Happy Black History Month Ya’ll!
It is only fitting that I start off our glorious month with showcasing another Black- Owned brand. This month we are featuring Show & Tell Concept Shop. Show & Tell Concept Shop has been in existence for over a decade, and is well known for promoting joyful living and unapologetic beauty. I had the opportunity to interview Alyah, owner of this vibrant and ecelectic store. She shares her inspiration for creating the brand, and the importance of inclusion and authentic self expression.
What is the inspiration behind the creation of Show &Tell Concept Shop?
I’ve always loved style and fashion so this was a pretty natural career path for me. After spending 13 years in corporate retail, I wanted to open a shop that reflected my values and my Black and Queer identity. In addition, I wanted the shop to serve as a platform for other BIPOC and LGBTIA brands that don’t get as much mainstream attention. Ultimately Show & Tell Concept Shop is about celebrating what makes each of us unique as well as what binds us together as humans.
How long has the shop been open?
We have been around since 2011 and I’m so excited that we will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary in November of this year.
Are you originally from Durham, NC? When did you open the shop in Oakland, CA?
I was born in New Jersey but grew up in Raleigh and went to college in Durham. I moved to Oakland, CA right after graduation from college and lived there for 16 years. I opened Show & Tell in 2011 in downtown Oakland. In 2019 I moved back to NC to start grad school. Currently, I attend school full time and run Show & Tell online via my website www.showandtelloakland.com.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by a lot of different things, but I think my main motivation is joy. I’m determined to live a life that makes my heart and soul sing. I find a lot of joy in Art, Style, Music, and Dance. I also love to cultivate spaces, in person or digitally, where people can connect and be in community with each other.
What does being Black-owned mean to you?
It means everything, honestly. This is especially true if you consider that my ancestors were once considered to be property. To be a Black Queer Woman business owner is a source of pride, a source of power. I see Show & Tell as a creative offering and a way to share my passions with the world.
How has the pandemic and the ongoing racial unrest in the US impacted you?
The pandemic and racial unrest has impacted me in many ways. From a business standpoint, everything has moved online. All of the events and markets I usually participate in have been canceled due to the pandemic. This shift has been a challenge and forced me to pivot and learn more about doing business in the digital space. Strangely enough, the increased focus on systemic racism and the protest has probably introduced my business to new customers who want to be more intentional about supporting Black business. On a personal level, both the social unrest and the pandemic have forced me to get crystal clear on what is important to me in life. I feel like my decisions and actions are even more intentional than they may have been before the pandemic. Life is short and not guaranteed, so I am leaning into the things that bring me joy and moving away from things that do not align with my values.
What does your brand represent?
My brand represents bold, unapologetic style and joyful living. It’s a celebration of Black and Queer culture and an invitation for each of us to be our most authentic selves.
How do you practice self care?
I try to rest and take breaks as needed. I get out in nature whenever possible, and I dance often. To me, Self-care means listening to my body and giving it what it needs.
Go ‘head and cop some merch from http://www.showandtelloakland.com/ this month in support!
facebook: Show and Tell Concept Shopwebsite: www.showandtelloakland.com