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Black entrepreneurs are breaking barriers to own thriving businesses

Bold Xchange is a Black-owned shop where you can buy from a curated collection of brands and products that are shipped within three days.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Black-owned businesses have faced long-standing struggles due to structural exclusion which has been worsened by COVID-19.

However, a local Charlotte couple is breaking down barriers through the creation of Bold Xchange.

Bold Xchange is a Black-owned shop where you can buy from a curated collection of brands and products that are shipped within three days.

The idea was birthed four years ago during a shopping challenge.

“I challenged myself to buy Black for all my family's Christmas present that year, said Danielle Deavens, co-owner of Bold Xchange. “It  was way harder than I expected.”

That moment of frustration served as an “ah-ha” moment for Deavens’ boyfriend, Doug Spencer.

“If we had this problem, we thought others would as well,” said Doug.

In a bold move, Danielle quit her journalism job at The Food Network Magazine and Doug turned down the graduate program at Columbia Law School.

The two walked away from their dream careers in New York City to walk into their new-found purpose of building a one-stop-shop where people could buy from Black-owned businesses.

This year they finally met their goal and launched Bold xChange.com

“Bold Xchange is a convenient way to buy Black online,” Danielle told WCNC’s Billie Jean Shaw.

Since launching the site in February, Danielle and Doug have partnered with more than two dozen brands selling everything from candles. to hair bonnets and of course, masks.

Plus their site has been featured in national platforms, including Delish, New York and Apartment Therapy.

However, the two say the most rewarding part is helping Black people become leaders in an area where they statistically struggle.

According to the Brookings Institution, people of color make up 40% of the population, but only 20% of the nation’s 5.6 million businesses with employees.

If the number of entrepreneurs in the country reflected the population, people of color would own 50% more businesses than they currently do, but disparities in education, personal wealth, and access to capital have been a hindrance. 

“That’s a challenge that’ systemic,” said Doug. “That motivates us to build our platform so we can help more businesses.”

Click here to check out Bold Xchange.

WCNC would love to hear from you, if you have an idea for our next “For The Culture” segment contact, Billie Jean Shaw at bshaw@wcnc.com.