Emberglow wasn't Emberglow when this project started. It started as I was scrolling through Twitter and noticed a friend was upset that friend went to Chick-Fil-A, stating it was just the closest thing to him that he knew of. He vented his frustration asking about how there isn't some sort of map of black restaurants in the area. Making it easy to shop more consciously.
So I started doing some research. There are websites like supportblackowned.com, iamblackbusiness.com, and officialblackwallstreet.com. But the issue was that these were self-filled directories. Meaning the information could be outdated, and it only includes businesses that were able to discover those websites to begin with, and enter in their own information.
As well, none of those sites answered the question about making the directory easily accessible. If I'm out in town running errands, I can't sit down at a computer to look through a list of 60 categories to find businesses, then hope one of them is close to me.
So I got to work, making an app overnight with a no-code app builder called Glide. The app was finished around 8 AM the next morning with over 100 businesses in the system. Gaining about 300 businesses by the time I transitioned to Emberglow.
Black Business GA allowed you to find businesses with a map, or filter/search for a specific business. It also included helpful links to charities and organizations you could donate to. The downside was that the app is only accessible in a web browser. It looked like an app, but you still had to visit a website to find any information. It was easy to discover Black Business GA.
So I set out to build a full app, available for the Apple App Store. As part of that, Black Business GA become Emberglow. I also expanded our initial vision, and decided to make Emberglow a portal for local businesses and creators to list products for sale through Emberglow. Giving our users not only the ability to discover black businesses, but also support them wherever they are.
Emberglow has been in development for about a month, from initial sketch to full release. An insanely quick release schedule for any app (especially when the average app can take 4 to 6 months to release). I knew I had to grind to get Emberglow released, as this was a tool that was obviously needed in today's society.
At the end of the day, this journey isn't about me. Or really even Emberglow. This journey is about supporting our local communities. And Emberglow is a tool to raise and list black voices, black businesses, creators, and neighbors. To provide them a platform where they can shine.
I hope you all enjoy Emberglow as much as I enjoyed making it.
Creator of Emberglow