To promote economic empowerment and provide a space to encourage support for black business owners, Michelle Dalzon launched theBOM (aka the Black Owned Market), a New York City-based curated pop-up market experience. Since its December 2016 launch, theBOM has worked with about 25 businesses to date and attracted over 300 people to its events. As Dalzon gears up for theBOM’s one-year anniversary and holiday market in December, Black Enterprise caught up to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What inspired you to start theBOM?
I have always felt the need to support black businesses because my parents have owned a beauty supply store for the past 29 years and that principle was instilled in me from birth. I wanted to be the person my parents needed when they first started their business way back in the day.
How does the process for businesses to participate work?
I did my own research for black businesses starting with people that I already knew or have shopped with in the past. After launching the first BOM pop-up the vendor requests began rolling in non-stop. Although this is amazing, it makes choosing vendors difficult since there is a cap on who can participate. This is why a quality product, branding, and founding stories are incredibly important to me. Vendors of theBOM get featured in all of our PR efforts from very notable publications such as BE, custom booth designs, and many have reported generating over three times their normal sales.
What’s your best marketing tool for attracting an audience?
My best marketing tool is social media, specifically Instagram (@ourbomdotcom). Our participating vendors have great followings of their own and are always great ambassadors of theBOM, eagerly sharing their enthusiasm to their respective audiences.
What’s the biggest change you’d like to see in the black entrepreneurial community?
Collaboration! Since there are few opportunities for people of color, we think that if we collaborate or help someone out it will take away from our success. But the reality is no one will be able to execute your dream like you will. We (theBOM) are a collaborative platform, without the participating brands we would not exist. We are black people getting together for the common good of economic empowerment and strengthening our communities. A few of our vendors have since partnered on their own projects as a result of meeting at theBOM.