we’re so excited to share a special Q+A with Khadijah Robinson, founder of the Nile List. we hope you enjoy reading more about Nile and check out wonderful Black-owned businesses and small businesses to support this Labor Day weekend.
special thank you to Khadijah for chatting with us about Nile. read on for more about the Nile List, her journey as a founder, and her shopping recs!
team bare: How did you get the idea for the Nile List?
✨ Khadijah: I got the idea for Nile as a consumer who wanted to buy Black but found it unreasonably hard to do. I wanted to make my own life easier, and somehow began building a platform that would help thousands of people buy Black more easily. In truly unceremonious fashion, this business started as nothing more than a Google spreadsheet. Seeing how it has grown almost shocks me even today!
team bare: Having an idea is one thing, but then turning your idea into a beautiful site with so many features is an entirely different story. What steps did you take to create the Nile List and when did you ~officially~ launch the Nile List?
✨ Khadijah: First, I researched what already existed in this space and I thought about what deficiencies I wanted to address with Nile. I researched content and businesses and tracked them in my trusty Google Spreadsheet. Then I sat down with a UX designer and got to work building out the look and feel of our platform. I engaged developers to take what we designed and build it out, and I also engaged a small team to help with data entry so that we could build out something that was truly informative and exceptional.
team bare: Since launching the Nile List, what is the biggest challenge you’ve been faced with? And what’s the biggest win?
✨ Khadijah: There are daily challenges to building a business, so it’s hard to name just one. But the one that I’m feeling the most right now is team building. I’m trying to bring together a team of people who are passionate about what we are building here at Nile, and have the talent to really help take our business to the next level. Surprisingly, those things are hard to find together!
team bare: With Labor Day weekend approaching, many are excited to shop biiiig sales over the long weekend. For someone who is interested in shopping the Nile List over the long weekend (and beyond!) and supporting Black-owned businesses rather than larger retailers they may typically shop at, which businesses on the Nile List do you recommend they check out first?
✨ Khadijah: We actually have the perfect solution for cost-conscious shoppers who want to still be conscientious about where they are spending their money this holiday. A frequent concern about buying with smaller Black-owned brands is that they are priced higher than mainstream products from larger companies. That’s because it costs a small business more to produce and deliver a product to a customer with less access to resources and less volume to secure lower pricing on their inputs. But we’ve partnered with dozens of brands to help increase their brand awareness and showcase their businesses through Nile by offering discount codes to make their products more accessible to more customers. You can shop all of our partner discounts in one place here for the holiday weekend and beyond.
team bare: How can we spread the word about the Nile List? We’ve heard you have an exciting campaign kicking-off soon...
✨ Khadijah: Like...right now! We are engaging in a huge crowdfunding campaign to take our support for Black-owned businesses to the next level. You can back our campaign (and win some cool rewards) here from September 1 - 30, and you can use our site to find amazing Black-owned brands all the time!
happy shopping and thank you for being here,
❤️ team bare