Black History Month wasn’t always the 28-day celebration of Blackness we know it to be today. Back in 1926, Black historian Carter G. Woodson proposed the second week of February be named “Negro History Month.” The idea caught momentum and by 1969 Black educators and students of Kent University advocated to make this a month-long celebration of our existence.
The first official celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State from January 2 to February 28, 1970. Fifty-one years later, we’ve been uplifting Black pioneers within our community during the second month of the year. While it’s amazing to speak to the accolades of celebrities, politicians, and philanthropists who inspire us daily, there is a wide range of everyday entrepreneurs who are also worthy of recognition.
Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. Underfunded and overlooked, we manage to persevere by carving out our own lane and starting businesses that position us for success. As part of a month-long series, I want to highlight 4 Black women who are making serious waves in the fashion and beauty industries. Kicking off this series is Mikaela Pabon, a wife, mother of 2, content creator, wardrobe stylist, and designer dominating the athleisure world with her tropically printed fashion line, Dressed in Joy.
Mikaela’s infectious spirit and love for mixing prints serves as the blueprint for her collection of joggers, hoodies, t-shirts and dresses. It’s as if she transferred the sunshine of her bright personality to clothing that can be worn daily. Her floral prints are reminiscent of her love for Hawaii and Hula dancing. If you follow her Instagram page, you’ll see her occasionally bless the masses with her soothing, graceful movements.
Mikaela has been building her brand for quite a while. The encouragement from other fashion lovers is what inspires her maintain her business. “Being able to share my unique point of view as it relates to style has been extremely rewarding. Knowing that my audience and customers really love what I create inspires me to create more!” Mikaela tells HelloBeautiful.
Judging by the growing number of Black woman-owned businesses, it is clear that we are heavily invested in building generational wealth and establishing our own blueprint to success. Women like Mikaela inspire others who may want to morph their dream into reality. “It’s a great time to be a creative Black woman building a business. Part of the reason I started with a hoodie was because I was inspired by another black women owned business!” Mikaela exclaimed.