By Shameka Terrell  Black History Month, which runs from February 1-28, has been the time to reflect on Black Americans’ strides. Although as time goes on, social disparities are being brought to the forefront now more than ever.   A study has shown that Black and white Americans’ economic divide remains as wide as it was in 1968 – Black Americans have dealt with economic disparity for 53 years. In the decades that have passed, Black Americans have only fallen further behind, and it is stagnating the growth of communities. A stark look into the economic disadvantage that has festered since before the Civil Rights Movement should give everyone a reason to support a black business this month and every month after that.  Strengthening and serving local communities while celebrating Black culture is how we can make the best use of this month.  Here is one business owner who contributes to Black Americans’ legacies as she recognized there was a need for better health in the Black community. Business owner, Dayelle Harris, focuses on the well-being of Black families. What type of business do you own? I run a doula service and holistic healing business. I provide antepartum, birth/ labor, and postpartum doula services. I’ve recently expanded my herbalism business from just providing herbal blends to my doula clients to launching my own line of herbal teas, herbal soak blends, soaps, candles, hygiene products, and most recently, essential oils and infused oil blends.  Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?  I actually became a doula because of the terrible medical treatment I received during both my pregnancies.  But once I researched and realized this wasn’t just a ‘me’ problem and black women were dying at alarming rates; I knew I had to act. So, my clientele [services] black women, but I focus on BIPOC families who wouldn’t usually to able to hire a doula.  I became an herbalist after the birth of my second daughter. I had diastasis recti that I was insistent on treating naturally without medical or surgical intervention. This led me down the path of living a more holistic and natural lifestyle. I started tinkering around my kitchen and encouraging family and friends to incorporate more herbs into their lifestyles. The next step naturally was to seek out certification so I could help many more people.  How do you hope to contribute to your community? I want to break generational [health] curses. I want to educate and support my community in living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Our health has to be a top priority in our collective healing.  Why do you think it’s important to support black businesses? I think it’s important to support BOBs because that’s how we can amass wealth within our community. The longer we can keep the dollar in our hands, the further it’ll go. We can’t ignite any real change in this country until we are on a unified front and getting organized [with our] money. So essentially, I’m saying that supporting black business is resistance. It is a protest. It is how we ignite change.  Do you think black businesses lack support? How could this be improved? I think many BOBs simply lack the funding. Without capital, you don’t have the visibility our counterparts do. Lack of funding means I’m the owner, head of HR, customer service, marketing, and so on. This will almost certainly lead to burnout. Burnout can lead to so many missteps as a business. These missteps present as an inconsistency to the customers and who wants inconsistency? Whether it be in service or products, consistency is key.  You can find out more about Dayelle and her services on Instagram: @indayscare.  

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