Brian A.M. Williams is the founder of PurchaseBlack. com.
Purchaseblack.com is a web site that looks to connect shoppers with Black retailers. The site only sells products from Black-owned companies.
“Black people have over $1 trillion in buying power, but we rarely experience the benefit and I believe that is because we are trying to buy ‘Black’ the wrong way,” Brian A.M. Williams, founder of Purchaseblack.com told the AFRO. “We’ve set high standards for our merchants to ensure that when you shop with us, your dollar goes further and you are getting the best product.”
Williams said his site generates hundreds of customers on a daily basis, most of whom are are college educated Black women.
Created in 2012, the online/mobile marketplace sells a wide variety of high quality men and women’s apparel and accessories, including jewelry and watches, organic skin care, hair and beard products, cosmetics, art and candy that is all picked by Williams.
For businesses to be featured on Purchaseblack.com, sellers must be formally invited and undergo a “thorough background check” to ensure that they have high quality merchandise, have a good background in customer service and deliver products that are consistently and positively reviewed by consumers.
“What makes our Black products so ‘high quality’ is not necessarily the price, as we have some items that fall below $5, but the fact that our products deliver on their promises, which builds trust with our customers,” Williams said. “I want my company to be a place that customers trust, and that trust is paramount to PurchaseBlack.com. And no, we are not a ‘Black Amazon’ but a platform that re-establishes Black business in its rightful place among all businesses as competitor’s worthy of consideration alongside any other company.”
Williams created an initial version of the site through an independent study course during his MBA program at the University of Texas in 2012. He then decided to create his own Black company and has since then also gone on to create “Purchase Black Gives Back, “a platform that partners with other organizations every month to bring awareness to community causes such as crime, health, and education among others.
In June, “Purchase Black Gives Back” partnered with the Tigerlily Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Just like with Purchaseblack.com, we use a lot of social media and ads to promote our website and our nonprofit, so that we may not only highlight Black businesses, but make a positive impact through conscious commerce and the community,” Williams said.