B. Fuller. The Black mass exodus of the ‘40’s mirrors what’s happening now. He had the keys back then.” – Dometi

"Most of our strongest [Black] businesses serve as social enterprises as well. Giving resources back to the ppl. We lose when we stray from that." – @Dometi_ for @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

The TRiiBE #blkcreatives Chicago The Culture LP Square The Future Is Built In Chicago Chan C. Smith

“Gatekeeping only holds us back. We’re stronger as a community when we lift as we climb.

We’ve gotta open doors for others along the way.” – The TRiiBE (via Tiffany Walden)

"Gatekeeping only holds us back. We're stronger as a community when we lift as we climb. We've gotta open doors for others along the way." – @TheTRiiBE (h/t @Waldens_Block) via @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

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Considerations around Black joy, may you nurture it and keep it close to you at all times especially the hard ones

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