When 17-year-old Journi Prewitt noticed her cousin wasn’t interested in reading, she was determined to inspire her. And as the avid reader and aspiring entrepreneur realized more young children held that same lack of interest, she came up with a way to empower young girls and boys of color to embrace their heritage and learn to love reading, too.
Confronting negative stereotypes and underrepresentation of black men and women in the media, Prewitt created Black Butterfly Beautiful, a monthly subscription box for young girls of color to celebrate their beauty and heritage through books and products from black-owned businesses.
“I want each box to show young girls they are beautiful and should celebrate who they are,” Prewitt says.
Alongside her entrepreneur mother and a project manager, Prewitt curates and designs a special box each month with unique products that young girls will find inspiring.
“I feel my box is helping better represent people of color by the products we provide, but I also think it helps young girls to see me as a teenage entrepreneur and African-American woman that isn’t doing something typical,” she says. “I think it’s important for young girls to see other women of color give back to their community and build other people up.”
In June 2017, Black Butterfly Beautiful launched its first subscription box – on Prewitt’s 17thbirthday. The first shipment was a dance-themed box, the second focused on hair products, and most recently, the box was movie-themed in honor of Black Panther being released.
And while the first box only released to a small group of 12 subscribers, Prewitt says the company has grown immensely in the months that have followed. Today, Black Butterfly has more 270 subscribers and asocial media following of more than 13,000.
According to Prewitt, the company’s following is primarily comprised of mothers and grandmothers looking for a gift for their daughters, nieces and granddaughters – and now sons and grandsons, too. To continue expanding, the company has launched a box for boys – the Black Dragonfly box.