During this time, support can be shown in many different ways. Protesting, petitions, donating, learning, and listening, they all matter in the fight to keep the Black Lives Matter movement going (because they always do!) We need to engrave this into our very systems for future generations to understand that this is an every-day thing, not something trendy to leave behind. If you’re home and are limited to those corners, here are a couple of Black-owned businesses to shop online!
- Red Bay Coffee
Let’s start with coffee because well, how can you go wrong with such a beloved beverage? I’ll be honest, I’m personally not a huge coffee fan (my heart ends up bouncing off the walls), BUT I do know pretty much everyone I know loves the damn liquid as if their life depended on it. So, why not go for a business who finds the art in coffee? Founder of Red Bay Coffee, Keba Konte, is a renowned artist inspired by black culture. Before beginning his current business, he began with Gorilla Cafe to showcase his work, eventually leading him to a career as a certified coffee roaster. In 2014, he opened his first Red Bay Coffee store, assuring customers that he not only strives to make the highest quality coffee for them but that he also is committed to inclusivity. Konte’s staff is comprised of a variety of people from all different backgrounds. It includes people of color, former incarcerated individuals, women, and people with disabilities. As the business has written on their website, they are “foodies, artists, activists, community folk, and innovators who love, love, love what [they] do.”
- Mented Cosmetics
If you’re in need of some makeup, Mented Cosmetics is a definite option! Created by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, these women began with a problem that soon sparked into an idea. As women of color, they weren’t able to find a nude lipstick right for them; so what did they do? They made it! According to their promises, Mented Cosmetics promises to make sure the needs of women of color are put first by offering natural looks in a variety of makeup products. So if you keep running into issues like Miller’s and Johnson’s, give them a look!
- Camille Rose
My mom likes to always go for the natural products. No matter where we are or what it is, natural is what she gravitates to. Honestly, I can’t blame her! Fortunately for those that feel the same, Camille Rose has got quite a range of natural products, from hair conditioners to skincare creams. It started with a small kitchen and a woman with dreams that only grew. Janell Stephens is a “mompreneur” as she stated in her website, who within only a few years, has products being sold in more than 300,000 locations. Also, with the creation of the Janell Ennis Stephens Foundation, her brand strives to help women and families, especially single mothers, in their own journey of trying to support their loved ones.
- Hope for Flowers
As a seller of clothes with diverse fabrics, Tracy Reese believes it’s important to not only have sustainable products but living wages for employees as well. Both an American designer and founder of her collection, Hope for Flowers, Reese offers customers a variety of clothing that are “made to last.” Not only does this founder feel a necessity to lessen our carbon footprint and assure employees are given “quality of life”, but Reese also strives to empower women and the youth through arts programming and collaborations with local Detroit artisans. So if you’re in need of fabrics that can be there for quite a while, Hope for Flowers might just be the website to visit.
It’s no surprise when you find wrapping paper covered in Santas, reindeer, and of course Star Wars paraphernalia during the holidays. However, it isn’t always Christmas. So when we’re giving a gift during the year, we turn to gift bags! (I can’t say they are as much fun as opening a wrapped gift but that’s the way it goes). But, there’s Unwrp, a business that sells a variety of designed products from decor pillows to—what we've been waiting for—wrapping paper! Launched by Ashley London Fouyolle, this concept allows gift-giving to be so much more fun, or as a WGSN Insider said, according to Unwrp’s website, it allows gifts to be instagrammable. Being a graphic designer for more than 6 years, Fouyolle can help you out in your design necessities including the awesomeness of having cool wrapping paper.
- Brown Estate
For those in need of some wine, Brown Estate Vineyards has got you! According to their website, before being officially established in 1996, it first began as an abandoned ranch bought by Deneen, David, and Coral Brown’s parents in 1980. The land eventually rehabilitated into a business that sold to local winemakers (that is until the siblings decided to make their first wine). Fast-forward nearly 25 years, they’re still here and are bigger than ever. They made history becoming the first Black-owned estate winery in Napa Valley, California. Not only can you order yourself some wine online, but you can also order some on a Delta Airlines flight if you’re a Domestic Delta one customer. So for any of you wine drinkers, it looks like there’s more options!
- The Lit. Bar
I’m a nerd, a BIG nerd. So when I found out there’s a bookstore that exists as both a bar and literature buying hangout, I was both intrigued and impressed. It all started when Noëlle Santos had the realization that her home, the Bronx, would be left without a bookstore. The location’s Barnes & Noble was having an uncertain future that eventually led to its shutdown in 2016. Determined to salvage a book-lover’s paradise, Santos said “‘bet’ to the developers... and went home to write [her] business plan on how [she] was going to ensure faces that look[ed] like [hers] [were] represented in market rate districts in a few years time.” This dream became a reality in 2019, truly demonstrating she could, would, and did achieve her goals. With the mission to offer a space to encourage diversity and conversation, the bookstore’s books can be bought online.
Decor is usually pretty nice to have for...basically everything! You can literally decorate anything to your heart’s desire just to add that little extra spark. Why not try Jungalow! Starting as a design blog run by Justina Blakeney, Jungalow has turned into a brand which sells all kinds of “jungalicious” decor including clothes and “planters”! On their website, the business also states they work towards having sustainable practices such as planting at least two trees for every order and donating to non-profit organizations such as the ACLU, Girls Who Code, and the Rainforest Alliance, among others. The team has expanded to four women, “a tiny but mighty team of ladies”. So if you never heard of planters and now realize how cool they are, or you want some decor, take a look!
- Partake Foods
Cookies can be pretty delicious. However, certain allergies can make it difficult to be able to enjoy this tasty snack. But with Partake Foods, that’s not a problem. Allergy issues were the focus in their product creation. Denise Woodard, Partake Food’s founder, discovered the large number of children impacted by allergens and the corresponding small number of safe food options for those with food allergens. So, Partake Foods was created. Woodard made it her mission to offer healthy allergy-friendly snacks such as the very cookies her business offers. She started from scratch but she now has products which are now available in more than 2,000 U.S stores.
- BLK + GRN
Now, this option is a little different than the rest. This business is actually a marketplace for a large variety of products, or more specifically, Black-owned brands that offer natural products for the Black community. According to their website, Black experts have a specific process when choosing brands that connect the community with high-quality and toxic-free products. Transparency seems to be very important for this marketplace, allowing customers to read how their selection process works, who their artisans are, and even a summary of twenty ingredients that are considered the most harmful according to regulating agencies and the Environmental Working Group. The business assures customers that they would never accept any sort of product with any of the “Toxic Twenty” ingredients. Many products are offered here, including bath and body , menstrual care, home-related items, and hair products.
There are of course so many more incredible Black-owned businesses to choose from but please support when and where you can because it really does matter. It’s always mattered.
Sources to More Black-Owned Businesses: