'It has to continue:' Triangle black-owned businesses see surge in sales amid George Floyd activism

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Monday, June 8, 2020
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'It has to continue:' Triangle black-owned businesses see surge in sales amid George Floyd activism

For the last couple months for several hours a day, while trading off with her husband and schooling their kids at home, Lysandra Weber sits and sews.

She owns Geek Chic Clothing and has been scrambling to keep up with orders.

"I sold in four days the same about I sold the entire month of May," said Weber.

Weber usually makes women's clothing and has been producing masks during the COVID crisis.

Sales shot up nearly one hundred percent as more people are making a conscious effort to support to the black-owned businesses.

"I am super happy that so many people are now along for the journey," said Weber.

But Weber also hopes this last longer than a week or two.

Weber said there's mounting adversity in the marketplace and it's harder for black entrepreneurs to funding.

She's had difficulty getting access to certain stores to sell her items or attending trade shows.

"There are pop-up markets and shows in areas of North Carolina that I won't do because it doesn't feel safe for me. There's a lot of things behind the scenes that affect black businesses that we need other people, white people, non-black people to step up and fix," said Weber.

"If you go to a boutique, for example, you go ask the shop owner, 'Do you have any black-owned fashion brands that are selling because I'd really love to see what you have?' and I almost guarantee you, 9 times out of 10 they won't," Weber said about bringing black businesses into new spaces.

This could lead to more diversity on a showroom floor and help people.

"You want to have the true support of the community and it doesn't always feel that way," she said.

Black Dollar NC, an advocacy group, told ABC11 there are more than 460 black-owned businesses in North Carolina and the vast majority of those are in the Triangle.

CEO Johnny Hackett said there are 257 in Raleigh and 123 in Durham.