In recent years, African-American heritage has lost its prominence as attention has been diverted to fairer skinned ethnicities. However, Paige Tate, as an African-American female, wants to break this trend.
This was one of the sources of inspiration for the birth of Tate’s self-owned business, With Love, Woman. The purpose of the business was to promote the uniqueness and beauty of the African-American race.
“I genuinely love being black,” Tate said. “Some people see it as a curse or a stamp of the struggle, but I see it as something very beautiful.”
Tate started up her business in the fall of last year. She feels the reason why start-up businesses like her own are possible in Richmond is the fact that the city embraces diversity and creativity.
“I think Richmond loves a creative person and loves crazy and unique individuals and it loves people who have something different to offer,” Tate said.
Despite being from a retirement town in the Virginia Beach area, the city was not a culture shock for Tate. Her parents are both natives of New York and Tate herself often visits New York City several times a year.
Tate utilized her art background in her business ventures and products. Originally, she made jewelry but found that it didn’t produce a significant profit. Thereby, she decided to go into creating her own t-shirts.
As mentioned earlier, as an effort to exhibit her profound appreciation for African-American heritage, she named her clothing line, “Melanin”. By definition, melanin is the pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Additionally, dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people.
Tate has produced several designs but her most popular t-shirt is the one that mirrors the text overlay from the popular 1990s show, Martin.
For several months, Tate handled all of the functions of her business. However, recently, she hired someone to run her marketing and social media. With Love, Woman is currently an exclusive online business and Tate would like it to remain that way for now. She would like to avoid the bills and complications of owning a storefront property and stick to the convenience of the online format. However, she did admit when the time comes, she may consider looking into leasing a storefront space.
Thus far, Tate likes where her business is going. She currently has several business ventures and partnerships planned for the near future.
Tate recalls being frustrated last year about why other young entrepreneurs had their own businesses. But, she realized she was the reason why she hadn’t started her own business and she finally decided to take action.
“You are the only person standing in your way,” Tate said. “If you want something you have to go out and get it, no one is going to hand it to you.”
However, Tate feels she differs from other start-up businesses in the realm of promotion.
“It’s more than just making money to me,” Tate said. “I’m trying to scale back from putting my product out there but rather putting my message out there.”
- Sterling Giles