The Workshop at Macy’s, which returned this year with 25 new entrepreneurs and a five-week program, introduced a Vendor Pitch Competition for participants to present their product, business opportunity and funding proposal. This year’s winner was Black Paper Party, which will receive a $100,000 business grant, a partnership with Macy’s sourcing team, buy now, pay later services from Klarna and marketing support from Spark Foundry, among other prizes.
Additionally, upon completion of the five-week program, every participant will receive a $5,000 business grant.
Black Paper Party is an Arkansas-based, Black women-owned business that makes gifting products and nods to the African Diaspora. Cofounded by chief executive officer Madia Willis, the company combines award-winning illustrations of Black people with trend-relevant print and patterns. The two other founders are J’Aaron Merchant, chief product designer, and Jasmine Hudson.
First runner-up is Absolute Joi, a Washington, D.C., Black and woman-owned inclusive beauty brand created by a doctor, Anne Beal, which has won a $10,000 business grant, sourcing consultation with Macy’s, a marketing consultation with Spark Foundry and one-year buy now, pay later services from Klarna.
Second runner-up is True Moringa, a Massachusetts-based skin care line founded by Emily Cunningham and Kwami Williams. The women and Black-owned company makes oil and skin care products derived from the unused part of the moringa tree. The company also won a $10,000 business grant, a marketing consultation with Spark Foundry and a one-year buy now, pay later services from Klarna.
The 2022 class featured 25 brands across a variety of retail categories including beauty, home, accessories, womenswear and menswear.
In the 11 years since its inception, several alumni of The Workshop at Macy’s successfully launched product lines in select Macy’s stores and on macys.com. The Workshop at Macy’s is the retail industry’s longest running retail development program for underrepresented brands.
The program, designed by a consortium of experts from Macy’s and Babson College is aimed at diverse and women-owned retail businesses. Since 2011, The Workshop at Macy’s has helped support and grow more than 175 small businesses.
FOR MORE STORIES:
Macy’s Shares Leap on Strong Quarter, Raised Earnings Outlook
Macy’s Advances Sustainability, Social Agenda