October 28, 2021

50signs

The Fashion Spirit

200 Black-owned businesses to support in 2021

11 min read

And Covid-19 isn’t helping anything: More than 40 percent of Black-owned businesses shut down by April of last year, compared with a 17 percent decline among white-owned businesses. And while around 75 percent of Black-owned small businesses saw upticks in the two months after George Floyd’s death and subsequent national attention to issues around discrimination and police brutality, sales at many Black-owned businesses soon after plummeted back to their pre-Covid-19 rates, according to a survey by the Black Chamber of Commerce. Even if you shelf the pandemic’s effect on Black-owned businesses, eight out of 10 fail within the first 18 months.

Trainer Keith Hodges’ biggest tip for aspiring Black business owners is to “study the landscape so you can make adaptations early. It will keep you in business.”Brandon Lawless

“I’ve been Black my entire life, so the challenges I face due to my race aren’t new. I consider every day that I’m in business as a win,” said Keith Hodges, founder of Mind In Muscle Coaching in Los Angeles. “I’ve noticed that America uses the term Black business as if it is a handicap. We don’t use the term ‘white business owner,’ we say ‘business owner.’ I consider myself the same, and I happen to be Black.”

Angel Lenise, Montre Moore and Phyllicia Phillips launched their business, AMP Beauty LA in 2020. The trio’s online shop exclusively sells products sourced from Black-owned beauty brands. Phillips said that being a Black business owner “holds significant value” as she considers growing the shop “part of building a lasting legacy. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly and a change we’re eager to make within the industry.”

Denise Woodard, founder of healthy snack brand Partake Foods, recently launched a fellowship program for HBCU students interested in the food industry.Tory Williams / Partake Foods

Although the amount of Black American business owners is relatively low, plenty of Black-owned companies are counting up wins despite the pandemic, among them Denise Woodard and her healthy snack brand Partake Foods, which you can find at Target and, recently, in Kroger stores nationwide. Partake recently closed its Series A financing round with Rihanna coming in as an investor — a first for the singer outside of her namesake Fenty brand, according to Forbes. Woodard paid forward some of her success with Partake to the Black community, among other things launching the Black Futures in Food & Beverage Fellowship Program, which allows HBCU students an opportunity to participate in an eight-week immersive program focused on the consumer packaged goods food and beverage industries.

While challenging in ways, it’s not necessarily difficult to support Black-owned businesses while shopping online. To that end, we’re highlighting a dozen standout products from Black-owned businesses that caught our eyes, and compiled a list of 200 Black-owned businesses across Shopping reader-favorite categories.

12 of our favorite Black-owned businesses

With an understanding of Shopping reader interest, we selected standout products across favorite categories, from skin care and face masks to grooming rituals and stylish clothing.

1. Oat Cinnamon’s The Fraise Bouquet (pre-order)

Treat yourself or an indoor plant lover to an Instagram-worthy bouquet arranged by Oat Cinnamon founder Ryan Norville. The brand claims these pink and white dry fern stems will last for years. Currently, the Fraise bouquet is available to pre-order in two sizes: Small and Large. If you prefer other colors like purple and blue, consider the Midnight and Ryan bouquets instead.

2. Fenty Skin Skin Fat Water Face Toner

It’s not quite clear how much of Fenty Skin Rihanna owns — Forbes estimates it’s 15 percent (against parent company LVMH’s 50-percent stake) but qualifies that a spokesperson for the brand wouldn’t confirm that number. After Rihanna’s Fenty Skin brand dropped last September, her combination facial toner and serum became the brand’s No. 1 bestseller among Shopping readers. It boasts various ingredients like witch hazel water and Australian lemon myrtle to balance excess oil. Fat Water is also made with cactus flower extract for added hydration, antioxidant-rich green tea and Japanese raisin tree to help detox your skin.

3. Henry Face Masks

You can replenish your face mask wardrobe on a monthly basis with stylish face masks from Henry. These three-ply reusable face masks come in packs of four and in various color palettes like Sophisticated, Neutrals and Colorful. For Black History Month, owner Patrick Henry launched a limited edition pack of BHM face masks in collaboration with artists for the Black Artist Pack. Russell Westbrook, Kelly Rowland, Chris Paul and Lebron James have also been spotted wearing Henry face masks.

4. Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Conditioner

Design Essentials is a personal favorite line of hair care products and favored by HaUs of Beauty salon owner Dani Priester, who previously recommended the brand’s Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling line due to its collection of “amazing products” that help retain moisture. “They perfectly hydrate for the natural-haired, and those with any type of real texture,” she said. Design Essentials recommends you leave the conditioner on your hair for three minutes to soak up the hydrating sweet almond oil and avocado butter.

5. Gymwrap

Actress Nicole Ari Parker (“Chicago PD,” “Empire”) launched Gymwrap, a line of stylish-meets-functional hair accessories and face masks. The brand’s signature item is the eponymous Gymwrap, a wide headband made from a triple-layer of EvapoTECH, its proprietary, moisture-wicking fabric. The wraps are available in 25 prints and colors like Lavender, Raspberry Sorbet and Mocha.

6. Mateo Duality Pearl Drop Earrings

Jamaican-born designer Matthew Harris created his fine jewelry line Mateo in 2009. In the years since, this self-taught designer became a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2017 and expanded his offering with a collection of handbags and candles. The Duality drop earrings combine two of Harris’ signature designs: abstract-shaped freshwater pearls and 14 karat yellow gold. He doesn’t just offer earrings — you can find rings, chain-link charm bracelets, diamond necklaces and trendy anklets, too.

7. Bevel Shave Kit: The Complete Shave System

Bevel created a kit full of their essential products, including a chromium-plated razor with 40 replacement blades. The monthly subscription kit also includes a pre-shave oil, shaving brush and shaving cream enriched with shea butter, vitamin E and aloe vera. The kit also includes a moisturizer to help keep your skin supple and fresh.

8. Nia Thomas Kyoto Scarf

Embrace your inner-Lenny Kravitz and rock this over-sized Caramel knitted scarf from sustainable fashion line Nia Thomas. The 100-percent wool scarf is also available in Blonde, a soft beige and Terracotta, a warm burnt orange. And if you’re looking to invest in a new winter coat, Nia Thomas makes a matching open-front coat to keep you cozy as you work from home this winter.

9. Salone Monet Sable Slingback

Finding nude shoes is tricky because one person’s ideal nude can be too pale for another. Salone Monet is helping fix this problem with her collection of hand-dyed silk heels and flats. Notably, her brand offers six shades of nude compared to just one shade of beige favored by bigger brands.The open-toe sandals, dubbed the Sable, sports a 4-inch heel and platform for additional support. If you prefer ballet flats, check out the Jojo — for closed toe shoes, opt for the Anita pump instead.

10. Ayesha Curry Cookware Set

Cookbook author Ayesha Curry’s kitchenware line is available to shop on Shopping reader-favorite sites like Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target. Curry’s highly-rated steel set includes 12 cookware essentials: saucepans, skillets, a dutch oven, sauté pan, wooden spoon and paddle. Her namesake brand claims the aluminum and stainless cookware can withstand up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

11. EleVen by Venus Williams Shine Cosmic Dress

Tennis fans can rock a faux-wrap dress on and off the court once the weather warms up. The Cosmic dress is made from a polyester and spandex blend jersey. It is also made with a built-in bra liner and is available in two colors: White and Cloudy Indigo.

12. Jones Bar-BQ Sauce Gift Set

If you’re looking forward to grilling in the spring or need a gift for your favorite foodie, consider ordering this three-piece gift set from Jones BBQ in Kansas City. It features the brand’s made-from-scratch original Sweet and Tangy BBQ and Coconut Pineapple sauces, plus the BBQ rub. Jones recommends adding both the sauces and rub to your savory dishes, including seafood, chicken and ribs.

More Black-owned businesses to shop in 2021

Our list of Black-owned products isn’t exhaustive and we’ll keep updating frequently throughout the year. For starters, we’re spotlighting 200 companies across health and wellness, beauty, food and beverage, fashion and more.

Black-owned businesses offering face masks

In need of functional-meets-stylish face masks? Consider supporting these seven Black-owned companies like Tia Adeola Masks, which specializes in handmade ruffle face masks (and clothing) or DEMESTIK’s attention-grabbing masks on Etsy.

  1. DEMESTIK
  2. HENRY
  3. Island Tribe
  4. MejiMeji
  5. Saint Ola
  6. Taylor Jay
  7. Tia Adeola Masks

Black-owned activewear brands

Looking to upgrade your at-home gym attire, including sports bras and leggings, before you hop on your exercise bike or treadmill? These 15 sportswear companies range from size-inclusive (XS to 3XL) Glamourina to Lapp the Brand, which was founded by Victoria’s Secret Angel Leomie Anderson.

  1. CultureFit Clothing
  2. EleVen by Venus Williams
  3. Glamourina
  4. Ju’Nae Fit
  5. Just Lift
  6. Kemetic Knowledge
  7. Lapp the Brand
  8. Lukafit
  9. PRU Apparel
  10. Roam Loud
  11. Sankofa Athletics
  12. Vero Mastodon
  13. VizFit Apparel
  14. Yema
  15. Zoezi Sport

Black-owned home and kitchenware brands

With more time spent indoors this winter, you might feel compelled to try new recipes or grab some new cookware. Or perhaps you’re looking to winterize your home or prep for the still-far-off spring and summer weather. Here are 14 home and kitchen brands to consider supporting, including floral arrangements from Kendrick Kreations to bohemian decor from Instagram-famous Jungalow.

  1. Ayesha Curry Kitchenware
  2. Bolè Road Textiles
  3. Clare Paint
  4. Ekua Ceramics
  5. Frolic and Sage
  6. Goodee World
  7. Harlem Candle Company
  8. Johanna Howard Home
  9. Jungalow
  10. Kendrick Kreations
  11. Oat Cinnamon
  12. Rayo & Honey
  13. The Black Home
  14. xN Studio

Black-owned food and beverage brands

If you’re looking to whip up savory dishes, prep for the upcoming grilling season or sip on wine from the comfort and safety of your home, look to these 15 Black-owned food and beverage companies.

  1. Adjourn Tea House
  2. A Dozen Cousins
  3. BLK & Bold
  4. Charleston Gourmet Burger
  5. Defy
  6. Dope Coffee Company
  7. Eat Power Bites
  8. It’s Really Vegan
  9. Ivy’s Tea Co.
  10. Iya Foods
  11. Jones Bar-B-Q
  12. McBride Sisters Collection
  13. Partake Foods
  14. Red Bay Coffee
  15. Sanaía Applesauce
  16. Theopolis Vineyards

Black-owned bookshops

Although Amazon dominates the online book landscape in many ways, consider supporting smaller Black-owned retailers like Cafe con Libros in Brooklyn, an indie feminest bookstore or children’s bookshop Eyeseeme in University City, Missouri and Marcus Books in Oakland, California which has been in business for 60 years.

  1. 44th & 3rd
  2. Black Classic Press
  3. Brain Lair Books
  4. Cafe con Libros
  5. Enda’s Bookstore
  6. Eso Won Bookstore
  7. Essence Book Gallery
  8. Eyeseeme
  9. Frugal Bookstore
  10. Legacy Bookbar
  11. Loving Me Books
  12. Mahogany Books
  13. Marcus Books
  14. Miss Read Books
  15. Sankofa
  16. Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
  17. The Key Bookstore
  18. The Lit. Bar
  19. The Literacy Shop
  20. Uncle Bobbies

Black-owned fashion brands and retailers

Beyoncé stylist Zerina Akers created Black Owned Everything as an Instagram account and recently debuted its online shop, spotlighting Black designers like Samaria Leah and Lumier. Here are 13 other standout fashion brands, ranging from Christopher John Rogers — Vice President Kamala Harris wore his designs on Inauguration Day — to streetwear brand Renowned LA.

  1. Aliétte
  2. Art Comes First
  3. Black Owned Everything
  4. Christopher John Rogers
  5. Cushnie
  6. Fear of God
  7. Golden Girly
  8. Liberté
  9. Maki Oh
  10. Pyer Moss
  11. Renowned LA
  12. Rich Fresh
  13. Savage X Fenty
  14. Stevie Edwards

Black-owned footwear brands

Level up your shoe collection with sneakers from KEEXS or Sole Rebels, which employs artisans in Ethiopia to craft made-to-order shoes. If your house slippers are a little too well-loved, swap them out with these fuzzy Twelve AM Co shoes. For those looking to splurge, consider supporting the fashionable creations from Becki Coakley and Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies and the 15 Percent Pledge.

  1. BARKAL
  2. Becki Coakley
  3. Brother Vellies
  4. Chelsea Paris
  5. Kahmune
  6. KEEXS
  7. Kendall Miles Designs
  8. PerryCo
  9. Rebecca Allen
  10. Salone Monet
  11. SheKudo
  12. soleRebels
  13. Twelve AM Co.
  14. ZOU XOU

Black-owned handbags

Flex your personal style with handmade fringe bags from Petite Kouraj, tote leather crossbody and mini bags from Vavvoune or Telfar’s ever popular “Bushwick Birkin,” if the designer’s latest drops don’t sell out first.

  1. Agnes Badoo
  2. Anima Iris
  3. Asata Maise
  4. Cheyenne Kimora
  5. Helmer
  6. Jumz
  7. Kayadua
  8. Love Cortnie
  9. Petit Kouraj
  10. Telfar
  11. Vavvoune
  12. Zashadu

Black-owned jewelry and accessories

Elevate your everyday outfits and special occasion looks with unique fine jewelry pieces from White Space and Kirhy. If you’re into more off-beat designs, consider Cameron Tea, who handmakes beaded butterfly-shaped purses and knit hats in Los Angeles. Here are 19 other Black-owned accessories and jewelry labels to check out.

  1. Ashya
  2. Cameron Tea
  3. Chiegeshiuka Agu
  4. Coco and Breezy
  5. Dorcas Creates
  6. Edas
  7. FlameKeepers Hat Club
  8. GabeJade Accessories
  9. GRL TRBL Pins
  10. Jam + Rico
  11. Johnny Nelson Jewelry
  12. Kihry
  13. L’Enchanteur
  14. Mateo
  15. Nia Thomas
  16. Octave Jewelry
  17. SB New York
  18. Stella & Haas
  19. Third Crown
  20. Tree Fairfax
  21. White Space
  22. Yam

Black-owned makeup brands

Yes, Pat McGrath is a legend in the beauty world, but there are plenty of other Black-owned makeup brands out there worth supporting, too. Cruelty-free cosmetics line Coloured Raine previously teamed up with “Power” to launch a collection timed to the season six premiere and is available at Target, while makeup artists like Camara Aunique, Danessa Myricks and AJ Crimson have all launched their respective namesake beauty lines.

  1. AJ Crimson
  2. AMP Beauty LA
  3. Camara Aunique Beauty
  4. Beauty Bakerie
  5. BLAC Minerals
  6. Coloured Raine
  7. Danessa Myricks
  8. Fenty Beauty
  9. Gold Label Cosmetics
  10. Hue Noir
  11. Iman Cosmetics
  12. lamik beauty
  13. Mented
  14. Pat McGrath Labs
  15. Stay Golden Cosmetics
  16. The Lip Bar
  17. Thirteen Lune
  18. Uoma Beauty

Black-owned hair brands

Beyond celebrity lines from Taraji P. Henson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union, there are plenty of other readily available brands that make products for naturalistas like Kinky-Curly and Uncle Funky’s Daughter.

  1. Adowoa Beauty
  2. Brieogeo
  3. Camille Rose Naturals
  4. Eden Body Works
  5. Felicia Leatherwood
  6. Flawless by Gabrielle Union
  7. Grace Eleyae
  8. Kinky-Curly
  9. Kosa Professionals
  10. Mielle Organics
  11. Nancy’s Kitchen
  12. Pattern Beauty
  13. Taliah Waajid
  14. TBH by Taraji P Henson
  15. The Y by Yusef
  16. Uhai
  17. Uncle Funky’s Daughter

Black-owned skin care brands

These brands run the gamut from beauty editor-favorite sunscreens for darker skin tones to celebrity esthetician Shani Darden’s signature Retinol Reform. There are also clean beauty companies incorporating natural ingredients like Organic Bath Co. and Rose MD Skincare, founded by Rose Ingleton, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.

  1. AbsoluteJoi
  2. Base Butter
  3. BeautyStat Cosmetics
  4. Beneath Your Mask
  5. Black Girl Sunscreen
  6. Bolden
  7. Brown Butter Beauty
  8. Buttah by Dorian
  9. Epara Skincare
  10. Epi.logic
  11. Fenty Skin
  12. GlowRX Skincare
  13. GoldE
  14. Hanahana Beauty
  15. Happy Girl Products
  16. Hyper Skin
  17. Jacqs
  18. Kaike
  19. Keys Soul Care
  20. Klur
  21. Luv Scrub
  22. Mary Louise Cosmetics
  23. Nyakio Beauty
  24. Organic Bath Co.
  25. Ounce of Nature
  26. Rose MD Skincare
  27. Rosen Skincare
  28. Shani Darden
  29. Skinbuttr
  30. The Honey Pot Co
  31. UnSun

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Kala Herh, Shop TODAY and Zoe Malin, Shop TODAY contributed.

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