The impetus for Ujamaa Box as an idea began when our founder, Ebony Costain, read the book, “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy” by Maggie Anderson. The author’s family spent a year attempting to purchase groceries and other goods from black-owned or operated enterprises, but struggled throughout the year even with basic items.
Further research about the buying power of black Americans led Ebony to design a more accessible and modern way to showcase black-owned business and products. After initial seed money was awarded from a crowdfunding campaign, the first shipments of Ujamaa Box commenced in November of 2014.
The inspiration behind the name of Ujamaa Box comes from one of the valuable principles celebrated during Kwanzaa. Ujamaa stands for “cooperative economics” and the belief that in order for us to all prosper and profit, we must build and maintain our businesses together. As the principles of Kwanzaa can be applied all year around, so can taking control of our spending by choosing to support multiple Black-owned businesses in a single purchase.
Ebony Costain is the CEO & Founder of Ujamaa Box ™ LLC. Witnessing entrepreneurship first-hand through her parents and being inspired by prevailing business disparities helped nourish the seed of her direction for Ujamaa Box.
With a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she researches, curates and promotes an array of products within but not limited to: fashion, beauty, art and literature industries. Her ten years of corporate experience in product development, production, and buying gave her the opportunity to harness her knowledge and develop a tool that focused on the importance of intentional spending within black communities.
This experience, along with current issues occurring in the black community, gave her the fuel to create a subscription box service that exclusively features Black-owned businesses. She is dedicated in her mission of encouraging cooperative economics.
Join us in the movement of encouraging economic empowerment within our own communities! Welcome to Ujamaa Box!