Black Lives Matter.
As a white woman-owned business, white supremacy has afforded my company opportunities that women of color have not had. It is essential that we level the playing field by creating opportunities for all businesses owned by people from marginalized communities - not just those that look like mine, with someone who looks like me at the helm.
As of 2019, women of color account for 50% of all women-owned businesses. Yet, the annual revenue disparity between women of color and white women owned businesses is increasing.
In 2014, women of color owned businesses averaged $67,800 in revenue; by 2019 the average had dropped to $65,800.
Conversely, in 2014, white women-owned businesses averaged $198,500 in revenue; by 2019, the average had jumped to $218,800.
*Compiled from the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report prepared for American Express by Ventureneer with the support of CoreWoman.
It’s time for us to do what we can to help close that gap.
It is my goal to provide a space that acknowledges the systemic challenges before soapmakers of color in a deeply racist industry and help shift the mindset of soapmakers who carry privilege.
No matter the color of your skin, my mission is to help you curate a mindset of self-respect, self-worth, and confidence, gain business knowledge essential to your success, and create the future you desire.
It is not possible for my company to accomplish our mission without committing to anti-racism on a daily basis.
“Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices, and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.”– NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity – http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism
Anti-racism work is not easy, it never ends, and it will never be perfect. However, these are the specific steps we are taking as a company.
I am committed to facilitating open discussions, to listening to Black women and women of color, and to honoring the experiences of those who are marginalized or oppressed rather than those who hold privilege.
We have strict community guidelines that do not allow hate speech or discrimination. Any content, whether it is a post, a share, a gif, or a comment that attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases, will be removed along with the offending poster without warning. Such content creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and perpetuates a system where oppressors remain in power.
We will continuously work to provide and protect a space where Black women and women of color can be heard, can learn, and can grow without fear of oppression, being silenced, gaslighting, or encountering racism.
◾️ Creating Antiracist Spaces Where Black Students Can Breathe and Thrive
◾️ What it Really Means When We Call Someplace a ‘Safe Space’
We do not use digital blackface or AAVE in our marketing. We are not entitled to use the voices, emotions, reactions, bodies, and/or expressions of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and their experiences.
We actively research, unlearn, and update the language we use to ensure we're not perpetuating harmful stereotypes or reinforcing derogatory language with racist connotations.
We commit to sharing inclusive images in our marketing, including stock photography and other images, solely when they are representative of our diverse audience and appropriate for the specific topic. Representation matters.
◾️ Reaction GIFs of Black People Are More Problematic Than You Think
◾️ We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs
◾️ Digital Blackface: How 21st Century Internet Language Reinforces Racism
◾️ Can Non-Black People Use AAVE?
◾️ Using Black Vernacular English (BVE) as a Non-Black Person Isn’t “Woke” if You Don't Understand the History
◾️ Linguistic Appropriation: AAVE, Hip-Hop, and Digital Culture
Education & Leadership
I committed to the anti-racism, leadership, and DEI program facilitated by Alyssa Hall to continue to unlearn my biases, learn how to effectively communicate our values, create a safe space for BIPOC, and continue to grow my business in an actively inclusive and equitable manner.
I consistently follow and share BIPOC content creators online (through email, Instagram, and blogging), and purchase books, programs, and sessions when appropriate to support their work monetarily and to further my education not just in anti-racism but in leadership and business as a whole. (Please see the bottom of this page for further resources and links.)
As an active reader of business and leadership books, I realized that my bookshelf is dominated by the voices of white men. To correct my frame of reference and provide a wider spectrum of understanding, I intentionally seek out books, articles, and other media created by Black women and women of color.
Within my company, I aim to cultivate a culture that honors diversity, equity, and inclusion. I know that all people are different and have unique experiences. As a company, we honor those differences and constantly work to level the distribution of power and access among our team and our community.
Our team subscribes to daily emails from the Anti-Racism Daily to maintain a continuous and consistent process of unlearning racism and dismantling white supremacy, while facilitating discussion.
Each member of our team completes a variety of courses from Monique Melton within their first 90 days of employment to ensure they have a foundational understanding of what it means to be actively engaged in anti-racism work as part of our normal training process.
We are clear in our job descriptions and interview processes that we will not employ anyone who believes that “All Lives Matter” or who is not willing to commit to anti-racism work as part of their job.
I am committed to providing anti-racism education, books, programs, and resources to our team on a quarterly basis. (Please see the bottom of this page for further resources and links.)
In order to level the playing field, I must lift the voices of Black women and women of color, invest in businesses owned by Black women and women of color, and financially contribute to efforts that support, empower, and assist BIPOC communities.
We intentionally seek out Black soapmakers and soapmakers of color to share their story, their process, and their work with our audience.
We offer extended payment options on our Soapmaker to Moneymaker program to ensure equitable access. We do not charge excessive fees or overages for using payment plan options.
We commit to investing 25% or more of our annual budget and operating expenses on Black employees, vendors, contractors, Black-owned software and services, Black-authored books, programs, and more.
We regularly audit service providers and software for similar values and commitments and seek to refrain from spending any of our budgets with companies that do not share similar values or directly sit in conflict with those values.
We commit to donating at least 2% of our annual revenue to organizations and nonprofits that support and assist BIPOC communities in various ways. (Please see the bottom of this page for further resources and links.)
And I have committed to continue to do this work no matter how many messages I receive in my inbox claiming that racism isn’t relevant to soapmaking or small business or how many customers we lose. This commitment will not end. As I continue to grow and learn, we will continue to expand our efforts and will update this page as we do so.
It is not enough until we close that gap.
We need to do better. We must do better.
Below, you'll find additional resources that my team and my family have utilized. This list is provided to help support your work in anti-racism without burdening people of color with additional labor, but it is just a starting point.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg
Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison
Podcasts & Videos
A note on podcasts: I have a hard time understanding spoken word without a visual reference, these podcasts are recommendations from our team.
"Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?" 1965 debate
BOSS: The Black Experience in Business documentary
I Am Not Your Negro documentary
LA '92 documentary
Let it Fall: LA 1992 documentary
Shine Brighter Together podcast
Hear to Slay podcast
Code Switch podcast
Courses & Educators
Monique Melton's Antiracism 101 Crash Course
Rachel Cargle's The Great Unlearn
Whole / Self Liberation's Rise Up
Rachel Ricketts' Spiritual Activism 101
Layla F Saad's Good Ancestor Academy
Austin Channing Brown's ACB Academy
Check Your Privilege
Speaking of Racism
Check Your Privilege
No White Saviors
From Privilege to Progress
Attn: White People
Anti Racism Daily
Black Makers Matter
Brittany Packnett Cunningham
Layla F Saad
Ibram X Kendi
Non-Profits & Organizations
Color of Change
National Urban League
Initiatives of Change
New American Leaders Project
Zinn Education Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
One Nation Indivisible
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