We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jordan, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was 1o years old when I consciously knew I was an Aquarius (it’s documented). I was amazed at the information I was finding online about myself which resulted in an early understanding of self-awareness but also, being keen to observing others’ traits. I used my knowledge about zodiac signs to educate my Black friends on a more taboo subject, in typical Aquarian fashion, and my friends would joke all of the time and call me a witch. I always took it as a compliment because it felt like I had superpowers. At 15 years old, I had the vision of a Zodiac clothing line. It was pretty much unheard of at the time and many Black people in the community viewed Zodiac as witchcraft and not of God so I kept my zodiac gifts and visions for my business to myself for about 10 years.

In 2017, I began to notice an uptick in learning about astrology and Instagram content creators began making very relatable memes with people’s signs. However, there was still an education gap within the Black community that I was eager to fill because in many ways, I was finding that the Black people I was around felt like they had to choose between church and astrology or God vs. Devil which couldn’t have been further from the truth. With that being said, I felt it was time to let people know that studying zodiac signs was a subject matter I have been immersing myself in for 10 + years and it’s time I be proud of that. It has helped me as a healing and guidance tool to understand aspects of myself and my relationship with others. Black people have always been connected to the universe and the study of astrology is part of our culture, our being. For AquaBel, my zodiac line, my intention is to create community and encourage Black love by seeking to understand ourselves and others through the medium of zodiac as demonstrated by clothing and accessories.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
AquaBel’s name is a combination of the words Aquarius + Rebel. For my 9-5, I work at a nonprofit and I am a professional fundraiser and community organizer. I have been involved in social justice work since I graduated from college. I continue to support labor campaigns, build partnerships and coalitions to support state bills that focus on criminal justice reform, lead my own civic engagement programs, and work to build and maintain Black political power.

My passion lies in both social justice work and zodiac. I fuse the two worlds together to better inform my decision making and build trusting relationships with community, partners, and various stakeholders in between. Ultimately, my vision for AquaBel is to educate and heal Black people through the medium of clothing and zodiac, while still showing a commitment to my community by employing Black returning citizens with a great salary and 100% healthcare coverage for themselves and their families.

What I have learned throughout my trajectory is that I am multifaceted and I plan on using every last gift God has given me. I can do so many things and it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me. I am not driven by money, I am driven by my commitment to the Black community. However, I am aware that you need some form of capital in order to grow. So, like most small business owners, access to capital is complicated and competitive. No investor wants to really invest in a t-shirt company but there’s a lot of value in making the investment because fashion has always been a part of movement building. But overall, I am grateful for the learning curves. YouTube University has taught me a lot! Oftentimes my own path doesn’t make sense to me and I used to feel like my work was sporadic and lacked strategy and skills but I see now, at 27, each of those experiences have been preparing me for something way bigger.

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.
Chattahoochee Coffee Company– to drink coffee by the river Atlanta Breakfast Club- for a good Southern Breakfast

The High Museum of Art– get a quick dose of Black history and art and the hottest exhibit on tour at the moment

SCAD Rooftop- For a quick photo op

Rock Steady – get dressed up and enjoy afro-caribbean food and beats

Gilly Brew Bar- evening wrap up for more unique coffee and cocktails but this time with poetry and live music

Woodruff Arts Center- to catch a play

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?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to two extraordinary women. The first is Thelma Balfour, author of Black Sun Signs and Black Love Signs, the first book I picked up dedicated to Black love and astrology that speaks in our voice and whose content is full of culturally relatable experiences. Thelma is a Cancer who used her natural grace and comfort to encourage me that my vision for AquaBel is working and I need to stick to it. The second is LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, who is my mentor and other mama who checks my spirit with love and continues to help me through my journey to womanhood. She has exposed me to the importance of unconditional love. She reminds me that my life is not linear and it’s not supposed to be because linear does not equal structure. She reminds me to release my judgment of myself so I can be free of judging others.

Honorable Mention: My amazing friends- Kyle, Saleemah, Brittany, Amari, I’Yanna, Alondra, Derrell, Markay, Kiara, my Jaide, Maya, Mike, Jewel, Reggie, Alana, and Andrica.

Website: https://aquabel.net/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aquabelco/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aquabelco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aquabelco

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