Updated: Apr 3, 2020
My beautiful people,
Hey! Hello! What's up? Kedu! Meka! Bawo ni?
As you can see, I am so excited to be writing the first Boss Talk post that I am greeting you in some native Naija dialects. For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about how to write this-- should I be formal? Should I be laid back? Should I make it short? The contemplation was heavy on my mind , but then I decided to just allow my thoughts to flow.
So, let's get the introduction out of the way.
My name is Nyema Igwe, some know me as Wobia (my middle name). In case you're wondering, my name is an Ikwerre/Igbo name and here is the meaning: Nyema = only God knows , Wobia = someone who likes enjoyment, and Igwe = Chief/King. I am a young 27-year-old Naija babe who resides in the most amazing city ever, Columbus, Ohio (the sarcasm is dripping), and I am a doer and dreamer of many things.
I am the owner of a small online boutique called Asa Afrique that I started January 2018, I am a co-host on a podcast called The Rants Show, I work with youth at the Boys & Girls Club, and most recently, I am the boss babe of POP OF CULTURE (does happy dance)! I am an avid dreamer, hopeful romantic, and believer that anything is possible! I enjoy learning about others because I believe every story and life has value and has the potential to teach and inspire SOMEONE.
Now that I have gotten my intro out of the way, I want to properly welcome you all to Pop of Culture, talk a bit about why I started it, and let you in on my vision for the brand.
As a small business owner, I have been to and still participate in all kinds of markets and vendor shows. After a year plus of attending them, I had the idea to start a popup brand of my own after I realized that:
1. I LOVE interacting with other small business owners and learning about their journeys. I knew I wanted storytelling and highlighting brands to be a huge part of Pop of Culture.
2. Being intentional about the energy that is set forth can make all the difference. I want brands to feel happy, respected, excited, and relaxed when dealing with me and the Pop of Culture brand.
3. There are not enough platforms giving shine to Black entrepreneurs and businesses. Pop of Culture is not a brand exclusively for Black owned brands, but I intentionally serve a predominantly Black market (I will make another blog post later that delves deeper into this).
4. I want to start something that one day, makes an impact in cities across the U.S. and abroad. Essentially, I want to create an international community.
As I said earlier, I am a dreamer and when I dream, I dream BIG. So, with my vision in mind, I had the first popup on May 4th in Brooklyn, NY. It was an intimate popup with just 8 Black-owned, woman-owned brands (including mine) and I LOVED it! It was nice being around like-minded individuals with amazing energy. I was thrilled that they believed in what I was doing and took a leap of faith by signing up for the first Pop of Culture popup. Fast forward to this month, September, and I now have three pop-up shops completed and four on the way for the rest of the year. It has been stressful, challenging, exciting, and a huge learning experience thus far and I am just getting started.
My mission for this brand is to create unique social experiences, showcase small brands (especially Black-owned brands) in cities around the world, tell their stories, and provide resources to entrepreneurs and creatives that'll help them succeed. Imagine walking into a venue and automatically, your mood elevates, you're excited, you see beautiful decor and people, and you feel the energy in the room. That sounds pretty dope, right? Also imagine walking into a popup or an event and having access to so many dope, diverse, and quality brands and entrepreneurs who have products that cater to your needs and wants? Exciting, right?
Okay, but now I want to you to picture coming to our online platform and being able to read inspirational real-life stories about people who had the audacity to go after what they want. Imagine being able to connect with an online community from which you draw motivation and information. Sounds pretty amazing, huh?
But to top it all off, I want you to really envision a platform that not only offers dope pop-up shop experiences, but also organizes fun social events and offers hands-on workshops, guidance, resources, and information that'll help you level up! Imagine being able to learn from leaders of industries or being granted a $5000 scholarship to help turn your visions into reality.
If you are imaging all these things, then you are imagining Pop of Culture.
Right now, I am a one-woman show and as with most beginning businesses, my resources are limited. But I am proud of what has been accomplished so far and I am looking forward to the brand blossoming into greatness in 2020 and beyond. I hope those of you reading this, our social media followers, the Pop of Culture brands, and shoppers will keep rockin' with "us" (even though it is just me, I like to say "us" because speaking things into existence is real and I will grow the Pop of Culture team) and giving us feedback so that we can make this a brand that serves YOU.
Before I go, I want to drop one of my favorite quotes (I love quotes) by Wilma Rudolph, an African American sprinter who became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games (1960).
"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us."
Thank you for reading. Please comment and share. Creating conversation is always the goal.
Until next time,