While strolling the streets of Boston during Her Campus College Fashion Week, our group of girls from West Virginia University stumbled upon a hidden gem. We were looking for a place to have lunch in the Seaport area when we came across Boston’s Black Owned Business Market. It was filled with entrepreneurs selling clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and so much more.
We had the privilege of talking to many of the vendors about their companies and their unique products and ended up coming home with new clothes, earrings, sunglasses and necklaces.
Each vendor had a unique style and purpose for their company.
One business owner, Nakia Holmes, explained, “The name of my business is called True9. True9 stands for being true to thyself, 9 meaning reflection.”
Holmes handmakes all of her products. Many of the earrings are made with lightweight wood so they are not heavy on the ear, but still give the illusion of a big hoop. She has a range of accessories from bracelets to earrings — fabric earrings, beaded earrings and stud earrings. She also carries headbands and a line for men where she features wooden bow ties and bracelets.
“Being at Seaport is really exciting. It gives me a chance to expand to show my brand to a more diverse population so that everyone is able to enjoy my products,” Holmes said.
We were also drawn to the designs of BRoyal Boutique. The business owner, Tonya Smith-Winston, explained that when she launched her store, she wanted to make sure that her products were inclusive. Her store carries sizes from XS-3X.
“I thought it was really important that I carry plus sizes. A lot of my family members and friends have expressed how hard it was to find really chic, cool things in their sizes. I thought there had to be a reason for this, and I think it was just a choice some of the brands were making,” she said.
All of BRoyal Boutique’s products are handmade. Smith-Winston designs the products and her mom sews them.
“My store is all about feeling beautiful and feeling good because I believe that looking good makes you feel good,” she said.
The owners of True9 and BRoyal Boutique are just beginning to make an impact in the fashion industry. The ideas behind each of these brands encourage buyers to be true to themselves and make it easier for them to find clothes that fit all shapes and sizes.
The Pop Up Market will be held at the Seaport’s District Hall two more times before the end of the year.