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Meet Veronica N. Chapman of Boxxout Enterprises in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica N. Chapman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a socially conscious creative who even as a young child would spend time contemplating how I could make a positive impact in this world. Between the awesome example set by my parents, Gil and Idalene Chapman, and the affirmation received as a student at Spelman College, where I was encouraged to make “a choice to change the world,” I am committed to developing products and services that do just that.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth?! Not at all! Every bit of this journey has been about really focusing in on how I can use entrepreneurship to effectively address the matters of my heart that drive me, and make sure that there is a need and demand for what I create. This results in a lot of trial and error and requires having the courage to keep going even when the path seems unclear. I have had challenges that include investing in products too soon without fully determining the demand for them, and others where there was great demand but I didn’t have enough resources to meet the demand. Both of these experiences were very disheartening and discouraging but in entrepreneurship perseverance is everything!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Boxxout Enterprises – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
To “Boxxout” means to think outside the box to find creative solutions for social change. Framing a company in this way leaves room for us to use a variety of mediums to effect social change. One of the products under the Boxxout umbrella is a children’s book titled “I Know I Can!” that I wrote for children of the African Diaspora to minimize the threat of internalized racism, and to make sure they feel proud and empowered despite the persistence of structural racism. This book has inspired many people, both young and old, and on a global scale, so that has been really exciting!

Another product-based venture under the Boxxout Enterprises umbrella is a company I conceived called Thank You Tees that I co-founded with Stephanie Campbell. It is an apparel company that helps elevate the contributions of Black people in the United States whose stories are often overlooked in U.S. History books. Not only do people learn a great deal of American History by visiting our website, but those who buy our t-shirts also help spread this knowledge when they wear their shirts. We believe American textbooks and education in general should be more inclusive, and that it should honestly represent the narratives of all of the people, of every ethnicity, who have made significant contributions to this nation. We have found a creative way to highlight Black hidden figures, and until we can get this information institutionalized, we hope other marginalized communities do the same.

One of the service-based offerings under Boxxout is called Potlucks for Progress which is a creative and fun way for friends to gather to learn about a social issue, and commit to taking action to make progress in combatting the issue. For information about other products and services please visit www.boxxout.com.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
A lot of entrepreneurship is about determining what works and what doesn’t. Over the last few years we have tested various ideas, products, and services. As a result I now know which products and services are most effective and profitable, so future plans include strategies to further expand on what works, and pivot or retire initiatives that don’t.

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