We had the good fortune of connecting with Chrishonda “Queen Chri” Benson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chrishonda “Queen Chri”, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
While traveling to Dubai in 2017, my sister sent me a video of my daughter saying that she didn’t like her “brown skin” because it wasn’t pretty. She went on to say that she wanted “peach skin” because those dolls came with more stuff (accessories). She was 4 at the time & my heart was broken. When I returned, I was on a quest to show her that she was beautiful & magical in her skin! While doing so, I noticed that there was a true lack of representation in the market for black children. The items in stores were limited, they often lacked all the extras, or were just nonexistent. It was then that I realized I wanted to create products to help fill that representation void and the idea for Pretty Dope Society was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Pretty Dope Society breathes life into Black art through merchandise because representation matters. That’s our tag line because we want to make it clear that this is what we do and why we do it. We’re filling the representation void that the retail industry continues to overlook. By providing diaper bags, backpacks, travel bags, blankets, drinkware, & more that represents black children, women, men, & culture, we’re doing what the big box stores won’t do 365 days a year.
I launched Pretty Dope Society in October 2020. It hasn’t been easy navigating a new business during the pandemic with ongoing supply chain issues and shipping delays. Despite it all, it’s already been a rewarding journey. The look on a child’s face when they receive a pretty dope item that features images that look like them is priceless. This is a reaction that we get to see weekly from our customers!
We want the world to know that Pretty Dope Society is here and we will continue to create items that bring smiles, create lasting memories, & spark meaningful conversations.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
New vegan concepts are always popping up, so I’d plan a weekend of trying out new spots like a mini food tour! We’d try one dish at each spot to maximize the number of places we can try throughout the weekend!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout Jamesha Bazemore of Cocoa Twins for creating and sharing her passion, art, and knowledge with the creative community.