Brief & Awkward third-person mumbo jumbo about me…
Noëlle Santos is just a few months out from opening The Lit. Bar: the only bookstore (and wine bar) in her native Bronx, New York. Her entrepreneurial journey includes winning the New York Public Library and Citi Foundation’s 2016 business plan competition, operating her 400-member book club, and crowdfunding over $150,000 as a lone campaigner—all while working full-time as a certified Human Resources Professional. Noëlle’s hustle has garnered dozens of profiles by media outlets including Forbes, The Today Show, Essence, Glamour, Ebony, Latina, and The Huffington Post.
As Noëlle strives to bring a physical bookshop to the Boogie Down, she takes The Lit. Bar mobile to serve the bookselling needs of independent to celebrity authors, including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Noëlle leverages her platforms on the American Booksellers Association’s Advisory Council, blog, and social media to promote book culture in inner cities, diversity in the book industry, and entrepreneurship as a form of activism.
Back in the Days…
I was born to Puerto Rican & stolen African parents and came of age in Soundview where my mother and step-father groomed me Black Panther & HGTV-style; lessons of Louis Farrakhan, Katie Brown, Tupac, Oprah, and Suze Orman fine-tuned me into the multifaceted woman you see today.
A Proud Product of a Teen Mom, City College, and the South Bronx. The Glow Up…
At age 16, I was a high school graduate living independently in Parkchester; and in 2008, I became a resident of Crotona Park East, where I reside today. My studies at The City University of New York-Lehman College earned me both a bachelor’s degree in business/accounting (2009) and a master’s degree in human resources management (2012). I also hold the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designations.
When I’m not working as the Director of Human Resources & Payroll (for a health IT & analytics firm), I’m exploring New York & abroad, operating my book club, Readers & Shakers, and striving towards opening the only independent bookstore in my borough. The Lit. Bar will be just as multifaceted as me: a bookstore/wine bar/community center in the Bronx. I dream of a graffiti & chandelier theme, much like my life.
AWARDS & HONORS
New York Yankees– Hispanic Heritage Month Community Achievement Award
Congressman Jose E. Serrano– Honoree: Women Artists Fighting for Justice
New York Public Library/Citi Foundation– Second Place Winner: New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition