Black-Owned Business Owner Says Passion Keeps Her Going, Despite The Odds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Black-owned businesses have the lowest percentage of survival rate but one business owner is aiming to not become a statistic.

Nicole Dansby owns Airlusions, a fragrance company specializing in hand-crafted candles and luxury body products. The store is located in Rivergate Mall and has been there for five and a half years, but that hasn’t come without its challenges.

Dansby said as a Black business owner, there’s a lack of resources.

”It’s not enough to have the talent or know how to do something well,” Dansby said. “We don’t have the resources to put a team together effectively.”

Dansby once had a location in Green Hills Mall, but it closed last month.

“To start it wasn’t very challenging,” Dansby said. “I started with an idea, with a need that the community had. But to grow was the challenging part.”

The Small Business Administration also said starting a business isn’t the hard part, as nearly 70 percent of startups survive the first two years. After five years, however, that number drops to 49 percent, with Black businesses being impacted the most.

With all the challenges she has faced, Dansby says her passion is what keeps her going.

”I wake every day, and I’m excited to do this,” Dansby said. “When I meet people, I get to pour into them. I say coming into Airlusions is like going to an auntie’s house.”

Dansby said she’s continuing her brand and claims she’s already beating the odds.

“Black ownership is very important,” Dansby said. “It lets us get a piece of the pie and showcase our talents.”

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