Santa Like Me is a Greensboro-based, family-owned business that opened this year on Black Friday. The business allows families to visit with a black Santa and take photos with him. Raven Goins, 26, helps run the business and talks about her experience growing up and why her family started the company. You can find Santa Like Me at the Village on Eugene, located at 1325 S. Eugene St., Suite 207, from now through Dec. 23. Visit their Facebook page for more info or call 336.543.0027.

What made your family want to start Santa Like Me?
Growing up, we had a Santa decoration for outside that lit up and was like three feet tall. It was a white Santa but my dad spray-painted it black. I used to also ask my parents why the Santa at the mall was white and my parents would tell me that Santa is a busy man and that he has many different helpers. We just felt the need in Greensboro to have a Santa that represents the African-American experience in our community and to give children someone that resembles them so we decided to branch out and offer that this Christmas season.

What’s been one of the most memorable experiences during your time as a company?
During our launch party on Black Friday weekend, our first customer of the day was a little boy named Aayden and he came in wearing a shirt that said, “Santa is My Homie.” He was so excited and when Santa came out, his eyes lit up so big. He let Santa know what he wanted for Christmas and also asked him to send him a letter back. His mom also pulled us aside and thanked us for doing this. That experience let us know that what we were doing was making an impact in our community and in our city.

Why is it important for companies like Santa Like Me to exist?
Our mission is for every child of various ethnicities to visit a Santa that looks like them. We want to create lifelong memories and reflect our evolving society. We’re not just one race or ethnicity. Even if Santa is a fictional character, we think it’s important to create that memory.

Are there plans to offer Santas of other races in the future?
Yes! That’s definitely in the plans. We have talked about other races, but we didn’t want to branch out too far this season. We just wanted to feel the waters but it is our plan in the future to have the option of Latino or Asian Santas too. It’s just needed.

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