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Community

Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, Woodstack and Nike are partnering with Black-owned small businesses to tell their stories. Throughout the month, we’re featuring businesses in our Brooklyn community and their journeys, inspirations, and aspirations to celebrate what they’ve built and where they’re going next.

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Rugs by Kailuaa

“It’s just a great thing to make other people happy seeing my work, have them be healed or soothed or just take their mind off whatever they may be going through at the time.” - Traci Johnson

Traci is a Brooklyn-born-and-raised abstract textile artist and painter who fell in love with rug making during the pandemic. For Woodstack and Nike’s Tell Your Story series, we stepped into Traci’s world to learn about the inspiration behind their colorful creations and the feelings they want others to take away from them. Traci’s work is a safe space that inspires feelings of comfort and happiness.

Photos by Shaniah Armani
Video by Aaron Dee

Head to their IG - @rugsbykailuaa - and website - rugsbykailuaa.com - to take a step into their world.



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95% Sauce

“I just want people to kind of participate with 95% sauce top to bottom" - TK Atakora

For our ’Tell Your Story’ series with Nike, 95% Sauce creator TK Atakora tells us about how he wants his sauce to give you a feeling of connection reminiscent to hearing your favorite song or tasting a home cooked meal.

TK was inspired to try his hand in the kitchen by seeing his mom handled business cooking while he was growing up. 13 experimental batches later he found his recipe - the perfect blend of sweet and savory to turn your meal up a notch - which is just the first of more to come from 95% Sauce.



Photos by Shaniah Armani
Video by Aaron Dee

Follow 95% Sauce on IG - @95pctsauce - and head to - 95pctsauce.com - to grab a bottle.



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Lips Cafe

Next up in our 'Tell Your Story' series is Lips Cafe.

"It's a place in the community where people can come to progress in whatever way they can." - Lips Cafe Owner Jamane Weekes

Mother-son duo Donna and Jamane Weekes started East Flatbush-based Lips Cafe to be a neighborhood resource for local creatives. Donna raised Jamane in the same neighborhood Lips is in and part of what fueled their vision was realizing that this was something they wish they’d had access to. More than a coffee shop, Lips serves as a social club, co-working spot, events space and more all while serving up delicious bites and drinks.



Photos by Shaniah Armani
Video by Aaron Dee

Find Lips Cafe on IG - @lipscafe_ - and visit them at 1412 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn.



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    CHEF n TAILOR

    What is your business? Tell us about your journey and what inspired you to start it.
  • Chef n Tailor is a catering company inspired by fashion and focused on creating memorable experiences through a unique combination of fine dining and curated events with a luxury feel. My journey as a chef and entrepreneur started with my grandmother. Her amazing family dinners brought everyone together and I fell in love with that feeling. I went to a Culinary High School in NYC and started Chef n Tailor while studying at Johnson & Wales University. After 10 years of working in the corporate food industry, I left to pursue my business full-time.

    Running a business can be full of ups and downs, what keeps you motivated during the downs?
  • Knowing that I fully depend on myself and that others trust me enough to depend on me. My biggest motivations are my mother and my wife. I always think of my loved ones when things aren’t going well and it brings me right back on track. I’m making sure that struggling is no longer an option for my family.

    How do you define success? When did you first realize you are successful?
  • Success to me is the freedom to move around when I’d like, work with the clientele that I prefer, and spend time with my family at my own leisure. I first realized I was successful when I started to find my niche and create a unique style that worked for the business. Having choices with clientele gave me direction and that shaped exactly where I’m at today.

    What does the future look like for your business?
  • One of my focuses is to retain and build lasting relationships with our current clients while establishing new healthy ones. Continuing to work with notable clientele and corporate entities will challenge me and grow my reach. With this growth, I’ll expand my give back efforts with the community and youth to be a positive and relatable role model. Ultimately, I look forward to bringing other creative ideas and entrepreneurial ventures to life.
Follow Chef n Tailor on IG - @chefntailor - and head to their website - chefntailor.com - to see more of their creations.



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    ISLE OF WAX

    What is your business? Tell us about your journey and what inspired you to start it
  • Isle of Wax is a Caribbean-themed candle company featuring tropical-themed, 100% soy candles. Our candles are made in raw coconut shells and glass vessels. We started the business in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. With airports closed and people in quarantine, we thought it would be a great way to still bring the “island vibe” to homes even if travel is restricted.

    Starting a new business can be full of ups and downs, what keeps you motivated during the downs?
  • Our business made a lot of progress in the short amount of time that we’ve been open. Remembering that keeps us going. There are down times but our ability to still be grateful for where we are keeps us motivated.

    When did you first realize you’re successful?
  • When Chrissy Teigen included us in her holiday gift guide! We were only six months into the business and struggled a bit to fulfill the influx of orders but even through that trial, we realized how much people really liked our product and that was the best feeling ever.

    What do you want for the future of your business?
  • We want Isle of Wax to keep growing, teaching us new things, and making our customers happy. We hope to continue to be successful and to open a physical location in the future.
Follow Isle of Wax on IG - @Isleofwax.candles - and head to their website - isleofwax.com - to shop their candles.



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    REFLORISH

    What is your business? Tell us about your journey and what inspired you to start it
  • Reflorish is a Brooklyn-based floral studio that launched in October 2020. We started our journey as self-taught florists who used flower arranging as a creative outlet and form of self-care. Reflorish was built during the early days of the pandemic and grew much faster than we anticipated, but we have been fortunate enough to be a small part of people's special moments.
  • Our community has been integral in our success and we continue to build relationships with local business owners. We are currently based in Grandchamps, a Haitian market and restaurant right in Bed-Stuy. The owners, Sabrina and Shawn, have been incredibly kind and supportive since we first approached them to host pop-ups in early 2021. We hope to pay it forward and be a resource to other small business owners figuring it out in the early stages.

    Starting a new business can be full of ups and downs, what keeps you motivated during the downs?
  • The community we've built from Reflorish is a constant reminder that no matter what – we're on the right path. Also, we're two best friends and somehow still love each other the same, if not more, through all of this. When someone isn't in the mood the other is right there to keep momentum up. We couldn't imagine doing this alone.

    When did you first realize you are successful?
  • Success is still something we're trying to define in this space, but we've found success in our creative growth.

    What do you want for the future of your business?
  • More time to devote to our work, more space, and expanded offerings. We hope to have some of these things come to fruition this year.
Follow Reflorish on IG - @reflorishnyc - and head to their website - reflorish.co - to see more of their creations.



Everybody Eats.

From Thursday, October 21st to Saturday, October 23rd we held our Everybody Eats food giveaway to celebrate Woodstack's 10th Anniversary. We treated our customers and the community to great food catered by our local partner, East New York-based restaurant, Brooklyn Blend and local jerk vendor, Kemar. We wanted to step into the community to show appreciation to all our customers and neighbors.

Over the course of the three afternoons we had over 2400 people stop by our four locations: Linden, 98th Street, Flatbush, and Newark. We served about 3500 sliders and 3000 smoothies. The energy was high and everyone who showed up was treated with a healthy meal and a good time.

We initially brought Kemar, who regularly sells his special jerk chicken next to our flagship Brownsville location, on-board for our Friday giveaway but asked him to come back again Saturday for our Flatbush giveaway because he was such a hit.

When we eat, everybody eats.
Summer Jam

This year Woodstack jumped on stage at the tri-state’s largest hip-hop concert. Our Hot97 Summer Jam tour began with ticket raids at 6 of our doors, giving our customers the opportunity to win free tickets to the event at MetLife Stadium. Loyal customers like Fivio Foreign joined us as we prepared to hit the big stage.

Though this year’s Summer Jam was hit by Hurricane Henri, visitors to our VIP section area were treated to a free sneaker cleaning, nail technician, Woodstack t-shirts and our photo booth.
Treehouse & Know Your RIghts Camp

In an effort to get kids excited about the return to in-person school, Woodstack partnered with Hot 97 and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp to host a Back-to-School book reading and backpack giveaway at our kids concept store, Treehouse.

The event kicked off with a Jordan backpack giveaway which ran throughout the day. The activities started with local artist Roberto Joseph teaching a branding course to students from Transcend High school. The course was an introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Roberto went into detail on how these two applications play an integral role when it comes to footwear and apparel design. Throughout the hour-long course, students were encouraged to ask questions directly to Roberto and engage via the iPads that were provided.

Later, we transitioned to a book reading for the younger audience, which was led by the Head of Operations at the Know Your Rights Camp - Patricia Robinson. To cap off the evening, all attendees were given Nike backpacks, Know Your Rights Camp face masks, Woodstack Treehouse embroidered Moleskines as well as the opportunity to take home any of the books available in our Treehouse community library.

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