Claima Stories ComplexCon
by Stephen Garner
Claima Stories ComplexCon

Claima Stories, the impactful podcast addressing the alarming disparity of BIPOC youth in creative industries has extended its partnership with Vistaprint to award deserving BIPOC small business owners activation space at this year’s ComplexCon in Los Angeles, along with a $15,000 grant, marketing collateral, mentorship, and creative services.

The latest initiative is an extension of Claima Stories and Vistaprint’s multidimensional partnership to empower and provide resources for BIPOC small businesses. Selected recipients, Little Africa, a progressive lifestyle brand celebrating “Soul Made Global,” and Lazy Cake, an emerging fashion brand founded by independent artist Sarah Bahbah, activated at the Claima x Vistaprint ComplexCon booth on November 6th and 7th. Alongside the pop-up experience, both nominated businesses received invaluable mentorship from Claima Stories’ network of high-profile streetwear brand owners, marketing collateral, story capture, and social spotlights with Claima and a $15,000 grant to help support additional business needs.

“ComplexCon’s influence as one of the most groundbreaking and influential cultural festivals of our generation is undeniable. It can take small brands years to build the necessary resources and funding to create a meaningful activation at such an event,” said Bimma Williams, co-founder and host of Claima Stories. “Together with Vistaprint, we are excited to provide an opportunity to Little Africa and  Lazy Cake, two beyond-deserving and inspirational brands, in a way that will truly support and catapult them to the next level.”

Claima Stories ComplexCon

“I am thrilled to activate at ComplexCon and showcase Lazy Cake for the first time in a public setting. To receive this level of support just under a year since we launched is monumental for us,” commented Sarah Bahbah, founder of Lazy Cake. “Aligning with like-minded creatives that not only understand but also champion the mission of Lazy Cake is an amazing opportunity.”

“As a first-generation Nigerian-American, having the opportunity to showcase Little Africa at ComplexCon and receive a $15k grant towards business expenses will help us tremendously in our vision to grow our brand while supporting communities throughout Los Angeles and Nigeria,” said John Okevu Ojo II, owner of Little Africa.

The Claima Stories immersive booth for ComplexCon also housed the brand’s revamped state-of-the-art mobile studio, Storytella, which dons the brand’s signature purple color. The team also conducted podcast interviews live from the booth. In addition to the ComplexCon activation, Claima Stories and Vistaprint also selected an additional five deserving BIPOC small business owners to receive VIP admission to ComplexCon and dedicated networking support to help them build meaningful connections through the event.

Claima Stories ComplexCon

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Claima Stories, and the opportunities it has given us to further support and elevate BIPOC-owned Small Businesses as their marketing and design partner,” added Vistaprint CMO Ricky Engelberg. “ComplexCon is an extraordinarily impactful event that brings together many different aspects of culture and we are honored to have the chance to give two LA-area small businesses, Lazy Cake and Little Africa, a platform at an event that may sometimes feel out of reach for small businesses.”

The Claima Stories and Vistaprint partnership first launched in May 2021, when the brands awarded 12 BIPOC small businesses impacted by COVID-19 grants totaling over $250,000, design makeovers, and marketing collateral led by Vistaprint to support their business growth. The partnership is part of 99 Days of Design, a global initiative to empower 99 small businesses around the world with financial support and refreshed design identities comes on the heels of a challenging year, and has since progressed into a series of initiatives with a continued dedication to equip and empower historically under-resourced BIPOC founders and creatives with the tools and resources to be the next wave of creative frontrunners.