Pausing to focus on Passion & Purpose
Five years ago, we gave our community the gift of an online directory to find and support Black-Owned businesses across Long Island, NY. This all started because our founder, Alicia Ray, could not find an aggregate list of black hairstylists on Long Island, she knew they existed, but their information was not easily accessible. The product marketer in her just had to package it and bring it to life.
Five years later, we had a thriving online community comprised of nearly 500 Black business owners, thousands of consumers, and community partners, creating all sorts of dope synergies.
As the platform grew, so did the business owners, which is what we wanted #winning. In the summer of 2021, a restaurant owner asked us to remove her business from the site because she couldn't keep up with the demand. We should have recognized the real power of this thing we created. However, through our platform, many of the owners recognized the power of online marketing. They relied on us to help them manage and market their business which was a very humbling experience for us. Let's face it. We are rather good at it.
Today we are faced with three choices: Pause, pivot, or persevere in the content and media world. Pause means to take a beat, pause and think about what's next. Pivot is where we challenge and change our old hypothesis to create a new one, and the Persevere approach is where we keep trying to prove our previous hypothesis.
Welp, here we are again, challenging our thoughts in service of helping our community. While the initial purpose of Black-Owned Long Island was to connect businesses and consumers to drive economic success, today, we are working on leaning into our superpower and pausing for a moment to figure things out.
Until then, we will also spend some time building Side Hustle & Flow to evolve our focus and help people with side hustles and SMBs access resources to operate and market their businesses.
This is the logical next step for us. It's not the end of an era, but the beginning of what we hope will be something special for you and our community.
Take the journey with us and learn more at sidehustleandflow.com
Thanks again for helping us reach this milestone.
- Your BOLI Fam!