Simply Noir Founder Interview: Supporting Black Independent UK Businesses

Simply Noir is a new online marketplace supporting black-owned independent businesses in the UK. Our mission is to boost the profile of black businesses and make shopping with them more accessible and convenient. Each of our sellers has been carefully selected for quality and to ensure they share our brand values. The site aims to support both the expansion of the UK black economy and the black community.

Our website brings a diverse range of high-quality niche products together under the same roof, making it much easier for consumers to find the distinctive, elegant, and useful items they need. We also support black businesses by running business workshops and mentoring sessions to help them not only survive but continue their growth when the pandemic is over.

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I had always known that finding and buying specialised products for myself and my kids was not always easily accessible. I noticed this more so when I moved from London to Hampshire last November. So it has always been at the back of my mind to create a platform to help black-owned businesses become more accessible.

Then the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum and it really emphasised to everyone the inequality these businesses faced. I thought this was the perfect time to launch our platform.

What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?

My advice would be whatever you decide to do, do it with love. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on building a great company for the long term and not just the here and now. This may take time so you need to be patient and always remember why you started this journey in the first place. As part of this, I always go with my gut instinct. Learning is part of the journey and pardon the cliche, but we learn more from our mistakes.

What can we hope to see from Simply Noir in the future?

We are focusing on building a strong community and focusing heavily on ensuring our businesses have the right tools to build a successful business.


Interview with Grace Trowbridge, Founder at Simply Noir