We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Tarika Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Tarika Sullivan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Black Girl Magic Tours began out of my love for travel, mural art, and black women. Nearly 10 years ago, at the height of the Natural Hair Movement, I created a natural hair blog for black women – not to showcase new styles and techniques – but to discuss the reasons why we were returning to natural after decades of relaxers. During this time, I was pursuing a PhD and engaged in research examining black women’s experiences as educators. After juggling a full-time career in education, a doctoral degree, and (my passion) exploring issues related to black women’s hair through blogging, I ultimately made the decision to complete my dissertation.
Upon earning my doctorate, my time became available and the world was open. I traveled as frequently as I could to places like Johannesburg, Havana, and Cartagena where I’d see graffiti art and murals of faces with black features along building walls. I’d return to Atlanta to look around the city for similar art – inviting my friends visiting from out of town to view them as well. I so badly wanted everyone to see art that celebrated, honored, and shared the stories of black women, particularly in Atlanta – the city I loved so much. Black Girl Magic Tours was born from that desire.
What should our readers know about your business?
Black Girl Magic Tours is Atlanta’s guided, luxury mural crawl for brown girls. This tour offers a glimpse into Atlanta’s rich art scene, highlighting murals that celebrate black women’s brilliance, beauty, and contributions to the culture and the community. Black Girl Magic Tours’ curated list of murals takes guests through Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods and includes a midtown stop with the most picturesque view of the city’s skyline.
In my experience as an educator and instructional coach, I’ve learned to move in the spirit of excellence no matter how others around me may move. What sets me apart from others – and easily one of my most valuable attributes – is my discipline. You have to be disciplined (and a little insane) to maintain a full-time career while in graduate school full-time. I’ve channeled that discipline, my sense of ‘stick-to-it-iveness’, and my eagerness to learn in all areas of my life and business. I want to show up as the best version of me and I want the same for my business. When you see me, when you see Black Girl Magic Tours, know that we are continuously moving in the spirit of excellence.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First things first, I’m all about self care – so just know we’re getting ready to move and shake.
Grab breakfast at Gocha’s Breakfast Bar on Casade.
Hit the Atlanta Beltline for a morning stroll.
Pamper yourself at The Wellness Spot in College Park. Massages and pedis? Yes, please.
Head to Tassili’s Raw Reality for a kale wrap in the West End for lunch.
Get a bomb twist-out at Huetiful Salon in Midtown… just in time for
High Tea at Just Add Honey right off the Beltline.
End the evening with drinks and light bites at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar in College Park.
Now, get some rest for tomorrow’s Black Girl Mural Crawl (Black Girl Magic Tours).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Kenneth Burkeen, owner and founder of Huetiful Salon, has mentored and encouraged me throughout the iterative process of conceptualizing this experience. His business model includes respecting and honoring the beauty and time of black women, specifically. Quite simply, that aligns perfectly with my approach to business too. He has truly been a sounding board and guide.
Other: Email: Info@BlackGirlMagicTours.com Private Tours Available