8 episodes

In the debut season of Built to Last, we dive into the stories, history and continued legacy of small businesses that shape American culture. The podcast features in-depth interviews with Black-owned small business owners who are thriving despite the challenges they face. Each episode honors the trailblazing Black entrepreneurs that paved the way for the business leaders of today. These conversations uncover and celebrate the stories, past and present, of Black entrepreneurship in America – and seek to inspire listeners to support Black-owned small businesses in their communities.

Built to Last American Express

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 71 Ratings

In the debut season of Built to Last, we dive into the stories, history and continued legacy of small businesses that shape American culture. The podcast features in-depth interviews with Black-owned small business owners who are thriving despite the challenges they face. Each episode honors the trailblazing Black entrepreneurs that paved the way for the business leaders of today. These conversations uncover and celebrate the stories, past and present, of Black entrepreneurship in America – and seek to inspire listeners to support Black-owned small businesses in their communities.

    A Sip of Coffee

    A Sip of Coffee

    In this special episode of Built To Last, host Elaine Welteroth continues to shed a light on pioneering Black entrepreneurs of our past and present, honoring Black History Month.
    Elaine chats with Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas, founders of the Inglewood, CA coffee shop, Sip & Sonder, about the importance of serving their community, finding joy in the journey and taking up space amidst a pandemic. Honoring the legacy of the woman who laid the foundation for coffee houses like Sip & Sonder, writer, producer, host, and content queen Danielle Young narrates the story of Rose Nicaud. Rose is regarded as the first coffee vendor in New Orleans who in the 1800’s bought her freedom by selling her famous café au lait at the popular French Market.
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.sipandsonder.com. Also, make sure to follow Sip & Sonder on Instagram @sipandsonder.
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Lo Harris.
    Relevant sources:
    https://www.nola.com/300/article_868c404b-68ca-5683-81f0-cfe01ebb1806.html  https://www.caferosenicaud.com/our-roots https://www.neworleansbar.org/uploads/files/Coffee%20With%20Chicory%20Part%202%2012_10_18.pdf https://www.sipandsonder.com/ https://blacksouthernbelle.com/les-vendeuses-of-the-french-quarter-women-who-sold-food-for-freedom/

    • 42 min
    Home Sweet Home

    Home Sweet Home

    In the final episode of Built to Last, host Elaine Welteroth chats with Shannon Maldonado, founder and owner of home & lifestyle shop Yowie. The two discuss the evolution of retail, the importance of following your passion, and why she returned to her home community of Philadelphia.
    Journalist and TV/podcast host Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins narrates the life and legacy of Henry Boyd and H. Boyd Company, a successful craftsman who understood the importance of purposeful design. Though Boyd’s journey started as an enslaved laborer, he bought his own freedom and went on to build his own woodworking shop where he created his notable piece: a modernized design of the bed frame.
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.shopyowie.com or pay a visit to her storefront at 716 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Also, make sure to follow Yowie on Instagram @HelloYowie.
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Reyna Noriega.
    This episode was recorded prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
    Relevant sources:
    http://www.diggingcincinnati.com/2014/02/henry-boyd-former-slave-and-cincinnati.html https://nmaahc.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2012.113.1a-m

    • 1 hr
    The Visionary’s Vision

    The Visionary’s Vision

    In this episode of Built to Last, host Elaine Welteroth sits down with stylish twin eyewear designers Coco & Breezy to discuss the forces that inspired Coco & Breezy eyewear, the fine art of self-care, and the unique business challenges presented by the pandemic.
    Paying homage to the original inventor and innovator of the “eye protector,” fashion and beauty influencer Tiffany M. Battle retells the life and legacy of Powell Johnson. Without Johnson’s revolutionary product, Coco & Breezy—among scores of other eyewear companies—would not exist today.
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.cocoandbreezy.com and if you’re looking to dance and sing, follow them on Instagram @cocoandbreezy to get your groove while listening to their DJ sets!
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Reyna Noriega.
    This episode was recorded prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
    Relevant sources:
    https://patentyogi.com/this-day-in-patent-history/this-day-in-patent-history-on-november-21880-johnson-powell-received-a-patent-for-an-eye-protector/#:~:text=an%20eye%2Dprotector-,This%20Day%20in%20Patent%20History%20%2D%20On%20November%202%2C1880%2C,patent%20for%20an%20eye%2Dprotector&text=chat_bubble_outline-,On%20November%202%2C1880%2C%20Johnson%20Powell%20received%20a%20patent%20for,to%20glare%20of%20strong%20light. https://lisadcook.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/pats_paper17_1013_final_web.pdf https://patents.google.com/patent/US234039A/en https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1549.html https://www.revolt.tv/2020/9/9/21429774/7-coco-and-breezy-facts https://www.thehelm.co/coco-and-breezy-eyewear-capsule/ https://www.ebony.com/career-finance/black-owned-business-erased/

    • 40 min
    Claim Your Crown

    Claim Your Crown

    In this episode of Built to Last, host Elaine Welteroth chats with Hannah Diop—founder of hair care line Sienna Naturals—and Issa Rae, the co-owner and face of the brand. Together they discuss the importance of clean, quality products, celebrate natural hair and the power of delegation.
    Reflecting on the pioneer who paved the way for the Black haircare industry, art curator and writer Kimberly Drew narrates the life and legacy of Annie Malone, one of the first female Black American millionaires and a trailblazer in beauty care products and philanthropy.
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.siennanaturals.com. Also make sure to follow Sienna Naturals on Instagram @SiennaNaturals and Issa Rae @IssaRae to learn more about all of her latest projects!
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Reyna Noriega.
    This episode was recorded prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
     Relevant sources:
    https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a31225269/self-made-addie-annie-turnbo-malone-facts/ https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/annie-malone-and-madam-cj-walker-pioneers-african-american-beauty-industry https://columbia-mo.aauw.net/notablewomen/womenfm/annie-malone/ https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a31225269/self-made-addie-annie-turnbo-malone-facts/ https://books.google.com/books?id=KWLbbcCQ0T8C&pg=PA241&dq=annie+malone+divorce+1927&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjThd3crIHoAhXZlnIEHW2vA1wQ6AEwAHoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=annie%20malone%20divorce%201927&f=false https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWMN4gpX4d0

    • 52 min
    Designed with a Purpose

    Designed with a Purpose

    In this episode of Built to Last, host Elaine Welteroth chats with Anifa Mvuemba—founder of the womenswear brand, Hanifa. Together they uncover the inspiration behind Hanifa, the craft of designing for Black women, and how community serves as a motivator in the face of entrepreneurial challenges.
     
    Reflecting on the pioneer that paved the way, celebrity stylist Zerina Akers introduces us to Zelda Wynn Valdes, fashion designer and creator of the iconic Playboy Bunny costume. Valdes’ designs were seen on everyone from Josephine Baker to Diahann Carroll and were known to exude ultimate femininity and confidence for a woman, just as Hanifa does for its clientele.
     
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.hanifa.co. Also make sure to follow Hanifa on Instagram @HanifaOfficial.
     
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Reyna Noriega.
     
    This episode was recorded prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
     
    Relevant sources:
    https://kentakepage.com/zelda-wynn-valdes-the-creator-of-the-playboy-bunny-costume   https://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/23/nyregion/about-new-york-matriarch-of-dancers-sews-clothing-of-delight.html

    • 39 min
    Beauty for All

    Beauty for All

    In this episode of Built to Last, host Elaine Welteroth chats with Melissa Butler—founder and CEO of the sustainable cosmetic line, The Lip Bar. They discuss the grand vision for her vegan and cruelty-free company, the unexpected lessons she’s learned from being a leader (and not just a CEO), and the essential importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
    Honoring the pioneer who paved the way for Melissa Butler, beauty reporter and news editor Darian Harvin narrates the life and legacy of Eunice Johnson—co-founder of the Johnson Publishing Company and founder of the iconic Ebony Fashion Fair Cosmetics, which she developed in response to the stark lack of beauty brands available to women of color.
    To learn more about the small business featured in today’s episode, visit www.thelipbar.com. Also make sure to follow The Lip Bar on Instagram @TheLipBar.
    Continue the conversation by reaching out to us @americanexpress on social media or by using #AmexBuiltToLast. Be sure to check out the video version on AMEX’s YouTube page featuring illustrations by Reyna Noriega.
    This episode was recorded prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
71 Ratings

71 Ratings

RyGuyHiGuys! ,

Historical

This podcast is amazing! I love hearing about these people who never got their “flowers” so to speak. It’s nice to hear about these historical figures.

Rutherfordvi ,

Five Stars

Love a good, thoughtful podcast that takes into account the reality of what it means to be marginalized and endeavor through it all as an entrepreneur.

rayday2005 ,

Love listening to amazing black entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur with a start up on the rise listening to this makes me feel good! Knowing we can make things happen and have thriving businesses. I’ve learned some things and love the wrap up at the end of the conversations, the take aways....

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