Meet Toyin Ajayi creator of the social network Outdoorsy Black Women. Outdoorsy Black Women is a community to cultivates representation and exploration in the context of the love of nature and the outdoors. When Toyin realized that she had trouble connecting with other Black women in the activities that she has grown to love; she chose to pioneer space and opportunity. In August of 2020, she created the Facebook group entitled ‘Black Women Camp’. Within 90 days, the group grew exponentially, from no members to over 1,000. After realizing that she wasn’t alone she expanded to include as many different outdoor groups as possible. The platform houses everything from runners, bikers, hikers, and many more.
In addition to creating the Outdoorsy Black Women platform, Toyin has purchased an RV with plans to travel all over the country to Black-owned campgrounds, farms, and businesses, conducting interviews and showcasing the life of a Nomadic Black Woman.
We know that this market is much bigger than companies believe it is and that representation matters. Amplifying the reach of this brand will show the millions of Black women, who appreciate the adventures brought by the outdoors, that they are not alone.
She’s also hosting her inaugural Wine & Waterfalls weekend powered by REI May 6th-8th 2022. Wine and Waterfalls Weekend is an all-inclusive outdoor retreat experience that offers a variety of accommodations based on the guests’ comfort levels, from “Do-it-Yourself” tent camping to a more comfortable Cabin or “Glamping” options with all necessary gear provided and ready upon arrival.
This 3-day and 2-night retreat will cultivate community, ignite friendships and provide a safe space for Outdoorsy Black Women to soak in the serenity of all Mother Nature have to offer.
Being able to sit down with women making Herstory in their lane of expertise is always amazing to us. We had the pleasure to catch up with Toyin and ask her a few questions about her journey thus far.
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship?
My mother was an entrepreneur and I think that would have to be my earliest inspiration. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t an entrepreneur. I remember selling services when I was a child to family members at my aunt’s house, selling candy and snacks to other kids in school, and using a blue crayon to write my first will at age 7, which my aunt still has today.
At what moment did you fall in love with the great outdoors?
My love for the outdoors and nature was also something that happened in my early childhood. My aunt has a huge backyard in her house in England and I would go out there and explore, garden with her neighbor, and find myself trying to save wounded animals from time to time. I think even as a child I found peace when I was outside.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Without sounding cliché, I really would have to say it’s just being able to create and cultivate the Outdoorsy Black Women social network and app. Building this community and having the privilege to connect with amazing Black women is a personal and career highlight. I feel blessed because I know this is only the beginning and I know this community will be able to help Black women in so many ways as it grows.
If you could attribute your success to anyone in your life who would it be?
As a woman of faith, I don’t think any of what I do would be possible without my faith in God. When I’m going through tough times and great times, I’m either drawing strength from God or giving thanks. In terms of a human person, I would say my brother Dante has been one of my biggest supporters and partners in many of my endeavors. He was the person who showed me what could be possible with the internet many years ago. He encouraged me to start my first blog because I’ve always been a writer and if it wasn’t for him encouraging that creativity, I wouldn’t know how to do most of what I can with the internet, tech, web design and so much more.
What message do you hope women take away from your platform?
I hope women feel a sense of sisterhood being a part of Outdoorsy Black Women. I hope they’re inspired to know that the outdoors is for US too and that they can do anything they put their minds to.
What Does It Mean To Be An Outdoorsy BW? Can all women find their place in the outdoors? Please provide insight?
It means you’re a Black woman that just enjoys being outside in any aspect or in any way that works best for you. I chose the word outdoorsy because I realized that many of us didn’t feel connected to it because we didn’t feel represented by it. Outdoorsy Black Women aims to allow us to see ourselves as outdoor enthusiasts because most of us are in some way shape or form. I definitely believe that all Black women can find their place in the outdoors because there are so many ways to experience it, whether it’s glamping, going to the beach, walking, gardening, or even just enjoying a cookout in the backyard.
What is your go-to quote for motivation?
“I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” – Simone Biles
What does being a woman making Herstory mean to you?
Honestly, it’s such a privilege and honor to be creating herstory. I hope that the Outdoorsy Black Women social network will transcend me and inspire more Black girls and Black women to create their own stories and do anything they thought was impossible for them before.
Check out the platform outdoorsyblackwomen.com.