We had the good fortune of connecting with Tonya Warren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tonya, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The journey for BOM Gifts started for me this past summer. I’d always wanted to be more intentional about supporting small, Black-owned businesses as opposed to shopping from big box retailers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t always willing to put in the work and research that requires. This summer, I decided to step away from my full-time job to do a little bit of self-care, reflection, and invest time in projects that truly made me happy. That is how BOM Gifts was born. I wanted to put my money where my mouth was – I can talk about social and economic justice all I want, but what was I really doing to make a difference? I created BOM Gifts as a way to promote Black-owned businesses that weren’t getting enough attention but were creating great products. By using a subscription box format, customers are able to get exposure to multiple brands at the same time. They can then choose to keep what they like and give the other items away as gifts. Either way, more people are learning about these companies and that will hopefully drive more business.
What should our readers know about your business?
BOM Gifts (Black Owned Magic) was founded in 2020 on a simple premise – Black-owned business deserve some recognition. With the amount of hard-working, culture creators online, it was obvious that they needed to be promoted and celebrated. By making the unique products of these small businesses available in gift boxes, customers are able to support multiple entrepreneurs simultaneously. In addition to the gifts, they also receive a card with the creator’s direct information so that they can continue their support. The subscription box format isn’t new, but the highlighting specifically of Black business owners and creators is new – it shows that there is a broader market that they can reach but may not have exposure to. While we are preparing for our first box launch on October 1st, it hasn’t been easy getting to this point. One thing that is difficult is understanding all of the different steps you have to take for your business to become “official”. Depending on what type of business you’re in, you’ll need different certificates and registrations. This also varies by state and again by online versus physical stores. There are resources out there but there is definitely a good amount of research you have to do on your own. Sourcing products and packaging is also a task in and of itself and is truly never ending – it’s fun in a creative aspect, but I want to make sure I’m paying attention to making sustainable choices, both for the business and environmentally. It is our belief that if we invest in our community and our small businesses, we will see the economic growth and change that is long overdue. As always, we are doing this for the culture.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spots in Dallas are as varied as the city itself – we’d have to do a good amount of driving to hit my favorite spots, but it’s definitely worth it! While COVID has impacted some of what’s available, we would still find a way to have a good time. We would spend plenty of time in the Bishop Arts District and Trinity Groves – there’s so much history in those neighborhoods that I hope will continue to be preserved. We would hit up Eno’s for delicious pizza and then walk over to Emporium Pies for a piece of apple pie. We would do some people watching in Klyde Warren Park and then go to the Arts District to see what new installations or galleries were open. A little further north, one of my favorite places is Legacy Hall in Plano. I love the variety of food vendors and it was the perfect place to catch the Super Bowl last year. Then there’s the small boutique shopping in Uptown, the photo spots in Deep Ellum…the list goes on…
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my family and friends – when I told them about this idea that I had, they were immediately enthusiastic. They posed questions to help me consider things I hadn’t thought about. They encouraged me that this was a good idea. They volunteered to be my behind-the-scenes help and they are my first customers. I wouldn’t be ready for launch if it wasn’t for them!
Other: Email: email@example.com
Personal Photo – Rose Scoggins, Pixel Perfect Photography