In the midst of all the controversy, people are tired of supporting these brands and more and more folks are turning to small black-owned businesses for better service and products. But black-owned businesses only account for 2.1 percent of small businesses across the country, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. That number hasn’t grown much over the years, thanks to gentrification, big corporations, and perhaps lack of awareness.
So what better way to honor Black History Month this month (and all year long) than by listing our favorite #BlackOwnedBusinesses?
Mikaila, a 13-year-old girl, was encouraged by her family to join a children’s business competition with her own brand of lemonade. The product stemmed from a family recipe and her love for bees. She took making a lemonade stand to the next level and a percentage of her profits go to organizations fighting to save honey bees.
After getting laid off at her previous job, CEO Gwen Jimmere started selling homemade products she created with items from her kitchen. She’s the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair product and continues to be an example that obstacles shouldn’t stand in the way of developing a bright idea.
3. Aminah Abdul
Aminah Abdul Jillil was a professional dancer for big performers like Britney Spears and Janet Jackson before creating her collection of women’s shoes. Her designs have been see on Rihanna and have broke barriers in the fashion industry.
Kayla Robinson started creating T-shirts to raise money for a yoga instructor certification. But after Frank Ocean wore one of her shirts at a concert, her future began to shift. She decided to become a full-time entrepreneur and use powerful messages to promote action for causes her company cares about.
The company was created by two friends who bonded over beauty. The vegan friendly product is free of harsh chemicals and promotes an eco-friendly lifestyle. The duo created this company and forged a different path for the beauty industry.
Cory Nieves was only six years old when he started his own cookie company. Initially he started off with hot chocolate, but expanded his company to cater to his customers. With the help from his mother, he has become a successful entrepreneur.
7. Fanm Djanm
Fanm Djamn (which translates “strong women” in Haitian Kreyol) is a head wrap collection meant to empower women. It’s a local business from Harlem that uses recyclable fabric to make products.
8. Nubian Skin
Ade Hassan saw a gap in the hosiery/lingerie market and created a line of to meet the needs of women of color. She has a long line of shades comfortable for any women to feel sexy and powerful in their undergarments.
The company’s mission is to provide inspiring and high quality watches. “We want to set the standard for future generations, and we want to look good doing it,” Randy D. Williams, president of Talley & Twine explained.
10. Cami Cakes
This cupcake company, named after the founder’s daughter, works with fresh ingredients to make baked goods for any occasion. They experiment with different flavors and toppings to stay above the competition.
11. Kashmir VIII
Artist Kashmir Thompson strives to represent her company by combining her love of art and black pop culture. She does that with a delightful online store full of printed shirts, clutches, pillows, and more. It doesn’t hurt that some celebrities are taking notice of her work.
12. My Pride Apparel
This clothing company prides itself on celebrating black women. They make bold statements on their clothing that connects with their audience and lets black women be unapologetically themselves.
13. Kreyòl Essence
The eco-friendly brand works on providing natural ingredients from Haiti in their products and bringing about social responsibility. According to their website, the company strives to provide opportunities by making 90 percent of their staff run and led by Haitian women.
14. Love, Cortnie
CEO Cortnie was taught how to sew from her grandmother and her skills have led her to create over 200 styles of clutches. According to her website, every clutch is made by her with a hint of the consumer’s needs.
15. Melanie Marie
Melanie Marie is a custom jewelry company that strive to fulfill the needs of women’s fashion. From names to symbols, Melanie is inspired to design and create original pieces you can’t find in stores.
Cocotique is a beauty box subscription service made for women of color. The subscription caters to each customer’s wants and needs with an affordable price tag. The founder Dana Hill makes sure to handpick every product filled with natural ingredients and promote a healthy lifestyle for their consumers.
17. Coloured Raine
This five-year-old beauty company believes in creating collections to promote diversity and expression. “Coloured Raine was created to be a stand-out cosmetic line to break all beauty barriers,” the website states. The make up line was made for women of color in mind.
Celebrating black accomplishments shouldn’t be limited to 28 days. The knowledge and innovations from black communities should be celebrated all year long. If you’re interested in finding more black owned businesses and products, websites like We Buy Black and Black Wall Street provide an even large selection of companies for you to get your shop on.
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