August 2020: Happy National Black Business Month

One of my greatest hopes for the new normal is the continued revival of the black business.  With the instability of these days and times, it’s more important than ever to have creative ways to sustain ourselves and spur the economy.

Thankfully I have a decent job in spite of the unstable job market, but I have been laid off twice before. Once in 2008, again in 2015. So no matter what I have going on from 9-5, I’ve always felt the need to have a side hustle. 

I also hit a glass ceiling five or six years ago. August 2020 makes 14 years that I’ve worked in digital marketing and I have been repeatedly overlooked for promotions and raises, and surpassed by peers years younger than me. I do my best to stand up for myself and push for what I deserve in terms of salary and title in relation to the results I provide, but I get pushback at every turn. So I’ve learned to detach from defining myself via the “traditional” career trajectory for a digital marketing professional because that experience hasn’t been linear for me. 

And anyway no matter what I’m doing for my day job, I am the CEO of Toi, Inc. In 2011 I started reselling on Poshmark/Etsy/eBay and email marketing consulting. Between those projects and operating this blog, not only have I leveled up my digital marketing skills, I learned how to master my destiny. These things have given me stability through periods when my day job income simply didn’t cover everything, or I was between gigs. It is also from that perspective that I taught myself to make homemade beauty treatments because I can’t afford to go to the salon or spa. 

My reselling stores are still operating, and Kevin (Honey Bear) and I just launched an eCommerce beauty store called Hella Gorgeous. Our goal is to make Hella Gorgeous into a real brand that carries affordable products that make our customers look and feel…hella gorgeous. Consider this your first look and I hope you find something you love!


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