And inspiring Entrepreneur!
Many wonder how does she does it all, and Mrs. Ramunda Lark Young will tell you, it’s by GOD’s grace, and aligning all things in “harmony!”
Inspired by the sheer will and determination of her father to create his own shop in Tulsa Oklahoma, she has long wanted a business for her family to call their own. “I wanted to make quality Black books accessible in communities like South East, DC.” Mahogany Books, named in honor of her daughter, is a vision come true for her and her husband. The bookstore began operating online roughly fourteen years ago, and has expanded to a location in Anacostia, DC, and most recently - the National Harbor in Maryland!
“Being online allowed us to ship books online from our three warehouses so that people in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Iowa and all over now have access to Black books that changed my life, and hopefully will now change their lives."
Mrs. Young credits her entrepreneurial inspiration to her father, Leroy Lark…better known as “L.L. Cool Spray” in Tulsa! (This is from his commercial jingle, for painting cars). He taught her and her siblings the importance of entrepreneurship and making your own money - which clearly rubbed off on her. As a child, Ramunda sold candy at school to make her own money and save for the things she wanted. After watching her father create his own business and provide for his family through the career he crafted with his own hands, and saw to fruition with his own vision. “It doesn’t matter about the level of your education, what matters is your passion, drive, and ability to shut down the naysayers who don’t believe in your journey." - Ms. Young
“We didn’t have a lot of money at all. No bank loans, it was really us boot strapping it and taking a chance on ourselves.”
The book business has positioned the Youngs to not only impact the literacy rate by
exposing readers to quality Black books, but it has also positioned them to meet some amazing authors! Mrs. Young has met some pretty incredible people who are some of the most influential leaders of our time; from President Barack Obama, to Spike Lee, to Nikole Hannah Jones, to Ledisi and many, many more, but she looks forward to the day she can sit and chat with Goddess Oprah and Queen Ava Duvernay who top her list!
Our Publisher had the opportunity to ask Mrs. Young about some books she suggests the VBLM Village read as we head into the New Year! View the clip below to hear what she says we should be reading right now:
The future for Mahogany Books is extremely bright!
Of course VBLM dropped a plug for them to consider a Virginia location in the very near future…I mean, they’re Virginians…as promoters of all people and things Black Excellence in Virginia, we had to do it! But we’ll have to wait and see which power move they will decide to make next. Until then, be sure to connect with The Young's via social media and visit their two Mahogany Books locations in the DMV!