TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
Happy February, friends! Here at Feathered Arrow Events, we have always valued equality, diversity and inclusion for all. (Read more about my mission statement + core values here). We believe that Black Lives Matter always. But I know there are ways I can grow as a person, business owner + as a company. I’m dedicated to continue helping lift others up and amplify BIPOC voices. There have been countless lists on ways to help support Black businesses, but I want to keep the conversation going. So in honor of Black History Month, I’m sharing the ways we are continuing to show up + support the BIPOC community and wedding industry professionals.
This is the first step to any change and growth. However, like all education, it will take time. This is life long work. We are making it a priority to intertwine books, podcasts, webinars, and more into our daily life from the view of the BIPOC community and figure out ways to support them daily. For example, this month my team and I will be reading “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad to continue our work to combat racism. We grabbed our copies from Reparations Club, a Black-owned bookstore local to me in Los Angeles. Additionally, my team has also made purchases from Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia. (Check out the end of the blog for a few additional resources my team and I have compiled to support Black businesses).
As entrepreneurs, we know how important networking is for our businesses, and with the pandemic, we’ve all had to get creative to connect and nurture these relationships. Beyond zoom chats and phone calls, I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to talk to some of my friends on my podcast, The Local Table. For example, I mentioned my core values + mission statement earlier. This was a partnership with brand photographer and consultant, Crystal Lily. Check out her episode here for some great tips on ensuring inclusivity and diversity in your business. And I encourage you to continue to keep the momentum going! Whether that’s inviting members of the BIPOC community on your podcast, paying them to speak on stage at conferences or webinars, posting about their business on social media, leaving them reviews and/or shopping with Black owned businesses. We don’t just need to pass the mic, we need to share the mic.
One of the most humbling things for me has been hearing the experiences Black wedding professionals have had in the wedding industry. Some of these are truly shocking; from micro-aggressions to straight up, blatant racism. (Hearing some stories shared by wedding planner, Terrica Skaggs, are absolutely heartbreaking). It’s wrong, and it needs to end now. This prompted me to take a look at my vendor and contact lists and ensure it reflected a diverse group within the industry. Additionally, I examined those I interact with to ensure that every venue + vendor never indicate a bias towards a community.
Donating to causes has always been an important value of mine. Therefore, it was equally important to me that it was reflected within my business. Since the very beginning of my company, I have donated portions of my profits to a variety of charities, and have since included Black Lives Matter and The Loveland Foundation. You can read more about how I give back here.
Here are some resources my team and I have researched to continue to learn and support Black businesses, both in and out of the wedding industry. We know these are not the only ways and there are so many other important resources and teachers out there to learn from but we thought we would share what we’re doing in case it helps to spark an idea or a way to show support yourself.
What is so important is that this is a continual process for life. This is not a moment; it’s a movement. There are little things you can do everyday as a person and business owner to show your love and support for the Black businesses and those in the BIPOC community. There are so many ways to be actively anti-racist and promise to continue doing the work. Make sure your motives are authentic and genuine. It’s going to take time to eradicate the hate in this world, but it’s time we do and we won’t stop until it’s done. We’re not perfect and we’re gonna make mistakes but we’re willing to step into the circle , show up and make the mistakes so we can be better.
If you have other ways you are showing up, share them with me by sending me an email on my homepage here. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn and grow together.