Wichita store gives Black-owned businesses a big platform

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Black entrepreneurs have long made their mark on American history.

E.E. Ward Moving and Storage is listed as the oldest Black-owned business in the United States. It began in 1881 as an underground railroad. A two-horse and buggy operation, delivering runaway slaves to freedom. One hundred forty years later, it’s a multi-million-dollar company in Columbus.

Kansas is also home to many black-owned businesses, and a new shop in Wichita is dedicated to promoting other Black-owned businesses by providing a place where they can be seen and heard. The Blackprint ICT, at 156 N. Cleveland, is a small building providing wide access.

“It’s a hub to uplift Black-owned brands both nationally and locally,” Taha Hayes, owner and operator of the Black-Print, said. “I’m just excited to bring something new and vibrant to Wichita, not only for the brands represented but for the community to support.”

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She’s using her knowledge of this platform’s success in other communities to shower Wichita with an experience she deems a necessity.

“I thought, why we don’t have it? Why isn’t there one? So, I got to a point of why I don’t just create that space,” said Hayes.

Raising the shade for Black businesses to shine.

Naquela Pack is the mother of the Planted Tea Shop. She brought the business into the world with a social media post.

“What tea shops do you go to, and are there any Black-owned tea shops that people were tagging me why aren’t you opening one?” Pack said.

She answered the question with action and joined a group of Black entrepreneurs at The Blackprint.

“I’ve got face steams, bath teas, and a lot of remedies,” Pack said.

Yodora Hollins is the creator of Ydora’s own.

“My sugar scrub, which is really nice and leaves you gently exfoliated,” Hollins said. “It’s all-natural skincare for all skin types.”

She initially made products for herself. Now, she’s sharing her art form with everyone and placing stock on a generational effect.

“Hopefully, little Black girls look at me and say, ‘I can do that one day,'” Yodora said.

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“Representation is everything. It gives a relatable point of reference,” Hayes said.

A one-stop shop that is casting a far-reaching line and bringing both business owners and customers together beyond a designated celebratory time frame.

“It’s not a Black History Month thing. It’s 365 days a year,” Hayes said.

The Blackprint ICT is celebrating Black History Month with several events. To learn more, click here.

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