We Got Soul MKE: Empowering Black Small Businesses and Creating a Stronger Community

A Quick Rebrand

We Got Soul MKE is a newly founded organization that aims to promote and highlight small Black-owned businesses and owners through marketplaces. Founded in early 2023 under the name BLAC Market, We Got Soul MKE has since rebranded to avoid confusion with a similar brand in Milwaukee. The organization was created by Meaghan Bertram and Simuel Wilburn, who are both small business owners themselves that sell vintage items.

Bertram’s vision for We Got Soul MKE is to eventually create a festival that goes beyond being just a marketplace, but rather a gathering place and safe space for Black small businesses to thrive, and for the community to come together and support them.

We Got Soul MKE Co-Founder Meaghan Bertram.
We Got Soul MKE Co-Founder Meaghan Bertram. (Picture provided by We Got Soul MKE)

“The premise is to truly uplift our community. We want the small business to get the exposure.”

– Meghan Bertram

Business Owners Helping Other Business Owners

Being a vendor herself, Bertram knows how hard it can be to get your feet off the ground, especially when others may not know who you are. Bertram said vendors typically have to apply for a vendor spot, which can be denied if you don’t have enough backing or funding. Through We Got Soul MKE, they are filling a gap.

“We’re small business owners ourselves [and} I want businesses to find a place of community,” she said. “Sometimes you just want to connect with people who look like you and who are in a similar boat.”

We Got Soul MKE hosted its first event in February in partnership with No Studios. The organization is now gearing up for its next event, which will be held on June 18, 2023, a day before Juneteenth.

With each event, We Got Soul MKE is amplifying the voices and visibility of Black small businesses, along with providing them with the support and safe spaces they need to succeed.

Learn More

Learn more about We Got Soul MKE here.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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