It's Black History Month, and the #blackowned hashtag on TikTok has gotten over 4.8 million views as many users honor the occasion by celebrating Black-owned businesses.
One business getting some love this month is Kreme & Krumbs, a Black-owned ice cream shop in Montclair, New Jersey. Cheddar News' Shannon LaNier spoke with owner Kiahna Malloy about why she got into the business.
"In 2018, I was laid off, so I decided I'm going to go ahead and live my dream, which was to open up my ice cream shop," she said.
Malloy worked for the federal government for 25 years and used her severance package to help build the business, with the goal of eventually financially supporting herself and her husband.
In addition, Malloy felt that the existing market for ice cream wasn't up to snuff.
"I found that the market lacked ice cream with flavor," Malloy said. "You know, I wanted my vanilla to taste like vanilla, chocolate to taste like chocolate, strawberry to taste like strawberry."
Here are some tips that Malloy offered for others looking to start a business:
- Find a mentor that you can reach out to with questions or even looking over contracts or helping you get connected with the right people
- Find something you're truly passionate about
- Make sure that passion produces a lucrative business
"I know it's corny to say follow your passion, but I would say always follow your passion," she said. "However, make sure that passion turns over a profit."