Why We Opened an Online Boutique

Written by Rinnie Orr and Stephanie Terry

In December, our nonprofit opened an online boutique. Partnering with Relyst, we built the infrastructure and began the process of receiving donations and creating a store.

In our last newsletter, we announced that we opened an online boutique – WEBB Boutique. Many people have asked “Why?”

If you’ve also been wondering “why” – here’s our answer:

Creating a Social Enterprise

Traditionally, nonprofits rely on donations and grants to bring in revenue so the organization can run their programs. But…also traditionally…some nonprofits will have a business enterprise to help fund their programs – for example, the Salvation Army helps homeless people by providing food and they run a thrift store which supports their programs. This store also helps provide jobs for those needing their services.

We call that model a “social enterprise.”

We decided to adopt that model for WEBB Squared. Instead of a brick-and-mortar store – WEBB Boutique is online. We will not be limited to selling our goods in our local area. You can shop WEBB Boutique if you are in Kentucky, California, or New York and support our mission to aid Black entrepreneurs in building successful businesses. Buy some really cool, radical, funky, and unique stuff and know that your money is fueling the values of equity, abundance, unity and interdependence.

We’re Just Getting Started

We have about 100 items for sale – fashion jewelry, books, and some original folk collage art created by our Rinnie Orr, our Associate Director – Rinnie is donating her art to the boutique to help support the mission. 

Our catalog currently includes these collections and more:

We have a small library of literature, fiction, and some mystery novels. Stephanie will soon be donating books on Black history and organizing. Along with her original folk art pieces, Rinnie’s also donated many of her art books to the boutique – the how-to guides that helped her get started as an artist.  If you’re looking for books on creativity, art and painting – you can get some here.

WEBB Boutique to Support our Entrepreneurs

We’re going to kick-off 2022 with 20 entrepreneurs in our WEBB Squared program – mentoring, coaching, and offering programs to get their businesses off the ground and thriving. Four of those entrepreneurs are visual artists, and we hope soon to offer merchandise around their work.

Besides art, we also hope to add products created and produced from our WEBB Squared entrepreneurs. Your support of WEBB Boutique will go a long way to building our community around Black entrepreneurship.

We’ve already received donations from our community as we build the store. If you have been thinking about downsizing and wish to donate items to our online boutique, here’s a list of gently used items we are looking for. For WEBB Boutique, we will take: 

  • small, elegant knickknacks
  • African decor
  • tablecloths
  • pottery
  • boots
  • shoes
  • belts
  • scarves
  • gloves
  • hats
  • purses
  • handbags
  • specialty socks
  • books (fiction, nonfiction, art, Black history, racial justice)

If you have goods you’d like to donate, or have questions about WEBB Squared and our programs, feel free to reach us through this inquiry form below! We look forward to hearing from you!

In gratitude!

Contact us!

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