Qcitymetro’s top entrepreneur stories from 2019

Revisit Qcitymetro stories about Charlotteans who started local businesses, from the TV anchor turned restaurateur to the couples balancing work and love.
Kenneth and Grace Smith were one of eight couple-preneurs who shared their story about balancing a personal and business relationship.

Former TV anchor Delano Little and team open The Public House uptown

Delano Little retired as WBTV’s anchor and sports director after nearly 30 years to give his full attention to Charlotte’s growing food and music scene. He’s part of the team behind The Public House, an upscale Uptown restaurant that has its sights set on attracting the city’s late-night crowd.

On the music front, jazz lovers can take the short walk down the hallway to Middle C Jazz Room. Little partnered with Larry and Adam Farber, a father-son duo with deep roots in Charlotte’s music scene. Acts like vocalist Maria Howell and percussionist Gino Castillo have already graced the stage since its November opening.

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Charlotte pilot establishes private aviation company, exposes youth to diversity-lacking airline industry

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Joseph Williams, founder and CEO of Herald Charters, is sharing his knowledge of the aviation industry in efforts to promote a potential career path.

Black pilots are few and far between. Finding one that owns a charter service is rare. Joseph Williams, founder and CEO of Herald Charters, held an event to introduce his business to the community, and share his passion for aviation, particularly to the youth in an attempt to inspire.

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8 Charlotte couple-preneurs share how they make it work

Could you go into business with your spouse?

We talked with eight Charlotte-based couple-preneurs who have business partnerships ranging from 21 months to 19 years. The couples shared stories about balancing marriage with operating a business together. Some allow the lines to blur while others keep business talks inside of “office hours.” Whatever the method, each couple has no regrets about taking the ownership plunge with their significant other.

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Grab a sweet treat at these 3 Black-owned franchises in Charlotte

Two staples in Charlotte’s foodie scene: brunch spots and creative desserts.

There’s a growing national trend of minority business owners opening franchises, and Charlotte is no exception. We spotlighted three local franchises of popular eateries where the payoff has been pretty sweet.

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Providence Day School teacher Alicia D. Williams finds literary success writing about colorism and black girl angst

Alicia D. Williams’ debut novel, “Genesis Begins Again,” tells the story of a 13-year-old Detroit girl who must overcome a verbally abusive family, an alcoholic father and a poor self-image – brought on in large part because of her dark complexion — to finally learn to love herself.

Although purely fictional, the story reflects some of Williams’ childhood experiences. It received rave reviews, including one from The New York Times that compared it favorably with Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” “but appropriate for a much younger audience.”

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Single in the Queen City? RBL dating app looks to match Black singles

Those looking for romantic companionship in Charlotte often turn to online dating platforms to find casual hookups or something a little more meaningful. We sat down with the creator of the Charlotte-based online dating site, RealBlackLove Inc., and had a Charlotte single try it herself.

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Want to host an event? Good Life at Enderly Park should be on your radar

Robbie McNair-Guzman and Michael Ann Gosby felt there was a lack of minority-owned event venues in Charlotte, so they opened Good Life at Enderly Park. The 10,800-square-foot facility sits in Enderly Park, a historic neighborhood in west Charlotte. The site also features onsite event planners, a florist, catering services, decor rentals and more.

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This yogi is centering Charlotte’s underserved communities

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Eternity Philops leading a yoga session at Reeder Memorial Baptist Church.

Eternity Philops began taking yoga classes in 2016 and established Black Girl Yoga Magic Charlotte, an online community highlighting over a dozen Black yoga instructors, their classes and workshops.

But, she has always been about building communities that are welcoming to people who look like her: Black, queer, female-identified or nonbinary. With Soul Liberation Yoga studio, she takes things a step further, offering classes and events exclusively for folks who check all of the above.

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Issa Vibe Adventures is connecting people of color to nature, one hike at a time

Founders Charles Gbenyon, Lisa Colvin and Ali Steele started Issa Vibe Adventures as a way to expose people of color to nature through outdoor activities. The trio has led hikes to state parks like Crowders Mountain outside of Charlotte and Grandfather Mountain near Asheville. They’ve also explored waterfalls like Linville Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Along with outdoor adventures, Issa Vibe prioritizes giving back to the community. They team up with neighborhood associations and local nonprofits to spruce up community gardens and feed homeless populations.

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