Toyin Ajayi Discusses Outdoorsy Black Women
Hi Our Black Woman readers, today we present to you Toyin Ajayi and her social network, Outdoorsy Black Women. Outdoorsy Black Women is a community to cultivate 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, 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 has to offer. Checkout the platform outdoorsyblackwomen.com to learn more.
How did the social network Outdoorsy Black Women come about?
Toyin: It came from seeing a void that needed to be filled. Initially, I started a FB group called Black Women Camp when I saw other Black women seeking a safe space to discuss camping, safe places to camp and just generally needing a sense of community and refuge. As Black Women Camp grew, I wanted to be able to provide members with more resources; like a directory, and knew that had to be somewhere off FB. Once I started building the separate site, I realized this was much bigger than just camping and decided to build a space for “Outdoorsy Black Women” overall.
What has been the vibe of the Facebook group, ‘Black Women Camp’?
Toyin: The vibe is still really positive and those women are just excited to have found other women like them. It’s refreshing and validating when you see yourself represented. The goal is to eventually just have the Black Women Camp group only be present on the Outdoorsy Black Women social network, but for now, it works to be on Facebook too.
We would love to hear all about the inaugural Wine & Waterfalls weekend. What can you tell us about it?
Toyin: Wine & Waterfalls Weekend is somewhat my baby, it’s an event that I created specifically with all types of Black women in mind. I wanted the event to be something that allowed both newbie campers and veteran campers to feel comfortable and just have fun. It’s all about bringing us together in sisterhood and broadening our horizons on what it means to be an Outdoorsy Black Woman. Our weekend will include a waterfall hike, glamping, vineyard tours, a paint and sip and so much more. It’s been a blessing to have the support and sponsorship from REI to be able to really bring this event to life. We’re also taking this opportunity to highlight and support Black-owned brands, from our wine sponsor and brand in our swag bag to the vineyard tour company we’re supporting Black businesses as much as possible.
What impact do you want to make on the world throughout your career?
Toyin: I want to leave a legacy that transcends beyond me. I would like Outdoorsy Black Women to connect and inspire Black women all over the world to embrace nature. I also want to be able to grow this community to a place where it helps Black women in other aspects of life. As a tech company, I would love to be a destination where Black students from HBCUs and beyond can come to know that they would have a safe option to work in. Silicon Valley hasn’t always been kind to us, I hope to be a space that can offer alternatives. At the end of the day, “I’m rooting for everybody Black, that’s rooting for everybody Black”.
What else would you like our readers to know about you and the work that you do?
Toyin: I want them to know that I’m truly passionate about this and that I’m going to give this my all so it can be a dope space for us. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon so it will take time and patience but the aim is for Outdoorsy Black Women to continue growing and improving each day. I also want them to know that I can’t make this happen by myself, it will take us all spreading the word and nurturing the community to make it an awesome and resourceful space. Also, Outdoorsy Black Women is for ALL Black women… even if you don’t think you’re “outdoorsy” you probably are in some way shape or form, so come join us!
How can we keep up to date with all you have going on?
Toyin: If you’re an Outdoorsy Black woman, be sure to join at OutdoorsyBlackWomen.com or on the Outdoorsy Black Women app which is available for free on iOS and Android. If you’re just wanting to show love, you can still check out our Blog or follow us on social media @OutdoorsyBlackWomen. Don’t forget to tell a friend to tell a friend.