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Meet Orion Brown of BlackTravelBox

Today we’d like to introduce you to Orion Brown.

Hi Orion, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. I wasn’t the kid selling lemonade on the corner or hustling candy at recess. In fact, I loved having an admittedly corporate job that I could clock out at 5 and came with great dental. But I had a problem. Every time I used my vacation days, I spent a good amount of it trying to manage my personal care regimen on the road. Products in the ‘travel’ aisle weren’t made for me. And I was at my wit’s end with refilling tiny bottle and getting my favorite items confiscated by TSA. After doing a little digging, I found that I was not the only one.In 2019 alone, Black travelers spent $109.6B on leisure travel. And Black women spend 9x every other ethnicity on beauty and personal care. Yet, no one in the marketplace is speaking to as avid beauty consumers and avid travelers.So I decided to do something about it and launched BlackTravelBox. We are currently sold online at www.BlackTravelBox.com, Macys.com, and other independent online and brick and mortar retailers.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Entrepreneurship is far from smooth. Loss of loved ones, funding woes, you name it. And Covid has of course been the predominate challenge over the last couple of years. As a lifestyle brand closely tied to travel, we stopped before we really even got started.  I had to learn to walk a fine line. Create pivots that would keep the business afloat, without killing our positioning. That was a real challenge that required digging into what the brand stands for and holding on for dear life.From that, we launched a Covid relief kit. A donation item to support frontline workers in minority communities. Twenty percent of the proceeds went to the National Association of Free and Charitable clinics.  We also launch the Staycation Collection. An at home fragrance line meant to capture the beauty and wonder of travel in a truly lit at home experience. These products allowed us to remain relevant in a world where travel had all but disappeared completely.But it was the texts, emails, and DMs from Black women saying, “thank you, you see me, keep going” that helped me to stick it out.
Because of that I know that there is most definitely a place in the world for BlackTravelBox.
We’ve been impressed with BlackTravelBox, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We’re disrupting the travel, beauty, and personal care markets. Rather than retrofitting existing products into smaller sizes, we are creating products specifically used outside of home. Our  balms and bars last longer, travel better, and are safe to use. So the only thing our customers have to worry about is enjoying the destination.We are here to serve the millions of Black travelers who are underserved by the beauty and travel industries. They’ve had to settle for tiny bottles that don’t last long, make a mess, and rarely even work for their unique hair and skincare needs.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
When I was a kid travel was always domestic. So some of my fondest memories are taking the greyhound bus from Chicago to Greenville Mississippi. On that route there was always a stop in Clarksdale Mississippi and there was the most phenomenal gas station hole in the wall restaurant. They may the absolute best fried catfish. To this day it makes me hungry when I think about it.

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