Skyn Boudoir: A Black and woman-owned product of protection

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It can happen in the blink of an eye. Leaving your drink open for even the slightest moment, no matter if it’s the club or your friendly neighborhood bar, is long enough for someone with ill intentions to spike it.

This scenario is all too familiar to Rayna Rufus, who created Skyn Boudoir to offer stylish and functional glassware covers to prevent incidents like these from happening and empowering others to protect themselves in public settings. Rufus is one of the newest members of the Black Business Association of Memphis, and she represents a sector of impassioned black proprietors on a mission to serve through her business.

“The rape drug is a very criminal act. It’s severe. The repercussions behind it impacts our lives. This is a very important tool for me,” said Rufus as she talked about her protective coverings’ role in preventing spiking from happening. “And Skyn Boudoir itself came from a place of privacy, from a quiet place. The word Skyn means ‘a covering’ or ‘nurturing’. So Skyn refers to this glass skin.”

Protection and empowerment are huge motivators for Rufus, who is on a quest to make her coverings available to groups most at risk of drink spiking: college students on campuses, nightclub patrons and a growing number of people who may not think drink spiking can actually happen to them. The statistics have shown it certainly can, but Skyn Boudoir is one of a number of businesses oriented in helping to fight this widespread problem.

The fashionable and functional coverings Skyn Boudoir has to offer come in a variety of styles and sizes: from your typical wine or martini glass to tumblers and even beer mugs!

Visit Skyn Boudoir at to see all that Rayna Rufus has to offer, and as always, use this as an opportunity to support another great black-owned business on a mission to protect and empower others!


President's Message: Getting what you need in the new year

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In 2019..

..get past “just enough,” and strive for “growth” in the new year

So many times I have witnessed businesspersons borrow far too little money to be successful.  Often, they borrow just enough to get their doors open. They do not give any consideration to advertising and promotions, working capital and such matters, which are foundational to sustaining the business model for the first many months.  Subsequently, they fail and wonder why.

If you only borrow enough to open your doors and have no plan to develop the "Cash flow" necessary to sustain monthly operations, you are pretty much doomed.  These matters are addressed through a "Sit Down," with professionals like Mark Yates and me.  We will provide an extensive, "Opportunity/Needs Analysis" of/for your business and only ask questions to help you determine exactly how much you need to adequately fund your business  operation. 

In the absence of meeting with us, please review an article from American Express titled “How to Determine How Much Money You Need When Getting a Business Loan,” which discusses a format for determining how much you'll actually need to adequately fund your business operation.  Wishing you much success.

As always, I’m here to help you WIN!

Small businesses: Help make it count!

make an impact on Election Day

It goes without saying the midterm elections is a pretty big deal for our country right now. And according to Business News Daily, small businesses are impacted in the outcomes due to potential for economic growth, tax policies, healthcare policies and more. While things look to be on the up and up for small businesses in general, minority small business owners are especially dependent on local support for quality loan programs, bid opportunities and access to capital.

In the meantime, business owners and supervisors can help others perform their civic duty on election day this Tuesday by providing their employees time to vote. Consider opening a little later, offer some flex time, schedule voting breaks, give them the day off — however you can make it work.

FYI: Uber and Lyft have announced free rides to the polls, making it even easier for people to make their votes count. Join the movement!

CELEBRATING National Women’s Small Business Month



As we observe National Women’s Small Business Month this October, let’s not forget the contributions and growth of Black-owned women’s small business in our communities. Especially in the Mid-south!

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council reports, “According to the latest American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses report, the growth of women-owned businesses continues at a rapid pace. Four out of 10 business in the U.S. are now owned by women, and the total number of women-owned businesses (12.3 million!) has increased by 58 percent since 2007. In fact, in the last year, 1,821 new women-owned business opened each day…Today, 93 percent of women-owned businesses generate less than $250k in revenue.”

And of those numbers, Black women accounted for 2,402,600 or 20% of all women-owned businesses. Their annual rate of growth at 9% was the same annual growth rate as the period between 2007 and 2018 but the gap between African American women-owned businesses’ average revenue and all women-owned businesses is the greatest — even as they made up the largest segment of women-owned businesses after non-minority women.

One of the best ways you can celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month this year? Support a black and woman-owned business! And keep it up all year. Support comes in many forms:

  • Lend some savvy business advice — If it’s asked for, of course!

  • Consider donating to help out — When we’re just getting our business started, every little bit counts!

  • Purchase from her business and/or spread the word (social media and word of mouth)

  • Offer emotional support as well