Throughout February, FOX43 News will shine the spotlight on Black-owned businesses in Central Pennsylvania.
LEBANON, Pa. — Throughout February, FOX43 News will shine the spotlight on Black-owned businesses in Central Pennsylvania. Showing uniqueness, individuality, culture and the arts, FOX43 will visit several businesses and understand what it means to be Black-owned.
The second stop is C-Jay’s Drip, located in Lebanon County.
C-Jays Drip was founded in 2022 and was originally supposed to be a juice bar. Owners Charles Jackson Jr. and Chad Thierwechter have been friends since high school and decided that a sneaker shop would be the best way to go because Lebanon didn’t have anything like it.
“We pretty much trying to cater to our community, but also we’ve been growing and expanding… Lebanon didn’t have a sneaker store, and it feels good that we can bring something that the city needed,” said Thierwechter.
Picking out sneakers or deciding what to wear with them gives everyone a chance to express their individuality. Jackson says when people come into the shop, it’s a chance for people to connect and even make new friends.
“It’s something that starts a conversation anywhere you go, and I could look at a person and be like ‘yo I like your shoes’ and next thing you know, that person and you are just the best of friends,” said Jackson.
Both Jackson and Thierwechter say they come from humble beginnings.
“Well I’ve always liked sneakers, I mean, growing up, I kind of was poor so I didn’t get what I wanted, but once I was able to attain a job, you know, I started getting what I wanted,” said Jackson.
“Everyone has an experience just coming from humble beginnings; I didn’t have a pair of Jordans or anything like that since sixth grade,” said Thierwechter.
The journey to becoming a business owner wasn’t easy. Jackson and Thierwechter say they’ve experienced many struggles, setbacks and even the loss of a close friend to whom they dedicate the sneaker shop. They were able to persevere and offer other business owners their advice.
“Believe in yourself, you know, don’t give up even though you may have obstacles in life that you think might hold you back,” said Thierwechter. “You just gotta dig deep in and keep moving on.”
Jackson says that being a Black business owner comes with adversity, which is an obstacle on its own, but he encourages those Black business owners to stay dedicated and persevere.
“If you’re staying stagnant, that’s a bad thing, so do something every day to your life and try to pass it on to the next person, I would say.”
“Don’t matter where you come from, what your religion is what your background is, we can always communicate, because a lot of people share that common passion towards sneakers,” said Thierwechter.
C-Jay’s Drip is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, click here.