Last month, Tosha Wilson created a Facebook group called Boosting Black Business, where members commit to donating $20 or more each month to a Black business start-up that she and her advisory board select and announce on the 20th of each month.
The group's first selection was ChiFresh Kitchen, and BBB met its $20,000 goal with four days to spare!
This month, advisory board member Tiffini Holmes announced the group's selected business, The Laundry Cafe (TLC).
That's because the business start-up is the brainchild of Tosha and her cousin Jacqui White.
"While Tosha was hesitant to feature her own start-up business, she was overruled by her advisory board who strongly believe TLC should not be penalized/excluded from being boosted simply because one of its owners also came up with the idea for this group," says Tiffini.
"In my humble opinion, if TLC were owned by anyone else we wouldn’t have even had to discuss its worthiness for boosting; it's a no brainer. So here we are, I am taking over for the month while we rally together to BOOST The Laundry Cafe!"
Tosha and Jacqui’s vision for TLC is that it will be a place in Evanston's 5th ward where the community comes to gather while also taking care of one of the most basic necessities – doing laundry. As simple as that might sound, it's really bigger than that: it will be a place where the community can come together, grab a cup of coffee, study, and more while taking care of laundry, a basic need that is currently not easily accessible in Evanston’s Black community.
The 5th Ward is a historic landmark in the eyes of many, but is under-served like never before.
The business is a marriage between necessity (clean clothes) and community-building through a cafe concept.
The space will also include education initiatives, computers, tutoring, health initiatives, gardens, and more.
This will be a valuable addition to a ward that has no public school, no bank, and no grocery store, and to a city with just four laundromats--and those laundromats do NOT serve the 5th Ward.
The Laundry Cafe is a project of Florence Kid Inspired, LLC. The name comes from the street on which Tosha and Jacqui were raised: the 1600 block of Florence in Evanston, a place that taught them the importance of community.
The women come from a two-house family with three girls and seven boys. All the neighborhood kids were welcome, loved each other, and held each other accountable.
Togetherness was everything; it was survival.
Florence Ave taught them to dream big and how to pursue those dreams.
Tosha and Jacqui believe in creating an Evanston for everyone--and that economic development is the key.
They love Evanston because Evanston loved them.
Read more about The Laundry Cafe.
To contribute $20 (or more) to make TLC a reality:
-- on their GoFundMe; or
-- on the Website; or
-- by mail: Florence Kid Inspired LLC P.O. Box 5384 Evanston, IL 60204-5384
Tosha and Jacqui established the GoFundMe for The Laundry Cafe last year, and before Tiffini announced it last Thursday it had raised $14,362. Today, the fund is at $21,726 with a goal of $200,000.
Let's help them make their dream a reality!