The number of black owned wedding stations has been growing for the past decade.
The number rose from 5,842 in 2005 to 6,639 in 2017.
But in the last three years, it has dropped by almost 50 percent, from 1,567 to 1,422.
The decline is the result of the Black owned stationeries having to raise prices to make ends meet, and to provide more choices to the public, said Alisha Black, a Black-owned wedding stationer from Brooklyn.
“We need to have affordable options,” she said.
Black said she’s not sure if the increase in competition is the fault of the new owners or just a continuation of what has been going on for decades.
“I think we have more competition, more choice in the market and more diversity in the marketplace,” she added.
“What I am saying is that the industry is still dominated by white women.”
The market is dominated by the Black market, where women are more likely to shop online and use online ordering services, said Black.
This can lead to higher prices, because women who shop online often have more options and less need to go through a physical store, she said, so they can shop more locally.
The industry also has a higher risk of being shut down, said Michelle Pang, who runs the wedding stationering website MyBrideGone.com.
It’s very hard for a wedding to survive because it is not a traditional business, and you have to be able to survive without it.
It takes a lot of time to sell a wedding, Pang said.
“The demand is still there, but we need to see a change in that, because it’s not just a few years down the road,” she continued.
“It’s a long-term trend.”
The Black owned stations have struggled for a number of years because they’re more expensive, more difficult to locate, and they’re often more complicated to get into.
But Black said the current trend of Black owned stores and online ordering has opened up the market to more diverse customers and has allowed other stores to survive.
“There’s been an increase in the diversity of the industry and of the women who are shopping for wedding stationers,” Black said.
While it’s important to note that the majority of Black women who work in wedding stationing are white, Black said that they do have a greater need for diversity and a wider range of products, which they also have access to online.
“Women of color have a lot more choices in wedding stations than white women, so I think it’s really important for us to diversify the offerings,” Black added.
Black is hoping to see more diversity at the store level and to get the trend of the stores in the city.
She said she hopes the trend will spread to the grocery stores as well, and that more Black-run stores will open up to the community.
“If we can create a space where women of color can shop and find good products and good service, I think that will help,” she explained.
Black also said that she hopes to see an increase of Black-led businesses open up in the area, such as small business owners.
She also said she wants to see greater integration between Black- owned wedding shops and other businesses in the neighborhood.
“To me, there’s a really strong relationship between Black owned and other Black owned businesses in this community,” she concluded.
“So, I hope that we can find a way to help.” [HuffPost]