Shopping from Black-owned businesses just got a lot easier, thanks to the app Miiriya. While we understand the convenience of Amazon and the popularity of Etsy, those retail sites don’t let potential customers purchase exclusively from Black-owned brands. Enter: Miiriya, which gives these companies a platform to sell their fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products in an easily accessible way for consumers.
The name Miiriya is a word from the African language of Bambara/Dioula, which is founder Lamine Loco’s native language. It means “thoughts” and “ideas” or “philosophers” and “thinkers.” The app lets vendors sign up without transaction or listing fees. The vendors receive 100 percent of their earnings; so when you shop, the money is going straight to these small businesses.
“My goal for the site in the community is to run this website in a socialistic way, like Wikipedia and PBS,” Loco writes on the website. “There absolutely no fees for vendors, and all money made from the site will be seeped back into solving different issues in our community. In the future, I plan to have optional donations where the public and vendors can participate, and this website will be used to fund issues we always have to beg to be solved. I plan to put things like community fridges in front of businesses and houses, where people who are hungry in the community can just open them and not have to go without food.”
Loco continues, “I also plan to use any funds to fund the community’s healthcare, education, and more. I want to run this in a different way than other businesses, where the main goal is to make sure no one is left behind. I want to reach a point where if we see someone on the street who is struggling/homeless, we take them off the street, and better their lives. I’d like us to reach a point where we’d fund ourselves so we don’t have to rely and beg outside sources that continuously give us crumbs over the span of decades. Please let someone know this app exists.”