We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariah Bailey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mariah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks are opportunities to grow. A lot of people look at risk as something to say no to because there’s this automatic association with the losses and negatives of risks. The truth is, we take risks everyday and not all risks have to be extreme but they do have to be progressive and that’s what risk taking has done for me.

The first risk I took was to leave my family and friends at 17 years old and move from Detroit to Kentucky for college. That was scary but necessary. The seven years I spent in Kentucky was crucial to sculpting the women I became there and set the foundations for the women I’m becoming.

After that I took risk after risk which some cost me some tears but ultimately I was able to become who I am today. A mommy, army veteran, college graduate, phenomenal woman of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., government contractor, app developer, black community advocate through my app, and so much more!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Getting to this point was definitely not easy. Honestly, if left up to me, I wouldn’t even be in this space doing what I’m doing now. My original plan in life was to become a nurse. Here I am, at 26, a whole government contractor and entrepreneur. The journey I took getting here was definitely a tough road but I wouldn’t trade any point in the journey. Those tough moments that made me question my capabilities built the characteristics and trades for me to persevere. In those moments I didn’t realize why I went through it and I felt life life was picking on me and trying to kill me. It was really taking me through training to build the tenacity to stand as the woman I am now, but most importantly, the woman I’m always becoming. I often reflect and thank past me for all the decisions she made to cry and keep going. That little girl built a strong woman and I owe ever day to past me making decisions to cry, pray, push, persevere, and believe!

What I want the world to know about my brand is that yes we are products of our environment but we control the narrative of what that means. Being from the east side of Detroit, MI, I could’ve been anything in the world. My environment taught me to persevere, follow through, get shit done, and be careful. I rebranded my reality off of what my environment taught me. I took the positives and capitalized off of them, the negatives and could a lesson or a positive, and chose not to identify with what wasn’t conducive to my growth.

The reason I created the black American market is to show kids you can go to school, become an entrepreneur, and/or do both if you choose. The problem is most kids don’t see people that resonate with them doing stuff the right way. B.A.M gives you a community of entrepreneurs in an array of disciplines, as well as an HBCU directory with job boards to support our community and expose opportunities. The goal is to create a community of leaders that will create communities of leaders that celebrate black excellence the way we celebrate everything else.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the DMV now and im still kind of new here. From what I have experienced so far, we’re DEFINITELY hitting the Harbor and U Street! We might find a few rooftops to kick it on. I don’t have a favorite spot out here yet but the Street area has more than a few vibes and its beautiful!

I’ve started in one area and ventured into every where else so we’re really just going to bar hop on U Street and see where life takes us. It’s a diverse scene out here so it really depends on the vibe once the night starts, well really the day because day drinking is essential for a successful night out on the town exploring.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, God deserves all of the credit for calling me to the place I’m headed. Forever grateful to be entrusted with such responsibility. Shout out to my immediate support system for encouraging my to share myself with the world. I don’t want to miss names but to those of you who wipe my tears away, remind me of my greatness, love me unconditionally, and hold me accountable.
My village for believing in me.
Lastly, very special shoutout to my grandma Pamela Bolden! You are the foundation to my beginning. May she forever rest in Love, Peace, and Paradise.

Website: https://www.blackamericanmarket.net

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackamericanmarket/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackamericanmarket

Other: personal IG : https://www.instagram.com/mb.thelifecoach/

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