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Nestled in The Heights neighborhood just north of downtown, a new Airbnb hopes to educate visitors about Tulsa’s history. Suite Dreams, a vacation rental home, offers guests “curated and culturally immersive short-term stays and experiences”. Blocks away from Historic Greenwood, the chic spot inside the Boydell Lofts offers a unique getaway for Tulsans and travelers alike.
The co-founders of Suite Dreams, Bianca Caampued and Sofia Noshay, intentionally incorporate Black history and business into the design.
In an interview with News on 6, Caampued said “every single room… has something in it” for guests to learn from.
She said that some guests that visited initially didn’t know much about Greenwood or Black Wall Street. The artifacts in the Suite Dreams Airbnb, however, helped to change that.
“Seeing all the touches in the space helped them kind of understand the history of what’s happened here,” Caampued said.
Those touches include artifacts from The Black Wall Street Times. On the wall in the main living space, visitors will see a copy of the paper’s 2020 Juneteenth print edition. Guests will also find the official BWST limited edition centennial magazine published last May.
But the ode to Greenwood and Black Wall Street doesn’t end there.
Visitors can scan QR codes located throughout the space to learn more about Tulsa and its history. Products from Black-owned businesses are in every room. Each detail, from the toiletries to the wall paint to the furniture, comes from Black businesses. The co-founders of the space also work to direct guests to businesses in town owned by Black entrepreneurs.
Creating a space like Suite Dreams was “personal”
For both Noshay and Caampued, creating the space was personal.
“Coming from diverse backgrounds, I think about my time in Tulsa and how I interact,” Noshay, the daughter of immigrants, told The Black Wall Street Times. “You don’t always feel like spaces are made for you. They’re made so that you’re invited, but they’re not always made with you in mind.”
So when they began dreaming up the idea of a space like Suite Dreams that amplified voices, the history and power of Greenwood was top of mind.
“We kept dreaming and thinking how cool it would be to highlight and celebrate different cultural pieces,” Noshay said. She hopes the space will give people the chance “to engage with Black Wall Street in a new and different way.”
A space to learn about Greenwood’s past and inspire its future
As Tulsa residents continue to combat the gentrification of Historic Greenwood, spaces like Suite Dreams seek to aid in the fight to promote and preserve the prowess of Black Wall Street.
Outside of their time building Suite Dreams, both Caampued and Noshay work on projects aimed at increasing Black home ownership and Black entrepreneurship in the city.
As they continue expanding their work, they hope to open more Suite Dreams around the city in the future. Over the next year, they plan to open Airbnbs that focus on women and the Native community.
Suite Dreams, Noshay hopes, will both educate and inspire.
“We hope this is an inspiring place for people, where we showcase people of color living their dreams,” she said.
Noshay added that, very often, the conversation about Greenwood “tends to end at 1921, but so much has happened after and is happening still.”
The hope is that Suite Dreams can be “a part of the process for the next 100 years.”