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Exploring Life & Business with Shari Williams and La-Nysa Ravenel of Hold Ya Cup

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shari Williams and La-Nysa Ravenel.

Hi Shari and La-Nysa, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi! We are two women from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that have been friends for over 20 years. Growing up we always loved a good game night, whether it be board games, card games or outdoor games; we always loved getting together. This continued amongst us as we got older. Game nights and small get-togethers became a staple for us throughout the last two years. During one of those nights, we came up with the idea that we should create a game of our own. We started brainstorming concepts and came up with a new card game centered around Black culture that is fun, challenging and interactive. From there, we developed potential game ideas – name, logo, art work, and questions – thus the name Hold Ya Cup was birthed.

Over the creative process, we tested the game amongst family and friends and in December of 2021, Hold Ya Cup was officially launched. Hold Ya Cup has been played at game nights, family reunions, girls nights, etc. by adults spanning multiple generations. Our customer base extends from coast to coast with one of our first customers being as far as California. To date, Hold Ya Cup has been a success and we have received a lot of positive feedback.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
While initially we thought that this would be a relatively easy process, it has had its challenges. Our first hurdle was finalizing a name, design and content. We went back and forth on the perfect name and design to capture the essence of the game and be attractive to our customer base. While developing the content, we wanted to ensure that it was fun yet challenging, creative and engaging. During the pilot phase, we learned that some content worked better than others and had to go back to the drawing board to make some adjustments. When the design and content were finalized, our next challenge was finding an affordable manufacturer that produced a quality product. Once we had product in hand, marketing became our next hurdle.

Marketing is key to the success of any business. Although we are a generation that uses technology daily, we had a lot to learn when it came to marketing, integrating social media and web design. Our initial marketing strategy relied heavily on word of mouth, but we’re learning to incorporate various tools and platforms to expand our reach. Creating our website and merchandise was a tough but rewarding process. Our brand is continuing to grow and expand its reach, while we simultaneously expand our knowledge of running a business.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Hold Ya Cup is a card game highlighting various topics centering around Black culture. This fun, interactive game is great for 3 or more players. Players take turns drawing from the deck of cards to answer trivia questions, majority rules debates, performances and more. The objective of the game is to be challenged, laugh and have a good time with family and friends.

Hold Ya Cup is created and owned by Black women who had a small vision to do something big. This interactive drinking game is sure to liven up your next game night. In addition to the game, we now offer merchandise to couple with your gaming experience. While the game was designed with drinking in mind, it is not required to enjoy gameplay. Each deck includes 100 cards that will bring about a new game experience each time it’s played. You’ll never play the same game twice!

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
As an entrepreneur, there will always be risks involved. Your success, and for some, your sole source of income, depends solely on you. Deciding to sell this game was a big risk as we questioned if there were already too many games on the market and if the game would be received well. In addition to that, self-funding all aspects of this game is another risk, as we are unsure of the return on our investment. However, without risk there is no reward. Taking this leap and creating a game that is fun and creates memories among families and friends is well worth It.

Pricing:

  • Card deck – $25
  • Cup – $4

Contact Info:

  • Email: holdyacupgame@gmail.com
  • Website: www.holdyacupgame.com
  • Instagram: @HoldYaCupgame
  • Facebook: Hold Ya Cup Game
  • TikTok: @HoldYaCupgame

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