Did you know there are 2.1 million black owned businesses in America, but about 50% of them make less than $10,000 each year? This insight is just one of many reasons Power Box founder and creator, Tami Sawyer, decided to take action.
Power Box is an online African-American and Black Business directory and our #BuyBlack Holiday Headquarters featuring interviews with black business owners, product reviews shopping guides business spotlights for us, by us. Let’s dig deeper with this fun one-on-one below!
TheBobbyPen.com (TBP): Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on your Sunday– the day people are supposed to be resting.
Tami Sawyer (Tami): No problem, thank you for supporting Power Box and wanting to write about it.
TBP: What motivated you to create Power Box?
Tami: Having been a small black business owner myself, I wanted to help people expand their reach.
TBP: Why Buy Black?
Tami: If we buy black, we will see a greater impact in our communities. If black owned companies and businesses made more money they could hire more people. [And] in turn, driving down unemployment. Black Businesses that are a part of the community reinvest in the community, like buying properties in the neighborhood.
TBP: You mean as opposed to having big developers come in, buy up property and build expensive condos no one can afford?
TBP: What are some of your favorite businesses that you are eyeing right now on the Power Box directory?
Tami: I’ve currently got a moratorium on buying stuff. (laughs) I was literally adding a business and [then] buying something. But right now there’s this winter hoodie by Legendary Apparel. I’m also looking at Effie’s Paper. They sell note-cards and stationery. [There’s] a winter hat from Caheez— Oh! And if someone wants to get me a non-tangible, I want Miya Bailey to do my next tattoo!
TBP: How does Power Box stand out? I mean I’ve seen a few [recent] incarnations of sites or apps that list black owned businesses, but unfortunately I’ve found that sites are not as user friendly as Power Box or that the listings aren’t very extensive. A lot of times there are no businesses listed near me, and I know there are plenty in the DC area.
Tami: Well first, site design was very important to me. Everything from the usability to [the] colors to graphic design. We’re also not just a listing site. We feature actual content and blog articles. For example right now we have a Black Beard November post which is a grooming guide. Another thing is that I vet the businesses that are on the site. I go to the websites. I look and click around before I just throw it in the directory. Power Box is also a national [platform.] We have businesses from all over– not just brick and mortar businesses, but online shops [too]. We only geo-tag brick and mortar businesses. So there could be a business in your backyard. You [would] just have to go to the business site to see where they are based.
TBP: Well, I’ve been stuck in the handbag section for a while. I need a new clutch so I will be looking around. (laughs) Thank you for taking time to speak with me today and I love what you are curating with Power Box. The user and techie in me loves the site functionality too!
There is something to be said about someone who sees a need and addresses it, and that’s exactly what Tami did with Power Box. If you are looking to buy black this holiday shopping season (or any day for that matter.) You can definitely find whatever you seek on Power Box. Remember, today November 30th is Cyber Monday so browse Power Box’s directory to check out some businesses and support, PenPalz!