Anika Hobbs is a busy woman. As owner of Nubian Hueman and the visionary behind the Black Love Experience, the Maryland based entrepreneur helped shape entrepreneurs in the District for years.
Now as Black Love Experience celebrates its sixth year, the event is so big it is being moved. Formerly housed at the Anacostia Arts Center, this year the event will take place at 7 p.m. March 23rd at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20020.
The Black Love Experience, is an annual event geared towards celebrating music, business and Black culture. Last year more than 2000 people attended. This year’s theme is Organic Chemistry. It has a dual meaning, according to Hobbs.
“It’s about resilience in our DNA,” Hobbs said. “We wanted something that stood behind science. And the other part of it was it’s organic chemistry with all the people involved. It’s kind of like organic that we all come together to form a body.”
Hobbs has been creating organic chemistry and growing business for over a decade. She opened the Nubian Hueman store inside the Anacostia Art Center in 2013.
“We focus on people of color and so we have unique goods by artists, designers and creatives from all over the world,” Hobbs said, adding that the store has worked with about 400 artists and designers, spanning 25 countries and 6 continents.
Prior to that Hobbs, wanted to be an architect. (She admitted she still does). She studied Environmental Design at Syracuse. After graduation, with no prospects in her field, she took a job at H&M- which at the time had a tiny footprint in the U.S. Hobbs stayed with them for 11 years learning everything she could about business- rising to District manager before she ventured out on her own.
“I learned so much,” Hobbs said. “Anything I was interested in, I had access to.”
Now as an entrepreneur and business leader in D.C., Hobbs is enthused about the District as a home for women business owners and people of color.
“I have to say there has been a lot of support behind being Black, being a woman in D.C. There’s so much fire behind being an entrepreneur in D.C.”
For more information about the Black Love Experience event visit blackloveexperience.com.
This article originally appeared in The Afro.