Nailah Ellis-Brown and the Largest Black Woman-Owned Beverage Manufacturing Business in the USA @mfgday #MFGDay20

Nailah Ellis-Brown began selling her tea out of the trunk of her car. Now Ellis Island Tea is the larges Black woman-owned beverage maufacturing company in the United States. Her products are sold in concessioners nationwide. Here’s some of her story, from In Good Co. Detroit:

[Nailah Ellis-Brown] Ellis said that her path to entrepreneurship started as a kid while attending the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit, an alternative school founded in 1978 by Carmen N’Namdi. Now closed, the school had a holistic approach to education that gave Ellis a global perspective on Black and African culture. It was that foundation that she credits for giving her the confidence she needed to pursue business in the first place. There, a little mop closet was fashioned into a student store, where she worked behind the counter selling bags of Better Made potato chips and juice boxes to her classmates who bought the snacks with play money issued by the school for good behavior.

…Ellis took the leap and approached Whole Foods Market, which has a history of stocking its stores with local products from small-scale makers, and asked the buyer to give Ellis Island Tea a shot. Her proposal was not immediately accepted, however, and she had to spend the next several months researching how to comply with the grocery chain’s long list of criteria before her tea would be considered for stocking. She continued on with Westborn Market and Meijer stores, which began stocking the brand throughout Michigan. In 2014, she opened her plant, situated in a warehouse across from the Russell Industrial Center, allowing her to start hiring Detroiters to manufacture the product.

Learn more!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — How (some) chips get made

Wearables — Sample code is your new best friend

Electronics — Solder braid quick fix

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Mu 1.2.0 Released, WSL Out of Beta and so much more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Jellyfish Lanterns, Matter 1.0, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week 11/22/22 EyeSPI Breakout @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.