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Meet Chakayla Taylor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chakayla Taylor.

Hi Chakayla, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a child, I remember my mother and father taking so much pride in the home we lived in on 144 Orange Street in New Jersey. Engrained in my memory is our light canary yellow house, with an immaculate porch and neatly hedged shrubs (thanks to my father) and a freshly paved driveway my father did by hand where he parked his Ford truck, proudly for the entire neighborhood to see.

The inside of our home was just as dreamy as the outside, especially with the decadent and savory smells that wafted from the kitchen. Our farm-style kitchen was my mother’s sanctuary, no matter how much she detested cooking she was truly a master of her craft. Fried chicken, flavorful soups with ingredients she enjoyed throughout her childhood in Gaffney, South Carolina and her baked macaroni and cheese! These are only a few of my favorite meals that she made, but these experiential memories from my parents have guided me toward the platform I am creating.

Inspired by the vibrant moments of my childhood, I have proudly started The Power Plate, a spice goods business based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Many of the ingredients that I use in my spice blends and herbal elixirs (like my cough syrups) are sourced from my backyard garden. I consider my business to be a Black Owned + Black Grown Business because I have successfully combined my love for cooking and gardening into a platform that inspires beautiful people who look like me to go outside and proudly interact with nature. Gardening is truly revolutionary, especially when black and brown hands are sticking their hands in the soil, planting seeds, harvesting food fresh from the vine and implementing traditional methods to cultivate a healthy, organic way of living for their friends and families.

While on this journey, the community of Charlotte and beyond banded together and helped me purchase a greenhouse that I am using to grow crops for my Spyce Garden (the garden for my online shop, The Spyce Shop) and food to grow in a community garden that I am managing this spring and summer seasons. Walking along this journey has not been easy, but seeing the fruits of my labor (figuratively and literally) have continued to serve as my inspiration while I grow and thrive in a lane that I am building from scratch.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Building a brand is never an easy process, especially when many of the connections made happen on social media. One of the struggles that I have encountered would be how to express my joy online while also fully enjoying it in privacy. Deciphering the online space has become more complex the older I’ve gotten and as I birthed children into this world. Wanting to have a little piece of joy and happiness without always having the urge to instantly record and share it is a daily battle I am learning to slowly overcome. I have a theory, when I pour into my community it is extremely important that pour back into myself when I’ve clocked out from being Chakayla from The Power Plate.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As a creative entrepreneur in the culinary and garden world, I pride myself in constructing my days around my Spyce Shop orders, my families and my personal needs to realign spiritually, mentally or physically. Through my work, especially as it relates to my garden, it takes a lot of brainpower and physical work to bring my creations to life. I believe this is what I love most about what I do, I get to be an artisan that shares my garden’s abundance through my special blends, mixes and elixirs. I specialize in helping my customers re-ignite their taste buds and I am best-known for my 13-blend Zodiac Spyce Collection. 12 of the spyces are inspired by the many zodiac signs of loved ones, friends and associates I have encountered over the years. And of course, my delicious black sheep, Jerk Spyce is the 13th blend to complete this collection, which is a combination of cinnamon. nutmeg, turmeric, garlic, onion and many other spices that come together as an ode to Jamaica’s internationally famous Jerk Spice.

When I get a chance to talk about my spyces, I am most proud of my tenacity and my unwillingness to give up on myself. I love how creative and unique I am and I have finally created a delicious lane that allows me to set myself apart from others. There are plenty of spice brands, ran by Black women that continue to inspire me to step up my game! This is such an exciting time to be black in the space that I am in because my garden is my gateway to success and empowerment. It’s truly dope that I get to share a piece of my love with others online, but if I am not inspiring others to do what makes them outrageously happy, then I am not doing my job right.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Never give up. It’s just that plain and simple. If YOU don’t believe in YOU, then honestly, what is the point of it all? This is something that I wish I learned early on in this journey. It’s better late than never.

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Image Credits

All images taken by Chakayla Taylor

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