Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.

Black Owned Businesses face the same difficulties and discrimination as any other person or issue surrounding Black people. So in order to be successful and maintain a reputation of excellence, they must work harder.

For those Black Owned Businesses working hard to be successful and maintain a reputation of excellence, it is important to support them. Which is why I agreed highlighting Black Owned Businesses as part of this blog challenge was so important.

As I’ve shared in other posts, I got married in July 2016. It was a beautiful day.

And what made it so beautiful were our hardworking vendors. Most of which were Black Owned. I want to shout them out and encourage you to consider them for your events and needs:

  • Elana Walker Events … Elana Walker is a certified wedding planner based out of Raleigh NC. She plans weddings and weddings internationally. She has a weekly featured on NBC where she provides event and wedding etiquette advice. She has been featured on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Southern Bride, Munaluchie Bride and other prestigious magazines. She has won the Regional Planner of the Year Awards for several years running. Her team is amazing and she is an absolute visionary.
  • Donnell Perry Photography ... Donnell Perry is a photographer based out of Raleigh NC. He not only does wedding and engagement photos — but also professional headshots, family portraits, newborn portraits and events. He is fun and creative in his shot selection. He and his team are almost invisible during events but somehow capture everything. And his turnaround time for edited proofs and prints is crazy good!
  • Cupceez Cupcakes … Zenia Hayden is the owner operator. What she does with cupcake flavor pairings is unreal. Sweet. Savory. Icing. Fondant. Cake. Cupcake. Pies. You name it — Cupceez can do it.
  • Suite Paper … Amber Crudup is the owner operator. Her focus is unique printing for special events and weddings. From save-the-dates to invitations to programs, from start to finish Amber was fantastic. She took my vision and put it on paper. As annoying as I got about fonts and spacing, she took the feedback and adjusted while adding her own creative flare to make it just right. And she personally drove our printing 90 minutes instead of risking delays from shipping.
  • Cool Receptions … They handle lighting, sound and music. For our wedding, they also provided the photobooth. Our guests had fun with unlimited photos to keep as souvenirs. And we got a souvenir book with all the photobooth pictures to add to our collection. Their pricing was amazingly affordable and they stayed until the last guest left the building.
  • Makeup by CD … Charity Dunn is a professional makeup artist and consultant. She beat my face for the gawds, hunty!! Yaaaaaaasssss!! She does wedding and special event makeup at excellent prices for all races, ages and skin-types. And she will come to you with her suitcase full of magic and mirror of dreams in tow!
  • J. Kearney Designs … Jey Kearney personally designed and created one of a kind gowns for me and my daughters. From sketch to fabric to countless fittings to literally sewing my bustle before reception so the train wouldn’t be distracted from during the ceremony or photos. He is a committed and talented designer. I suggest you work with him now before he blows up and you can’t afford his pieces anymore.

Without these wonderful Black professionals, my day would not have been as magical.

I salute them and all the Black Businesses Owners out there working so hard to be the best they can be at what they do.

Tune in tomorrow for the FINAL post: Day 28 – Black Consciousness