Noirbnb Revolutionize The Black Travel Experience (Interview)
Posted on Friday, July 08 2016 07:41:00 PM in POP NEWS by Chandra Meadows
(photo cred: Noirbnb.com)
Noirbnb turned the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack into action. After facing discrimination while renting with Airbnb, Stefan, one of the founders of Noirbnb, decided a change was in order. Noirbnb is a platform that creates a unique experience for people of color by providing safe, temporary living spaces for black travelers. This is a perfect example of how important it is to not only talk about change within the community, but to also mobilize and be the very change you seek.
POP ATL got the opportunity to learn a little more about the creation of Noirbnb and how it’s revolutionizing the black traveling experience.
Chandra Meadows: How did Noirbnb come about? What role did you play in its creation?
Stefan (Noirbnb founder): Noirbnb came about due to an issue we faced regarding discrimination in Atlanta. While renting an Airbnb, neighbors saw a bunch of black kids and assumed we were robbing the house so they called the police on us. We ended up calming the situation down and taking a selfie with the cops, which went viral, and led to Airbnb reaching out to us directly. We initially conceptualized the idea of Noirbnb to be implemented as part of Airbnb's platform to make sure what happened to us never happened again and also to make Black travelers around the world feel comfortable using the service. We met with Airbnb, pitched them the idea, and they decided not to utilize it. After months of communication, we decided to run with the idea on our own and make it happen.
My name is Stefan and I'm one of the founders.
Chandra: What city is Noirbnb based out of?
Stefan: Noirbnb is currently based out of Washington, D.C. and Miami, FL.
Chandra: There's another company by the name of Noirebnb. Do you guys know each other, are they your competitors, or are you guys just two separate entities who happened to want to solve the same problem?
Stefan: That company has since changed their name because we own the trademarks to Noirbnb as well as Noirebnb. We did not know each other but we tried our best to work together. We are a separate entity that is focused solely on providing the best service to black travelers around the world and revitalizing the black travel experience.
Chandra: What are your thoughts on the way Airbnb treat African Americans who wish to use their service?
Stefan: We still like Airbnb as a company but, I believe they could have been a bit more proactive in regard to the concerns of their African American travelers as well as trying to understand our unique experience.
Chandra: Did you expect to get all of this media attention and coverage when you started the company?
Stefan: We did not expect to get this much media coverage, our goal was simply to provide an alternative for black travelers to feel safe and welcome. The massive media coverage and response from the community has served to validate what we knew in the beginning, that the black travel experience is unique and needs to be serviced properly.
Chandra: What can we expect from Noirbnb within the next year?
Stefan: What you can expect from Noirbnb over the next year is for us to launch our platform as well as a variety of features and experiences that truly cater to the black travel experience. We have a multitude of awesome things planned but we'd much rather show the world what we've been working on.
(photo cred: Nymag.com)
Chandra: What would you like to say to anyone who may be considering trying Noirbnb out, but may be skeptical since you guys are just starting up?
Stefan: To anyone who wants to utilize our service but may be skeptical because we are just starting up, we welcome them with open arms because every big journey begins somewhere. It would be great for them as well as for us if they are some of our earliest supporters. Also, skeptics tend to provide some of the best advice so we welcome anyone who can help us improve on what we're building.
Chandra: Black businesses are something our community definitely needs more of, what advice can you give an entrepreneur who wants to start a black-owned business?
Stefan: More black businesses are definitely needed for our community. To any aspiring black entrepreneurs I would advise them to find a need in the community and service that need as best as possible and as soon as possible. Also that they should do as much studying on business practices, business models, etc so that they can build a strong company and service when they do launch. Lastly, do not wait for permission to start your business. If you see a need, fill it.
You can follow Stefan on IG: @Stefisdope
Also, Noirbnb is currently seeking Noir Ambassadors to represent the future of black travel. Send inquiries to Ambassadors@noirbnb.com if interested.
(photo cred: Noirbnb.com)