One of the great things about travel these days is that the options are endless for everything. There are a million websites to find and book flights, and endless accommodation options beyond hotels. From hotels to hostels, to couches, to rooms, to villas –there’s something for everyone and every experience. Zora, the new property line from Innclusive, is no except. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re in the right place…keep reading.
Over a year ago, a disturbing hashtag swept the nation, #AirbnbWhileBlack, capturing stories of people having difficulty making reservations (or having them mysteriously canceled) due to discrimination based on race, sexuality, etc. You’re probably thinking, “that’s terrible,” and while it is, what was more disturbing was Airbnb’s lackluster response to the viral hashtag and countless stories with receipts.
Naturally, these awful experiences coupled with little to no action from the company, a new company called Innclusive was born. Innclusive is designed to be just as the name suggests, inclusive–a platform that embraces people of all backgrounds and all walks of life. They leverage several methods to prevent the discrimination so many have experienced with platforms like Airbnb.
Okay, but what or who is Zora?
Yes, yes, I’m getting to that, but I had to set the scene for you first.
Zora is a recent product launch from Innclusive, a line of properties owned or managed by Innclusive, with all amenities sourced from women of color. With this approach, Innclusive is able to take complete ownership of the guest experience.
The Zora Difference
As I mentioned before, Zora features properties with amenities that are completely sourced by women of color. While that in and of itself is impressive to me, it gets better. Here is ‘The Zora Difference’:
- All Amenities Source from Women of Color
- Blowdryer With Comb and Flat Iron
- Satin Pillows to Keep Your Skin & Hair Vibrant
- Free, Fast, & Reliable Internet
- Neighborhoods Hand Picked for Safety
Wait, a blow dryer with a comb AND a flat iron?!? I see you Zora. Add some styling products and issa wrap, consider me booked. Traveling while natural is a special kind of stressful that only women of color and black women in particular experience.
RELATED: A Guide to Traveling While Natural
I absolutely love the concept of Zora–even down to the name–and here’s why. As a woman of color, a Black woman, Zora makes me feel seen. Appreciated. Special. In a time where on a daily basis we’re bombarded with images, memes, videos, and think pieces constantly criticizing, disrespecting, and blaming Black women for everything imaginable, Zora is doing the opposite. These seemingly small amenities to me say “we see you, we value you, and the things that make you special.” I personally feel it’s rare to see women of color, specifically black women, celebrated by others. To see properties catering to us and curated with us in mind…it’s the ultimate expression of love and value.
Let’s face it, data supports a concept like Zora because women of color do travel a lot. How many of us have stayed in hotels where we could use a blow dryer but you know the one included wouldn’t do much for your hair? I have. How many of us naturals have to pack satin pillowcases or bonnets to ensure the hair you worked so hard to moisturize doesn’t dry out while sleeping? Me again. The other notable feature to me is that neighborhoods are hand-picked for safety. Safety is always important but with more and more women solo traveling, it’s nice to know safety is a priority for the business too.
As if that weren’t enough, a portion of each stay booking a stay at a Zora property is donated to Black Girls Code, a great organization designed to teach Black girls to code and thus, preparing them for the important stable and high earning jobs of tomorrow. Ya’ll know how I feel about STEM.
Circle of Sisterhood
Degrees of separation are small and recently I was able to chat briefly with the Founder of Innclusive about Zora. Even though I haven’t seen any of the properties yet in person, just reading about Zora, I felt included. I felt like someone could see me, us. I told him I like re-reading the Zora Difference because it gives me the warm and fuzzies.
Zora is what I like to refer to as a circle of sisterhood product–you give and it gives back. It’s sourced from/by women of color: linens, detergent, decor, art, shampoo & conditioner, interior design, staging, just everything. This gives women of color creatives and entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to be featured. Obviously, the properties are Innclusive (see what I did there) and open to everyone, but of course, we will patron. Then Zora gives to Black Girls Code, making the whole experience one in which we all support each other. Sisterhood at its best. And so damn authentic.
Fortunately for me, I live in the D.C. Metropolitan area and that is where Zora launched their inaugural property a couple weeks ago. A Zora property would be an amazing staycation for you or any hard working amazing woman you know and love. Christmas is around the corner and it’s never too early to start thinking about Valentine’s or Mother’s Day appreciation. Thank me later. I can’t wait to book a stay at the inaugural property and get the opportunity to feel the Zora Difference in real life!
Planning to visit D.C. anytime soon? Be sure to visit the Innclusive site to book your stay at the Zora flagship site today. Make sure to sign up for their email list for more information regarding additional property launches and for 10% off your first stay.
Have you heard of Zora? What feature most excites you?