Local Black Owned Businesses Come to EWU


Photos taken courtesy of Easterner photographer Emily Powers

By Hanna Alexis Yulo, Reporter

February was first officially recognized as National Black History Month in 1976 with the goal of honoring the achievements and contributions of the black community throughout history.

Eastern Washington University began this month’s celebrations with a Black Owned Business Pop-Up Shop event hosted by the Africana Studies Department. The event aimed to highlight local small businesses and connect them with EWU students. 

One of the businesses in attendance during the event was Blessed and Beautiful Creative Company. Owner Olyvia Babinski started Blessed and Beautiful as a way to sell home decor but to also bring creative individuals together. Babinski launched her company at the pop-up and in the future hopes to create events where people can gather and use their gifts and skills to see the potential in themselves and step into their dreams. 

Babinski spoke about the importance of supporting local black-owned businesses like hers, “There might be more challenges, obstacles, limitations that minorities face that make it more difficult to be promoted or celebrated or have people engaging with their stuff. And, to have special opportunities and everything and to be supported really means a lot. And I think it gives courage and confidence to the business owner.”

Along with shops specializing in home decor and clothing apparel, there were also businesses like I Hear You Sis.

Founder Prosparitti Coleman started the business because of her negative experiences with bias and discrimination in the healthcare industry. Through that experience, Coleman wanted to create a safe space for black women to be educated and empowered, offering them the tools needed to advocate for themselves in healthcare.

“Make sure you listen to yourself, listen to your body,” said Coleman, “Because you are the best advocate for yourself and you know better than anybody else the things that you’re going through.” 

 In the future, Coleman hopes to expand I Hear You Sis to other states to continue empowering people to use their voices to advocate for themselves.

 “You have a voice. You’re valuable. You’re worthy.”