The Melanoid Exchange Story

It all started in February 2019. There was a boycott of the designer brand Gucci that took place as a result of them using blackface on a sweater. To put things into context, blackface gains it’s origins from “white performers who darkened their skin with polish and cork, put on tattered clothing, and exaggerated their features to look “black.” (cnn.com) This caused an uproar in the African American community and a push to support black businesses.

Jovante and Darsha decided to participate in the “buy black” movement. After committing to the boycott they soon found it to be less empowering and more of a task. The businesses they did find where scattered online, at various flea markets, vendor festivals, and small pop-up shops. They found out it was very inconvenient to remain consistent with these black businesses. The inconvenience had a lot to do with their lack of online presence. They wanted to know the reason these companies were not on any of the available marketplace platforms. They revisited the flea markets, vendor festivals, and pop up shops to find the answer. Many of those businesses stated that they believed being online could help them but could not afford the maintenance fees of those platforms. The concerned couple began to think “how can we make this easier for the businesses and the loyal customers?” and Melanoid Exchange was born. Melanoid Exchange was built based on the needs of black businesses and to give the general public a central place to shop with them. Shortly after launching, Jovante saw the same type of disadvantages for all minority-owned businesses in his community. Whether product or service-based, all small minority businesses face a lack of customer retention for various reasons. Melanoid Exchange was made to give those businesses an online presence and give them exposure to the world.

Our Mission

As product and service-based businesses are meeting the needs of their customers, Melanoid Exchange is meeting theirs. We guide small minority businesses through eCommerce by providing them an online platform and giving the world a place to shop from them.

Co-Founder and CEO

Jovante Ham is from Fort Lauderdale, Fl. He is a devoted believer, husband, father, entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker. Jovante Ham grew up in the trenches of Broward County, Florida. After getting in his share of trouble as an adolescent he fell in love with football. He would eventually get a scholarship to play football at Prairie View A&M. He went on to graduate from Prairie View A&M with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering where he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and then a Master of Engineering Management from Arkansas State University. After graduating he then took on a role as an aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. While working at his job he discovered his purpose and wrote his bestselling novel called The Hood Scholar which speaks on his journey from the harsh environment in Broward County to his recent successes in Entrepreneurship giving God all the glory. Jovante recently resigned from his job as an aerospace engineer to go full-time with Melanoid Exchange.

Co-Founder and COO

Darsha Carter is from Dallas, Texas. She is a believer, wife, entrepreneur, mental health advocate, and a registered nurse. Darsha grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs and was business savvy from the start. She played a pivotal role in her family-owned print shop overseeing operations in Dallas, TX. She attended Texas Woman’s University where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Carted founded and chartered the black student association on the campus and graduated nursing school at the age of 22. She plays a pivotal role in the day to day operations of Melanoid Exchange as an expert on business operations.