February is the month dedicated to honoring and celebrating the many African American individuals who have and are making an impact in their community and around the world.
These Greensboro-based entrepreneurs have gone above and beyond to actively provide for their community while doing what they love. Listed below are several individuals that are consistently impacting and inspiring others through their passions and gifts.
1. BAGGED Professional Services
BAGGED is an acronym for “Building on Ability through Growth, Guidance, Education and Development.” This business provides professional services and assistance to those seeking professional rebranding for their business, those who are looking for guidance while beginning their entrepreneurship journey and those looking for help in career development.
The business was created by N.C. A&T alumnae Erica Batts, Ki’Yona McClary and Nariah Barnes. Their goal was to help provide post-grad opportunities for people who need assistance searching for career opportunities. Their services include LinkedIn and resume revisions, interactive interview prep, social media revamps and much more. Since the business’ initial launch, BAGGED has assisted people working for companies such as Bank of America, Accenture and Google.
During the month of February, BAGGED is offering a 10% discount on any services to celebrate Black History Month. If you want to learn more about how you can BAG your business, you can visit their website and their Instagram page.
2. Cobb & Co. Car Wash of Greensboro
Jamel Cobb is the owner of Cobb & Co. Car Washing, located on 3104 Randleman Rd and is also the owner of Cobb & Co. Ground Management, a landscaping company based in Greensboro as well. Seeing the success of his landscaping company, he was inspired to create his second business.
Seeing how the local area lacked a quality car washing service, he wanted to start his own. He not only wanted to provide the community with quality auto care but also provide employment opportunities for those in need as well.
“Minorities tend to have a hard time getting support for their businesses,” Cobb said. “It’s up to us to support each other.”
Services provided by the company include washing, waxing, interior detail vacuuming and deep cleaning. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and offer mobile services on weekdays. Discounts are also offered to Uber and Lyft drivers, senior citizens as well as college students.
To learn more about its services, you can visit the Cobb & Co. Car Wash of Greensboro Instagram page.
3. TJ Minks
TJ Minks is known as the “Finest and first-rate mink lashes in the triad area.” TJ Minks is a lash and beauty essentials brand that has been in operation for about two years now. The company also sells strip lashes nationally and internationally.
Owner Tiara Kosie-Williams’s mission is to inspire others by making them feel and look beautiful while supplying them with quality Mink lashes. She hopes that people see more than just a brand, but also see a story of a community connected to people making their dreams a reality.
Lashes and lash applicators can be purchased from the TJ Mink website and can be worn up to 25 times with proper care. For care instructions and additional information, you can visit the TJ Minks website and Instagram page.
UNCHAINEDINC is an organization that helps students attending HBCUs obtain employment opportunities while also providing opportunities for career development.
The organization was created by Bilal Issifou, a senior pre-law liberal studies student at N.C. A&T. Issifou has a strong passion for providing opportunities for underserved populations. After seeing strong demand for diversity among the workforce, UNCHAINEDINC was created to give minority students an opportunity to be represented.
“As an HBCU student, I noticed opportunity gaps both internally and externally,” Issifou said. “Career fairs [are] limited to specific majors and professions and HBCU students graduating either [have] little professional experience or lack of career opportunities in their field.”
UNCHAINEDINC offers services for career development opportunities and employment opportunities. The overall goal is to widen professions that have low minority representation by catering to students enrolled in degree programs that are not commonly backed by education programs.
Although UNCHAINEDINC is geared mainly towards HBCU students, anyone can seek their services. In March, the organization will be hosting a nationwide virtual HBCU career fair.
For more information on the virtual career fair, you can visit the UNCHAINEDINC website and Instagram page.
5. Arlene’s Restaurant
Formerly known as Arlene’s Kitchen, Arlene’s Restaurant is a southern soul food eatery located in Greensboro. Founder and owner Arlene Clark opened the restaurant in 2018 after seeing the need for quality soul food in the area and decided to supply the Triad with southern favorites.
The restaurant offers excellent customer service and quality service. The food ranges from juicy burgers and hot dogs during their lunch hours and more savory, filling meals such as ribs and pork chop platters during their dinner rush.
Beginning as a small kitchen in a gas station with no customer base, the business has grown into a vibrant restaurant with outstanding service. The restaurant is located at 1200 E. Bessemer Avenue and is currently open for curbside and carry-out orders only.
The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out more about Arlene’s Kitchen, you can visit the official Arlene’s Restaurant Instagram page.
6. Pynk Lotus Organics LLC
Pynk Lotus Organics LLC is an all-natural beauty product line designed for people who suffer from eczema and sensitive skin. Brie Valentine, a senior biology student at N.C. A&T suffered from atopic dermatitis— which is a severe form of eczema since she was a child. After trying many different products to treat her condition she decided to create her own.
Researching herbalism and aromatherapy, Valentine has curated body butters, body scrubs and body oils that are suitable for all skin types. Her goal was to create a product that helps people take back their lives and love the skin they are in.
To purchase Pynk Lotus Organics products, you can visit its website and Instagram page.
7. Divine Unique Beauti
Divine Unique Beauti was founded by N.C A&T senior psychology student Keileana Evans— who developed a passion for cosmetology. Her purpose for Divine Unique Beauti is to help people see their God-given beauty. Evans’ goal is to ultimately offer affordable beauty products and services to Black women of all backgrounds.
“I genuinely believe everyone deserves a chance to feel their absolute best,” Evans said.
Divine Unique Beauti specializes in makeup and hair services, including sew-ins, crochet styles, custom wigs and so much more. She also specializes in selling mink strip lashes as well. To schedule a service, you can visit the Divine Unique Beauti Instagram page.
8. Aggie Strong LLC.
Aggie Strong LLC was established in 2020 to promote living healthy lifestyles. Rogdricus Neely, a junior chemical engineering student at N.C. A&T has a strong passion for fitness, which led him to create Aggie Strong. His mission is to uplift the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of each other.
Aggie Strong LLC offers work out plans that vary from 3-4 days and personal one-on-one training that is catered to fit the needs and fitness goals for individual clients. Training sessions are weekly and range from one session to monthly sessions.
To schedule a training session or service, you can visit the Aggie Strong LLC website and Instagram page.
9. Next Level Graphix & Apparel
Next Level Graphix is a graphic design company that sells custom products, such as hats and t-shirts and accessories for men, women and children. It is owned and operated by LaShaunta and D’Arby Lamont.
LaShaunta is the lead designer and has been working in design for over 10 years. She is very dedicated to each designing project she takes on. Her husband and business partner D’Arby is the business manager for Next Level. He ensures the business is performing on a prompt, professional level. Together, they collaborate to ensure all the needs and expectations of their clients are met.
They also take pride in helping business owners establish their brand identity. They assist with graphic design services by providing marketing materials such as logos and business cards.
To seek their services, you can visit their website as well as their Instagram page.
10. Mai Kix
Mai Kix is a sneaker reselling business created by N.C. A&T junior chemical engineering student Maijah LeVert. LeVert realized her passion for shoes, particularly sneakers, during middle school and that passion inspired her business.
LeVert not only wanted to continue to expand her shoe collection, but she also wanted to help other sneakerheads to get the shoes they wanted too.
“There is a sneakerhead born every day,” LeVert said. “We hope here at Mai Kix we can fulfill all your sneaker needs.”
Mai Kix offers a variety of sneaker brands including Jordans, Nikes, Adidas and many more. If you do not see what you are looking for, you can send a DM through Instagram and she will do her best to assist in finding the right shoes for you.
You can visit the Mai Kix Instagram page for all the updates on shoes and sneaker updates.