One could argue, and rightfully so, that the ’90s was an era full of Black pride as represented in culture, particularly in music, television, and film.
From the anthems of R&B groups to the display of Black excellence on the big and small screen, there was no shortage of inspiration from fine art. One of the common themes, especially in television and film, was the consistent examples of Black creatives and executives.
The New York-centered sitcom “Living Single” is an example of a group of Black 20-something women and how they navigated the hustle of dreaming big until they tapped into the success of reaching that dream. Entrepreneurship and success were always at the center, and there was iconic representation for those who aspired for the same.
While there are several examples of Black women entrepreneurs throughout history, the depiction of such figures in pop culture has influenced many since the ’90s. According to a Forbes report, Black-owned businesses rose during that decade, only dipping during the 2008 recession. Now, those businesses have increased again, with Black women at the forefront of that growth.
Although characters such as Khadijah James from “Living Single” were fictional, she represented a foretelling of successful Black women to come, one of them being Pinky Cole.
Cole is a Baltimore, MD, native whose success story started in her former apartment. It was there that she began selling her renowned vegan burgers in 2018. Although she nearly lost all she built in a fire, through hard work and determination, the restauranteur has become somewhat of a household name, continuing to level up in her business endeavors and sharing her expertise along the way.
Pinky Cole owns Slutty Vegan restaurants with locations in New York, Alabama, and all across Georgia. According to Veg World Magazine, Cole is also opening a Dallas, TX, location in Summer 2023. What’s more, the success of her restaurants led to a $100 million valuation in 2022 after a Series A funding round.
In addition to her Slutty Vegan empire, the 35-year-old owns Bar Vegan, a sleek restaurant in Atlanta, GA’s Ponce City Market, offering an array of vegan dishes and good vibes.
With so much success in the restaurant business, Cole has been dedicated to sharing her knowledge and perspectives, hoping to inspire others along the way. A previous AfroTech report noted that Cole gave Clark Atlanta University’s Class of 2022 LLCs to go and officially establish their businesses.
Now, she is ready to shake up the business world with another innovative idea to directly inspire and motivate emerging entrepreneurs in a unique and more personal way.
It all started with a random post about Cole wanting to do a brainstorming session with 20 people. Coined as the “American Session,” the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. member would go on to establish the idea of an epic brainstorming session as a viable business.
Each “Sesh” would include five celebrities, 14 creatives, and one event sponsor. And the rules were simple for the invitation-only event, with the foremost one being that you have no ego.
To date, there have been 23 Sesh events, with familiar names including Ludacris, Jazzy Phae, Brandee Evans, and rap icon Trina, in attendance.
There is a ton of ambiguity about the sessions, except that this specially curated group comes together to present and build ideas from the same playing field. Pinky Cole, her team, and the participants have been tight lipped about every other detail regarding the gathering.
However, social media testimonies have proven that how a person enters the Sesh is not how they leave. What seems like an opportunity of a lifetime for the 14 creatives is happening in real time.
As for what’s next for the American Session, it appears Cole has plans to take the event outside of the Atlanta area in the future.