By Bria Suggs
The Sistah Shop, a lifestyle retail store that promotes brands founded by women of color, will conduct the grand opening of its second location in Atlantic Station on Juneteenth weekend. The 4,040 square foot store will feature products from over 75 local and national brands.
“The Sistah Shop is a sanctuary for sisterhood,” said CEO and founder Aisha Taylor Issah. “It is a beautiful haven that showcases the products and services of Black women-owned brands from all over the country. It is a safe space where sisters can come and shop products and learn about services that were created by women that look like them and who have them in mind.”
Taylor Issah sees her business as a stepping stone for entrepreneurs looking to enter the retail world, but who may not have the means to do so. Many of the brands found in The Sistah Shop are having their products sold in a store for the first time. Something Taylor Issah loves to see is other founders being able to expand their brand and increase their revenue.
Before becoming an entrepreneur herself, Taylor Issah also worked in public administration and became an ordained minister.
“Entrepreneurship really found me; it was nothing that I ever dreamed of or envisioned,” she said.
Taylor Issah left her position in city government in New York to explore other roles, when the rise of the coronavirus ended her contract and allowed her to be an entrepreneur full-time. In 2017, Taylor Issah created The Sistahs in Business Expo (SIB EXPO), which is the parent company of The Sistah Shop and Sistahs in Business University.
According to their website, the SIB EXPO is the country’s only multi-city small business expo and created specifically to celebrate and educate entrepreneurial women of color, by providing a platform where women of color can showcase their products and services while gaining resources and information.
“We held our first tour in 2018; [we] had an extremely overwhelming response from every market that we went to,” Taylor Issah said. “And so we knew we were really on to something and that we had created something that did not exist.”
The pandemic hindered Taylor Issah’s ability to connect with others in person, which caused her to pivot her brand to allow her to continue to help other Black founders.
“The Sistah Shop was the answer to that, because it allowed us to still provide that platform to give them space and opportunity to showcase their products and services,” Taylor Issah said. “And took us into this whole new world of retail. And of course, we also have the e-commerce side.”
Taylor Issah specifically chose Atlanta for The Sistah Shop’s second location because she feels as though it has been a home away from home for the SIB Expo. Even the New Jersey store features many Atlanta-based brands.
“Since the very beginning when we were on tours, we knew that we wanted to come to markets that had the demographic that we served, which was Black women entrepreneurs,” Taylor Issah said. “Atlanta was a no-brainer. And so it’s been on our schedule and one of our major markets since the very beginning.”
The Sistah Shop features products for everyone, including clothes, books, skincare and more.
It’s Taylor Issah’s goal to continue expanding the SIB Expo and The Sistah Shop to be able to serve all of the major urban markets.
“We are essentially aiming to become the Amazon of Black women-owned brands,” Taylor Issah said. “A one-stop shop where people can find everything.”
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