Island businesswoman India Rose will celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Black-Owned Business Directory on Friday, June 16. The festival will be celebrated at Noman’s in Oak Bluffs.
Rose started the Martha’s Vineyard Black-Owned Business Directory as a website five years ago and has published the directory magazine for three years.
Friday’s celebration begins at 5 p.m., with black-owned businesses from the directory participating in a pop-up marketplace where people can interact and shop local products. This will be followed by music from DJ Smooth B, who plays every Friday at Nomans.
Rose tells The Times that her motivation to start the directory came from passion. “Many people, knowing that I am a countryman, that I am part of the business community, would ask me for wealth,” she said. “It could be anything for services. It could be a landscape where they only wanted black-owned resources. So I was sending a lot of messages to people who had that information and I decided as a passion project to put it all in one place.”
While Rose wasn’t sure how the directory would be received when she first launched, she was overwhelmed by the response she received. The response inspired her to create a printed version of the directory for people to walk on the island.