Building simple tools to help people participate and thrive in the economy.
Building simple tools to help people participate and thrive in the economy.
“When I was in prison, I met a lot of wonderful women. Those women were with me when I was lonely, when I was hurting, when I was frustrated. Those women gave me comfort and I call those women my Sister Hearts.” ⠀ Maryam Henderson-Uloho is the founder and owner of Sister Hearts thrift store ( @sisterhearts_thriftstore ) in Arabi, Louisiana. ⠀ “Sister Hearts is a thrift store and a housing facility for ex-offenders to transition back into society. It’s a bridge from incarceration to society. Because prison doesn’t allow inmates to transition, they just release them. It takes time to adjust back to society. When I got out, they wouldn’t allow me to open a bank account. I could not rent an apartment. When you would tell anybody that you’ve been to prison, you’re not gonna be able to work. So I had to start my own business.” ⠀ — ⠀ Visit square.com/dreams or click the link in our bio to watch Sister Hearts, our short film about Maryam’s story. It has been honored by @thewebbyawards , @clioawards , @vimeo , @cannes_lions , and more.
“Who inspires me? Any black woman who’s ever done anything.” ⠀ Naj Austin is the founder and CEO of Ethel’s Club ( @ethelsclub ), a social and wellness club celebrating people of color. This is Naj in her own words. ⠀ “Being a black woman and building a business specifically for people of color forces me to work differently. I don't have the luxury of failing upwards. The stakes are just higher for us. I'm trying to create more space for other black women to come up while knocking down the brick walls in front of me.” ⠀ “When I first started pitching, I was asked how often people of color feel uncomfortable. I'm like, ‘Well, a lot. All of the time. Do you understand how rules and laws have been made in this country?’ That’s when I realized I had to educate white people about what it means to live as a person of color before I can even pitch my company. How can I sit in a meeting and explain how systemic racism works?” ⠀ “I'm building something that makes people feel better. When they walk in, you see their shoulders drop. They know no one's going to question why they're here. They know they're going to be treated with the respect they deserve. They see a reflection of who they are and their values. We had a member who once told me ‘When I walk into Ethel’s Club I feel like I’m at church on Sunday’ and I think about that all the time.” ⠀ “There are very few black women entrepreneurs raising venture capital. Very few who are *able* to raise venture capital. So every time you pass a hurdle, it feels like success, but it also feels like demise is always right around the corner. It’s the pressure of perfection. There's no room for error. There's no room for mistakes.” ⠀ — ⠀ Ethel’s Club, named for Naj’s grandmother, is backed by investors and advisors like @roxanegay74 , @hannibalburess , and @alexia . Their Brooklyn space has a boutique with a rotating selection of apparel and goods designed by artisans of color. Visit shop.ethelsclub.com or click the link in our bio to shop Ethel’s Club. ⠀ — ⠀ Photography by Aundre Larrow ( @aundre ), a Brooklyn-based portrait and lifestyle photographer. He is an @adobe Resident, and has been featured by @apple , @CNN , and others.
🆕 Square for Retail, our point of sale built specifically for retail businesses, is now available on Square Register. Link in bio for more info.
Square and Gallup recently conducted a poll of U.S. small business owners. ⠀ — @JoeBiden is their top choice for the Democratic nomination, followed by @mikebloomberg , @berniesanders , and @elizabethwarren . ⠀ —60% approve of the job @realDonaldTrump is doing ⠀ — @MikeBloomberg is the only Democratic candidate favored over Donald Trump in the general election ⠀ —32% say taxes present the greatest challenge to their business ⠀ —77% say current economic conditions in the U.S. are good ⠀ —69% say it is likely that the nation will face an economic recession sometime in the next 18 months ⠀ —33% say U.S. trade tariffs have mostly hurt their business in the last three years ⠀ —70% say the cost of healthcare has impacted their ability to hire or retain employees ⠀ —69% say their business benefited from the increased small business deduction ⠀ Click the link in our bio for full survey results.
“We’re not doing this to build the business and sell it. We want to create generational wealth so 30 years from now our children can inherit and run the business.” Meet Bilal and Rafia, bakers-in-chief of Delightful Foods ( @delightfulfoodsbakery ), specializing in vegan desserts. They’ll be selling at @oakfirstfridays tonight in Koreatown. Bilal started out as a salesman in the 1970s, selling the confections of another baker. But his own taste for baking made him curious about being on the other side of the business, where he could dream up recipes of his own. Bilal’s first creation was a vegan cookie, which he dedicated to perfecting over the next 24 years. “A long time ago, vegan meant it didn’t taste good. I proved that I can make a vegan cookie that tastes good.” 8 years ago, everything changed. Bilal’s wife, Rafia, emigrated from Ghana and joined him in Oakland. Rafia challenged him to get creative and branch out into pies. She brought the pies to farmers markets and other community events, spreading the word about their desserts under a new name — Delightful Foods. Today, all of their pies are made in a small commercial kitchen in East Oakland, but a place of their own is the goal. “I really want to have my own place one day. That’s my dream. My husband supports me, we just don’t have what it takes right now: money,” says Rafia.
“I was a young black woman coming out of prison as a single mom. Society would say the odds were stacked against me, but it’s actually what I used to push myself forward. Those aren’t setbacks to me. That’s a comeback.” ⠀ Keysa Smith ( @chef_ksmith ) opened Spectacular Spudz — a baked potato shop modeled after a restaurant from her childhood called the Potato Patch — as a nod to the glory days of her hometown of Flint, Michigan. ⠀ “I started this business with $10 in my pocket,” said Keysa. “I carried all the equipment by myself. Nobody believed that I could do it, and I think that makes me pretty relatable. I’m relatable to the struggling college student. I’m relatable to the guy coming out of the hood. I’m relatable to the single parent. I’m relatable to a lot of people. Hopefully seeing me will inspire others. If I can do it, you can too. I’m living proof.” ⠀ Keysa is one of the many businesses owners and entrepreneurs rebuilding Downtown Flint. Click the link in our bio to watch our short film, Forged in Flint. ⠀ — ⠀ Photograph by Benjamin Heath ( @benjaminheath ), a San Francisco-based lifestyle photographer from Indiana. Ben has been featured by @water , @nike , @natgeo , and more. You can view more of his work at benjaminheath.net.
“I didn't see black business owners in my neighborhood growing up, so it's really important for me to do what I'm doing. The more we can see ourselves out in the world, the more it inspires other people to know that something like this is possible.” ⠀ This is Maurice. He owns Bloom & Plume Coffee, a cafe he opened right next to his flower studio in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown. Maurice spent years putting his Fine Arts degree to work doing window design, retail, and commercials. He also did flower jobs on the side. That’s what kept sticking. ⠀ “My grandmother was a florist, so I was able to see her working when I was a child,” said Maurice. “I loved watching her create. I ended up having a knack for it, so I started doing flowers, and people responded.” ⠀ Maurice and his brother Moses opened the cafe in February 2019. There are flower arrangements available, plus fresh flowers throughout the space. ⠀ “It’s a place built with a lot of love and a lot of intention. When you feel welcome in a space, it makes you feel better. It makes everything taste better. It gives you a sense of belonging.” ⠀ The brothers are on a mission to educate their community. Moses, a corporate banker, hosts financial literacy sessions at the cafe. It’s a way to engage the neighborhood in important dialogue around how to save, invest, and budget. ⠀ “It’s important for people to see what struggle looks like,” said Maurice. “It’s important to see people that look like you making it, figuring out how to navigate a space that is systematically set up for them to fail. The more we see that, the more we're able to start to even the playing field.” ⠀ — ⠀ Maurice works with @myfriendsplace , an organization helping young people that are experiencing homelessness. ⠀ “As a gay black man, it breaks my heart to see other people of color that don't have the resources needed to have a chance to succeed. My Friend's Place is a rare and beautiful organization doing important work.” ⠀ Visit myfriendsplace.org to learn more. ⠀ — ⠀ Photography by @orianakoren , an LA-based photographer who focuses on documenting black experiences and perspectives.
You really can’t go wrong. ⬛️⬜️
“With Square Online Store, I feel like it’s the first time we’ve been able to extend the brand to the website. Before, we had an online store and what the shops did. Now, it operates as one comprehensive business.” —Meg Ray, founder, @miette Since 2001, women-owned pastry shop Miette has been crafting sweets and confections for the Bay Area. They now operate 4 locations in San Francisco.
🇺🇸 Hunt for repurposed furniture, reclaimed décor, and other vintage items at @tollgaterevival . Check out our Pittsburgh story highlight to hear from Toll Gate owner, Seth. Here’s what he uses to run his business: 💵 Square Stand 📈 Square Capital 💳 Square Card
Every business is different, so we built something for everyone.
“After 99 years, our commitment is still to Detroit, which is the greatest city in the world. We never left and we never will.” —Tony Stovall, co-owner, @hotsamsdetroit Congratulations to Hot Sam’s, the oldest clothing store in Downtown Detroit. Today they celebrate their 99th anniversary. The store has a rich history spanning multiple generations, giving the brand a unique identity in the competitive and ever-changing city of Detroit. Hot Sam’s has served its community with quality clothing for nearly 100 years, dressing every Detroit mayor since 1921 and recording artists like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. Visit @hotsamsdetroit at 127 Monroe Ave. in Downtown Detroit.
🍬 @hellobaked supports artisans at home, exclusively stocking handcrafted sugary confections from small Canadian brands in their Hamilton-based boutique. They use Square Stand to run their business.
Perfect 10.0 🏂
☕️ @waypointcoffeeco is committed to “reinventing the status quo” with an unforgettable cup of joe. Their new location opens soon in Saint Johns, Michigan. They use Square Register to run their business.
As Australia continues battling deadly bushfires, please consider supporting organizations working directly with first responders and survivors on the ground, like the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, which is dedicated to providing practical support to impacted Victorians as they begin to rebuild their lives. ☕️ This is @sensory_lab . You can visit their locations all over Australia.
As Australia continues battling deadly bushfires, please consider supporting organizations working directly with first responders and survivors on the ground, like @salvosau , which is providing meals to evacuees and first-responders through the Salvos bushfire appeal. 🍷 This is @bar .liberty. Visit their restaurant and wine bar in Melbourne.
As Australia continues battling deadly bushfires, please consider supporting organizations working directly with first responders and survivors on the ground, like @wireswildliferescue , which is caring for and rehabilitating rescued wildlife injured by the fires. 🌿 This is @theplantsocietyau . Visit their shops in Melbourne and Sydney.
As Australia continues battling deadly bushfires, please consider supporting organizations working directly with first responders and survivors on the ground, like @redcrossau , which is accepting donations through the general disaster relief fund. 💈 This is @henrylee_barbershop . Visit their shop in Melbourne for classic haircuts, beard trims, and hot towel shaves.
🍫 This is Chef Romeo. He got into chocolate making unexpectedly, while taking weekend classes to unwind from his fast-paced career in higher education. But soon, he wanted it to be more than just a way to unwind. He chased his growing interest all the way to Belgium to attend a Master Chocolatier Program. From there, he returned to the US and studied under master chocolate makers in Chicago and Las Vegas. Romeo sources his cacao from around the world and makes his chocolate in-house at his brick and mortar store in Long Beach, CA. Here’s what he uses to run his business: 💳 Square Stand 💰 Square Payroll 🌟 Square Loyalty 📈 Square Capital
🍰 Since 2009, the cake artists at @earthandsugar have been creating confectionary treats that taste as good as they look. They use Square Stand to run their business.
For 15 years, @tolumafarms and @tomalesfarmsteadcreamery have churned out dairy products and farm education to interested Bay Area residents. When the team started experimenting with something to compliment their cultured butter and cream cheese, they came up with a recipe that sent them in a new direction: bringing quality bagels and spreads to San Franciscans. Things @dailydriversf does: 🥯 Bakes organic, wood-fired bagels in-house ☕️ Roasts and brews @redbaycoffee 🧈 Makes their own butter & cream cheese 🧢 Curates local wares in on-site community market