Natalie ‘Wooley’ Pipkin


From motherhood to business owner, this fellow Panther saw a need in the community and filled it by opening Black World Schoolers, Indy’s first bookstore on wheels that shares stories that uplift Black life, Black heritage, and Black joy. 


What are you up to now?

After graduation, I attended Indiana State University and soon after followed my heart to pursue a career in culinary arts, specifically pastry arts in Atlanta, GA. In 2007 I married my high-school sweetheart Andre’ Pipkin and had our first son in 2009. While simultaneously choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, I continued to pursue entrepreneurial ventures that centered my love for pastry arts. In 2012 we welcomed our second son, Nathan, and I decided to direct my energy towards my growing family.

In 2017 we transitioned out of conventional schooling and began Worldschooling full-time.

What is WorldSchooling?

Worldschooling is providing and finding education from the real world. It includes experiences, places, and people from all over the globe.

We used Instagram to document our transition and the Black Worldschoolers platform was born.

The vision for Black Worldschoolers Mobile Bookstore came to me during the pandemic. While we had mainly been a resource and inspiration for homeschooling families around the globe, we suddenly had a surge of parents and educators seeking advice as well as resources. I started to share free culturally relevant resources and a free storytime hotline where children could call in to hear Black stories by Black authors 24/7. Black Worldschoolers Mobile Bookstore is truly an extension of our family’s way of living and learning. When we began Worldschooling in 2017, we noticed how much our son’s love for reading skyrocketed once we curated a collection of books across all genres that centered on Black authors and stories. These were stories they were not exposed to in school and I knew them that this level of interest in literature could be possible for all children if presented in a unique way. That’s when the idea Black Worldschoolers Mobile Bookstore was born. A bookstore on wheels with ice cream truck energy that centered Black stories (by Black authors) for all ages. Six months later (December 1st) we launched online and at the end of December I purchased a shuttle bus. Soon after purchasing the bus, I was the recipient of the JLH Social Impact grant which also required a crowdfunding component. On Juneteenth 2022 I launched Indiana’s 1st bookstore on wheels!

How did North Central impact and shape who you are today?

NC allowed so many opportunities to explore my interests. I traveled to Costa Rica my Junior year, participated in WJEL, Spell Bowl, show choir and the list goes on.

WHAT IS your favorite memory from North Central?

North Central had a lot of activities. I was a Pantherette. I also got a chance to study abroad, which was special. I was in Descants, one of the show choirs. I was in the musicals too. Speaking at the Baccalaureate was such an honor and definitely one of my favorite memories. “Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.” That was the opening to my speech and I have lived with that quote in mind ever since.

Click here to learn more about Black Worldschoolers or connect with Natalie and her business on Facebook and Instagram.


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