Over the past week, in the aftermath of Minneapolis police senselessly killing George Floyd, many people have spent the time seeking out ways to fight police brutality and systemic racism. These pleas made it to Aurora James, founder of shoe and handbag brand Brother Vellies, who came up with at least one difference-making answer. Showing up to protests, making donations, voting, having difficult conversations with family and friends, and calling local government officials are all ways to chip away at systemic racism—but James saw an additional way to create change, too.
Her time running a business had taught her that at big and small stores alike, it’s less likely for black-owned businesses to be represented on shelves and ecommerce. And the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit black-owned businesses particularly hard, had already got her thinking about the issue. “As a business owner and someone in the retail space, I