Black Entrepreneur Spotlight Series
We would greatly appreciate it if you could tell us a little about your company.
The idea for Amalgam came to me in 2003 when I was still in college. After my favorite coffee shop to chill and read comics (the black woman owned, Crimson Moon in Philadelphia) closed I wanted to create a comic book store that was also a place to hang out and get comfortable, and I felt the best way to do that was to combine it with a coffee shop. In addition to comics and coffee we host events including movie screenings, book signings, creative workshops, private events and more, establishing ourselves as a social hub in our community.
I have always been simultaneously business-minded and creative. I had dreams of being a dancer when I was younger, I wanted to dance for Alvin Ailey. Though life did not take me in that direction I still love dance, and I dance as often as I can. And now that I’m an entrepreneur dance is my escape when the pressures of owning a business start to weigh heavily on me. Dance helps to keep me centered and focused.
Ariell has a strong passion and commitment to diversity, representation, and inclusivity. She uses her shop to showcase and promote works that are created by and feature people of color, different faiths, women, and the LGBTQ community. Amalgam has garnered national media attention, leading to Ariell’s 2016 “Geek of the Year” nomination. Amalgam, which opened on December 14, 2015, just celebrated it’s 2year anniversary!