Owner: Courtney Elijah, Los Angeles, CA
Almighty – Los Angeles
Almighty® is a Los Angeles-based skate shop owned by Courtney Elijah.
A clothing designer by trade, Elijah opened the skate shop after noticing that there were no shops in his neighborhood that sold skateboards and related products
“I wanted to provide something for the local community, so [people] didn’t have to go to the other side of the city to get their skateboards,” said Elijah. “We also have a culture where we draw a lot of artists, photographers, a lot of different people who are into skating, streetwear, and art, in general.”
Elijah also made sure that the community was always at the core of the Almighty® business.
“Everybody that worked for us are kids that are local to downtown LA, whether it’s East LA, actually living in downtown or Mid-City, South Central area. I try to give an opportunity for the locals to have somewhere to go, get away from their surroundings, learn about fashion, learn about retail, and also give them an opportunity to learn about money,” said Elijah.
Unfortunately, the 2020 racial justice protests took a heavy toll on Almighty®.
“The first night of the [Black Lives Matter] protests, my store was probably one of the first hit. They broke our front window and pretty much took the majority of the products that we had in the front of the store,” Elijah recalled. “We were left with about 25 percent of what we actually had. That was difficult. We had already been out of business for about two and a half months at that point.”
With making building repairs, replacing stolen merchandise and the difficulty of keeping the business going, Elijah said the BeyGOOD grant he received has been very beneficial. The BeyGOOD grant was part of a fund created by Beyonce’s foundation, BeyGOOD, and the NAACP to support struggling Black-owned small business owners negatively affected by the 2020 pandemic and social unrest that occurred across the United States.
“This is just going to help me push more of the goals and the vision that we have to keep building for the community and keep making this shop something that people are proud to be a part of and come to shop at,” Elijah added.