Heritage Hill clothing captures black excellence
A new, locally-founded black-owned fashion brand, heritage hill, officially launched in March 2022, with the help of Co-op Cincy which, according to its website, “powers a resilient and integrated network of worker-owned businesses in Greater Cincinnati.” With this step, Heritage Hill joins a growing wave of Black-owned entrepreneurs in the region who are taking another legitimate step to bring the needle closer to equality in the entrepreneurial space.
Heritage Hill’s eye-catching clothing attracts you. They were designed for this, capturing black excellence while promoting the individual.
Beginning his dream at Avondale in 2019, Heritage Hill founder Brandon Z. Hoff sought to level the playing field in college merchandising, narrowing its scope to providing culturally competent apparel only to historically black colleges and universities. , while also allowing students to make products for their schools.
“The goal was to unify the black entrepreneurial community with the black consumer,” Brandon said.
Brandon learned Co-op Cincy from a friend and participated in the Business Legacy Fund program in 2021. He was looking for a way to “participate in capitalism without being predatory”.
The cooperative business model has been used strategically in parts of the county to combine the best of small business ownership and the corporate business model by capitalizing on local wealth creation while reflecting the interests of the local community. In addition, the cooperative model has incorporated governance, leaving room for the potential for longevity and overall success of the business in question.
Many entrepreneurs who have chosen the cooperative business model credit its nod to fairness and equality while being owned and operated by its employees. This also appealed to Brandon.
“I really want people who work in the business to have the opportunity to benefit from the business,” he says. “It was very important for black Americans because there was a history of disenfranchisement and discrimination. Black people had to work together.”
In 2012, Co-op Cincy founders Kristen Barker, Ellen Vera and Flequer Vera launched their first union co-op, Our Harvest food hub, and currently the co-op has three worker-owners, with two people interested in joining.
“Co-op Cincy has been very helpful,” says Brandon. “They came with a ready-to-use template.”