'Shop Black Business Friday' returns to Philadelphia

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Friday, December 1, 2023
'Shop Black Business Friday' returns to Philadelphia
'Shop Black Business Friday' returns to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For the third year, the City of Philadelphia passed a resolution declaring every Friday of the holiday season "Shop Black Business Friday."

The resolution, which was proposed by Philadelphia Councilmember At-Large Katherine Gilmore Richardson in partnership with Visit Philadelphia, brings attention to a variety of businesses, including one by a young local entrepreneur.

Taelyn Gray is the 11-year-old Montgomery County entrepreneur behind Love U Bunches, which is a tennis apparel brand inspired by her late grandmother.

"My grandmother, whenever she would say hi and bye, she would say, 'Love you bunches!'"

Taelyn wanted to show other girls the same type of love by creating tennis dresses with names that are inspirational, such as the Yellow Yoke tennis dress with a theme for the bright color.

"This one is for confidence," Taelyn said while wearing the dress, which she created to also be affordable.

"They're $50," she said.

Her parents, Sheldon and Melanie Gray, are both proud and impressed by their thoughtful daughter.

"She wanted something to remember her grandmom and she wanted all girls to look like they were tennis players," said Melanie Gray.

Taelyn's dresses are available online and so is Steven CW Taylor's art, which is visible at his gallery, Ubuntu Fine Art, in the heart of Germantown.

The displays are of photos that Taylor took around the world.

"My moniker is the time thief. So I steal time. So I want this time to be shared for generations to come," he said.

Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery focuses on providing a different view of Philadelphia and the world.

"We have six different countries represented," he said of the current exhibition, which also includes photos of life in Philadelphia.

"You'll see a lot of Germantown and a lot of Philadelphia," he said.

It's one of the businesses on Visit Philadelphia's list for Shop Black Business Friday.

"These businesses just receive a lot less funding a lot less capital... so it's critical that people support at this time," said Jenea Robinson of Visit Philadelphia.

Now in its third year, Shop Black Business Friday aims to bring attention and customers to all diverse businesses.

"We are talking about how we can support Black-owned businesses, Asian-owned businesses, Latino-owned businesses," she said.

Gralready has business success in mind as a designer and an author.

"I wrote a book called "Grandma's Nuggets," she said of the book dedicated to the encouragement her grandmother always gave her.

She's part of the next generation of Black business owners pushing for success beyond the holiday season.

"I want to be able to inspire people," she said.

For more of the businesses featured in Shop Black Business Friday, head over to visitphilly.com.