We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica E. Boyd and Steven M. Hughes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica and Steven, how do you think about risk?
Journey Black Home was birthed after we decided to sell around 90% of everything we owned to roadtrip the United States and find the next place we’ll call ‘home.’ Taking that risk wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t also taken the risk to become entrepreneurs. Jess has been self-employed as a brand design strategist since 2014, and Steve left his sales position at a Fortune 500 company last December to go full-time as a financial therapist. All that to say, we’re definitely no stranger to risk; the rewards we’ve experienced personally and professionally, on many levels, couldn’t have happened without it.
What should our readers know about your business?
On the heels of the year that was 2020, the world’s been forced to do a lot of reimagining about what’s considered “normal.” Between the onset of the pandemic and the spotlight on racial violence and political injustice last year, a lot of fear, outrage, and deep sadness understandably settled into the Black community—we felt it, too.
Once we decided to embark on our nomadic journey this past July, we knew that it would provide an important opportunity to help our community expand their idea of what’s possible, just by sharing how we’re now designing our lives. Journey Black Home offers a way for us all to remember our strength, resilience, joy, and true destiny in this world—to honor our right to exist and thrive and explore our curiosities safely and confidently.
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.
Our itinerary would include visits to Just Add Honey for their tea-of-the-month, or Jess’s favorite, the Honey Lavender Latte with almond milk—the vibe there is pure and warm, and we always have serendipitous meetings. We’d also make sure to stop by Ponce for unique finds by Black-owned businesses, artists, and makers at The Village Market, then slide into Bar Vegan after that for a bite to eat and for great music. We’re huge foodies, so at some point, we’d also be sure to hit Gocha’s for a fish and grits brunch; Tassilli’s for their okra, wraps, salads, and Kale chips; Local Green Atlanta for their salmon Philly (extra sauce); Arize for their French Toast Bites and salmon patties; and Plant Based Pizzeria for some of the best pizza we’ve ever had, vegan or not. We’d also visit Wadada in the West End to pick up some Black-owned essentials for their visit (like Coral Oral toothbrushes and Tru laundry detergent); we’d grab smoothies, or ackee patties, or hit the vegan restaurant pop-ups they have there, too. For something out of the norm, we’d also book an experience with Graffiti Class ATL.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Building a team of experts and mentors has been invaluable, even in the short time that we’ve been building the Journey Black Home brand. Our attorney, Chinwe Ohanele, is also a business strategist who’s been instrumental in making sure our intellectual property is protected. Not only that, she makes sure our vision for the brand is broad, innovative, and forward-looking; calling her a gem would be an understatement. We also have very generous mentors who’ve given us more game, resources, and encouragement than we could learn in many years’ time. They know exactly who they are, and we’re grateful for the richness of relationship they willingly and freely offer.