Owning a business is difficult, and owning a black business presents a completely different challenge. The existing systemic barriers to barring the black community from entrepreneurship contribute to the current economic inequality.Its society. Despite these difficulties, many are successful as self-made moguls. Emma Grade is one of them. As the woman behind your favorite Kardashian-affiliated brand and much more, Grade has built her own creation empire. She is the CEO and co-founder of Good American, a founding partner of SKIMS and co-founder of Chris Jenner’s Safely, not to mention the first colorful woman to act as a recurring shark on ABC. Shark tank. But Grade is not just about building his own business — he wants to help other black owners do the same.
The Fifteen Percent Pledge is a call-to-action nonprofit that seeks to promote black equity by encouraging retailers to dedicate 15 percent of their shelves to the black business. Founded by Aurora James in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Brauna Taylor in 2020, and in the wake of the subsequent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, Fifteen Percent Commitment was established as a sustainable initiative to return money to black designers, creative, business, and executive, where it belongs. Keeping major retailers accountable for supporting the black community. Signatories include Nordstrom, Sephora, Alta and Messi. Work with more.
Grade, a shining example of a black entrepreneur, was immediately drawn to the foundation and now sits as a chair on a fifteen percent commitment board. The company celebrated its two-year anniversary with an inaugural gala in New York City this weekend. Industry heavy heaters from Grade and James to Iman to Dapper Dan were present. The company has a lot to celebrate: Since its inception, Fifteen Percent Commitment has generated nearly $ 10 billion in revenue for black business owners.
Speaking at the event, Grade made the following comments:
Growing up in the fashion industry, and now with my own business SKIMS and Good American, I have seen for myself the gap of access and opportunity for people of color and especially women. From creating a sustainable supply chain and hiring a team to the right investors, or just securing a loan – black entrepreneurs lack support at every step. That’s why I do what I do – with commitment, with my companies and now as the first black female investor in a shark tank. I’ve seen first hand what can happen when brilliant businesses get their due share. Not only do we all have access to products made for a diverse consumer base, but retailers and investors all benefit. Black business is a smart business.
While the task is difficult and fulfilling, let’s just acknowledge the joy and fun that comes with getting ready for a big party. Grade shared an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at her preparations for the event with ELLE.com and she smiles. See his exclusive picture below.
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