How A Teen’s Monthly Subscription Box Brings Food To Nourish Black Girls’ Esteem

By Tonyaa Weathersbee
The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Black Butterfly Beautiful” is a monthly subscription box with items such as books, toys, cards, treats and accessories that are geared towards building esteem in black girls.

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

A year ago, Journi Prewitt had a decision to make.

She could continue to pump up crowds as a cheerleader. Or she could pump up African-American girls by showing them why they should be cheering for themselves.

Journi chose the latter.

Along with her mother, Shauntay Prewitt, the Memphis teen started Black Butterfly Beautiful. It’s a monthly subscription box with items such as books, toys, cards, treats and accessories that are geared towards building esteem in black girls.

In October, for example, the box had a Halloween theme, but instead of ghosts and goblins it featured information on songstress Nina Simone. Known as the High Priestess of Soul, one of Simone’s famous songs was “I Put a Spell on You.” And each box features a Monarch of the Month — as in Monarch butterfly — which are women like Simone, Oprah Winfrey, and others.

Journi, who said her favorite book is “For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf,” said the idea of turning her love of reading and black heritage into a business opportunity called to her more loudly than the crowds.

“It took a sacrifice,” said Journi, who attends Power Center Academy High School. “I gave up my favorite sport to start my business. I’ve done competitive cheerleading since the ninth grade, so this year, I had to choose: Do I want to be a competitive cheerleader, or do I want to be an entrepreneur?”

So far, that choice has paid off for the 17-year-old.

It started with an idea
In June, when Journi started the service, she sold only 10 subscription boxes — which cost $30 per month. Last month, through advertising on Facebook, Instagram and her website, www.blackbutterflybeautiful.com, she sold 200 boxes.

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