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Daily Inspiration: Meet Eleanie Campbell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eleanie Campbell.

Hi Eleanie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
The STL Black Biz Business Directory was created due to my recognizing the need for Black businesses to have a space to be found. The mission is to connect Black businesses and consumers searching for Black businesses to support. The online business directory features a listing of black businesses, services, products, and non-profits servicing St. Louis, Illinois, O’Fallon, St. Charles and basically surrounding areas.

I remember the night of the Ferguson Riots on November 24th, 2014. I was watching the news and Facebook live sharing with the world buildings burning, and the looting and riots that changed the face of West Florissant, a street I traveled hundreds of times. Prior to that night many times I would drive through our neighbors and see so many Black businesses, yet many of them I was aware of only because I passed them daily. I wondered how many businesses were missing customers, because of the lack of exposure.

That November 24th, the night of the Ferguson Riots, with Tracie Berry-McGhee pushing me to create a domain (in her words ASAP!), STL Black Biz was born. Until recently, I did not realize the significance of that moment and the connection of the need of Black businesses in our community and the right to justice and fair treatment.

How did I arrive at where I am today? Good old fashion hard work and consistency. I pretty much went into starting the directory very wet behind the ears. I had no idea how to run a directory or what it would entail. It took a year to design my website and stumbling and falling many times since I am self-taught. I just knew that it was something that was necessary. Even with other directories already in circulation, I felt the need to continue with it.

I just know in my heart that STL Black Biz is the path I am supposed to take.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Oh noooo! Definitely not! Between working my day job and bringing my passion to reality I have lost so many sleepless nights I have lost count. But knowing that I might be making a tiny difference makes it all worth well.

Some of the struggles are balancing family, my relationship, running the website, social media, and just the surprises life throws our way. Other struggles can be during everything that needs to be done to run a successful business.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I work in Human Resources by day and I create STL Black Biz by night. I’ve always been a creative person. Attending Visual and Performing Arts in grade school and high school I participated in Vocal Jazz, Choir, and musicals, and drama club.

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. Other creative experiences include a personal blog entitled Soul Exposed2U, The Phoenix Unleased, and, eventually STLBlackBiz.

My specialty is sharing stories of Black entrepreneurs and their journey and connecting like-minded individuals. My proudest moment was walking across the stage to accept my Masters’s Degree with a 2-year-old son when some doubted that it could be done.

What sets me apart from others? I don’t do well following the crowd. I’ve always been a little different. Not sure if being myself sets me apart from others, but being myself works best for me. I tend to not do very well when I’m not myself.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
I’m really big on podcasts and YouTube University. Smile….

A couple of my favorite podcasts are She Did That and The Michelle Obama Podcast. I love watching Hey Dominick, a social media and marketing specialist and David Never Sleeps of The Social Proof Podcast on YouTube.

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