Island businesswoman India Rose is celebrating the five-year anniversary of her Black-owned business directory on Friday, June 16. The celebrations will be held at Nomans in Oak Bluffs.
Rose started the Martha’s Vineyard Black-Owned Business Directory as a website five years ago, and she’s published a printed magazine of the directory for three years.
Friday’s celebrations begin at 5 pm, with Black-owned businesses from the directory participating in a pop-up marketplace, where people can interact and buy local products. This will be followed with music from DJ Smooth B, who plays at Nomans every Friday.
Rose tells Times that her inspiration to start the directory came out of a need. “A lot of people would reach out to me, knowing that I was a local, I was a part of the business community, they would ask me for resources,” she said. “That could be anything for services. It could be a landscaper, where they just wanted Black-owned resources. So I would send a lot of messages to people with that information, and I decided just as a passion project to put it all in one place.”
Rose was unsure of how the directory would be received when she first launched it, but has been overwhelmed by the response she has gotten. The response prompted her to create a printed version of the directory for people to navigate the Island.