June 16, 2020

A community for Black nerds grew out of its founder’s passions

Terril Fields says the focus of Blerd is “nerdy culture, but from a black cultural lens.”

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As a lifetime connoisseur of all things nerdy, Terril Fields turned affectionate ribbing from his buddies into a bona-fide business.

“One of my really good friends was always like, ‘You’re the biggest blerd I know,’ because I was always into video games, comic books, technology, things like that,” Fields said.

That’s what inspired him to create Blerd (slang for Black nerd), a media company for Black geeks and gamers who are often overshadowed in a predominantly white industry.

This site fosters a tight knit community, advertising community events and featuring members who cosplay. Fields calls Blerd’s focus “nerdy culture, but from a black cultural lens.”

Fields used sales commissions and gains from cryptocurrency investments to cover startup costs.

Since going live less than a year ago, Blerd has weathered some of the most hostile business conditions in recent memory. But thanks to a groundswell of community support, Fields reported a 300% increase in merch sales and an 80% boost in traffic over the past few weeks.

Many of Blerd’s products showcase Black Lives Matter and Pride themes. The company is donating 50% of profits from select items during the month of June to the Black Visions Collective.

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