Kuumba Kollectibles was started in 1988 by partners Sala Damali and Alexander W. Medley Jr. The initial business consisted of an African centered wholesale greeting card line created by artist Sala Damali, printed by master pressman Alexander Medley Jr., and sold nationally. The line filled the niche of images and verses reflecting the African American community. Custom printing was also offered.
In 1995 Alex, Sala, and Bishop Tonyia Rawls birthed and nurtured IBBMEC: the International Black Buyers and Manufacturers Expo & Conference- that brought together retailers and wholesalers of African descent from around the world to conduct trade and share information to strengthen their businesses. In 2005 IBBMEC held its final expo and conference in London England.
In 2012 (until 2016) Kuumba Kollectibles shifted to expand the use of it's strategically positioned Florida Avenue NW property to feature retail space in the bourgeoning Shaw-Howard area of the city. The result was a cultural feast for all the senses, featuring gifts, home decor and confections presented in high African style.