Calling All Black Entrepreneurs! | Black Lives Matter

A few weeks ago, the Knack team posted our commitment to racial equality, along with specific and measurable actions we are taking.  That post is here.

Mentoring Black Entrepreneurs

One of our key commitments is to mentor Black entrepreneurs, specifically with needs focused around direct-to-consumer distribution, digital marketing, consumer products and fundraising.

As we said in our post: “The Knack leadership team has put aside time during the months of June and July to meet with aspiring Black entrepreneurs and discuss their business plans and goals, offering mentorship and advice. If you would like to set up a mentorship session, please email, subject line “Black Entrepreneur.” Please recognize that our experience is primarily in consumer products and B2C businesses.”

Digging Deeper - How Can We Help?

We wanted to dig a little bit deeper to outline the Knack founders expertise and background, so that Black entrepreneurs can leverage our knowledge to help grow their respective companies.

Below, we’ve shared the bios of Knack leaders, Chad Mellen and Keith Bristol to help Black entrepreneurs better understand their experience and skill sets.

Chad Mellen

Founder and CEO

Chad has spent over 30 years in the branded luxury and premium accessory and retail industries. He has held CEO, President, CMO, VP Sales and Director roles across a number of iconic American and International consumer brands such as Tumi, Coach and Cross pens.  As a senior executive, he has led two successful exits to private equity firms and has experience working across private, public and private equity-owned companies.  His LinkedIn is here.

Keith Bristol

Chief Digital Officer

Keith has spent over 20 years in the direct-to-consumer ecommerce industry. He has held COO, President, VP of Product and Director roles across a number of ecommerce consumer brands such as eBags, Tumi and UsingMiles. In these roles he has led three startups that became high growth companies or progressed to a successful exit.  His LinkedIn is here.

Reach Out!

Chad and Keith have reserved time in their calendars to meet with Black entrepreneurs, and we’d love to provide guidance and resources for Black entrepreneurs.

Partnering with a Black or BIPOC Focused Professional Non-Profit

At Knack, we know that first impressions matter – especially for a job interview or pitch meeting.  We are currently looking to partner with a BIPOC focused non-profit, coding school, startup incubator or other organization that teaches professional skills.  If you know of an org (or your part of one) that would love to partner on this initiative, please email

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