In this CEO Chatter LIVE episode, we’re talking about the power of collaboration with Connie Marple.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shut their doors. However, for Connie, the founder and owner of Women of Color New York, the pandemic presented an opportunity to push open a door and bring a group of businesswomen with her. Women of Color New York is a collaboration of ten Black women doing business together under one umbrella. The brand offers a range of products and services, including fashion, beauty, wellness, art, self-care, dessert, bistro, and mental health therapy.
In this interview, we’ll look in-depth at the Women of Color New York brand, the challenges faced by women of color in business, the importance of collaboration and reinvention, and the impact of Women of Color New York on the community.
The Women of Color New York Brand
Women of Color New York is a brick-and-mortar brand located at 539 South Avenue in Rochester, New York. The brand comprises ten women of color, offering various products and services. Connie Marple, the brand’s founder and owner, explains that the idea for Women of Color New York came to her during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I put pen to paper during the COVID. I was sitting on this idea for years, almost five years before it even launched,” she says.
The brand’s name, Women of Color New York, speaks to the diversity of the women involved in the collaboration. “We have all women, all women of color,” says Connie. The brand’s pillars are fashion, beauty, wellness, art, self-care, dessert, bistro, and mental health therapy. The ten women under the Women of Color New York umbrella offer a range of products and services, including teeth whitening, lashes, makeup artistry, esthetics, doula services, and mental health therapy.
“We are brick and mortar. We have four beauty suites where the services are provided. Sometimes they’re there, especially if we have events, but most of the time, they’re not there. We have educators. We’ve got a couple, I want to say three of the business owners are actually educators. We have one of our business owners; she actually works as a nurse. So we’ve got different walks, and they do different things. So I’m there every day, though. So our business is open; the boutique is open Tuesday through Saturday from ten to five,” says Connie.
The Women of Color New York website acts as an online business card where customers can learn more about each business owner and their products or services. “If you click on the business owner, her platforms will pop up. So if she’s got Facebook, Instagram, if she’s got an online store, you can click on any of those buttons, and it’ll bring up the platform or the store for you,” explains the visionary.
Challenges Faced by Women of Color in Business
Women of color face unique challenges in the business world. According to a report by American Express, women of color account for 50% of all women-owned businesses in the United States. However, these businesses generate only 6% of the total revenue of women-owned businesses.
“I know what it’s like to be a woman of color in a white male-dominated industry,” says Connie. “I wanted to bring something to the table where women of color could come and be together and do business together.”
The biggest challenge faced by Women of Color New York was holding people accountable for the promises made to them. “They were like, “You got your women, your women of color- there are so many grants and opportunities and all these things out there for you.” So just in our searching, we found some things, but not everything that was promised. I think that has probably been our biggest challenge,” says Connie.
The Importance of Collaboration and Reinvention
Cunny believes that collaboration is essential for the success of women of color in business. “Collaboration is key. I believe that we’re stronger together than we are apart,” she says. “We’re ten women doing business together. We’re elevating each other.”
Collaboration and reinvention have been key to the success of Women of Color New York. The brand has created a space for women of color to come together and support each other in business. “We have a lot of women that come in here and say, ‘I’m so proud of you. I’m so happy to see this. I’m so happy to see women of color doing business together,'” says Cunny.
The brand has also provided opportunities for the community to support women of color in business. “We’re bringing something to the table that’s different, that’s unique, that’s not in the community,” says Cunny. “People are coming in and supporting us because they see that we’re women of color doing business together.”
Conclusion and Future Outlook
Women of Color New York is a brand representing the strength and resilience of women of color in business. The brand has created a space for women of color to come together and support each other in business, providing opportunities for the community to support women of color in business.
As Women of Color New York grows and expands, it will continue to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for women of color in business. “We’re just trying to make a difference. We’re trying to make a difference in the community. We’re trying to make a difference in the world,” says Cunny.
The future of Women of Color New York is bright, and the brand will continue to elevate women in business and inspire others to do the same.
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