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This mom’s line of school supplies celebrates blackness

Our everyday hero’s items were so hot they sold out right before school starts

There are some cool go-to strategies to use when considering entrepreneurship. You find a need and strive to meet it, and often success will follow. That’s exactly what this 27-year-old single mom did when she created Innovative Supplies.

Meet Nneka, the chief executive officer. The aspiring history teacher noticed that there were no representations of black culture in the world of school supplies. She took the idea online and now sells items that feature some pretty dope drawings by black artists. Her items include apparel and notebooks and are centered on themes that infuse past and present parts of black culture.

Innovative Supplies’ items are in such high demand that the former military veteran sold out of her inventory in less than 24 hours. According to the company’s Instagram account, she sold 8,550 notebooks.

“New orders will not be placed until we start shipping these numbers down. Please allow us this time to work,” she posted on Instagram.


The Innovative Supplies website shows us why her items sold out so quickly. One notebook features the never-ending Michael Jordan crying meme.


The most striking notebook has an image of the late rapper Tupac Shakur sporting a T-shirt that reads, “I am Sandra Bland.” The shirt showcases the work of an artist known on social media as Raheim81art.

tupac 1

According to the company’s website, Nneka recently left the military after nine years of service and two overseas deployments.

“I am starting a fresh, new chapter in my life,” the site reads about Nneka. “This fall, I am attending college. I will study to become a history teacher in my local area. I am about making a positive change in my community. This is one step toward that. I want to use this platform and this site as a way to reach out to the millennials who want variety and who want to be a part of a bigger cause.”

The goals of Innovative Supplies are:

  • Deposit profits into an account with black-owned Citizens Trust Bank
  • Donate 40 percent of all profits made from book bag sales to local charities
  • Provide quality products
  • Hire local minority youth
  • Support other small businesses
  • Use economically sourced materials
  • Use environmentally friendly packaging

We see you, Nneka! You are our everyday hero.


Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.