Think Pieces

4th of J*ly? Let’s Celebrate Black Owned Businesses Instead

Black people were still enslaved on July 4th, 1776. So you already know how we feel about today. Instead of popping fireworks and having a barbecue, let’s invest into our own community and generate wealth. Below is a list of 30 Black Owned Businesses that you can support no matter where you’re located.

1.Matte Brand

Briana Shaneè Wilson, is a one-woman entrepreneur who turned her dreams into reality. When Briana was just 21 years old, living in New York City, she launched Matte — A brand with must-have basics, “The necklines are low and the fabrics are hand-picked.” Matte is inspired by Briana’s love for clothing with minimal design, femininity and comfort. Briana’s inspiration comes from her own style. “I created a line of clothes that I could see myself wearing. Before I had Matte, I was super picky with how I wanted things to fit. Since I couldn’t find anything comfortable and sexy in stores… I created it myself. My personal style is reflected in my line —The color palettes are neutral (whites, blacks, nudes and chocolates) but the designs are unconventional.”  – Matte Brand

2.Sorella

Sorella was founded by Heather Sanders in 2012. I was 20 years old with no fashion background or training but a lot of hustle and drive! Starting with an inventory of 10 products and packing packages on the floor of my apartment, I never imagined how far I would get but one thing was for sure … we weren’t going to let anyone stop us. Following the 2012 launch, I then opened my first brick and mortar in Los Angeles, becoming every LA’s woman’s go-to spot for fashion. I then launched our women’s movement #GirlsTour. Representing strong women, working women, and independent women of all ages, colors, and sizes. Empowering women all over the world to not only be confident and have a vision but to also be a dope girl with style and hu$tle. Now we have grown a team full of extraordinary creatives, designed thousands of new styles, and a fan base full of dope ass women. Sorella has now become a lifestyle and our #GIRLSTOUR wall has grown to a international landmark and must stop photo destination in Los Angeles. Our next goal is to tour our most sought out locations and bring the Tour to you but also continue to empower many more women around the world.” – Sorella

3.Riot Swim

Riot Swim is an online designer swimwear and beachwear brand. We offer an exclusive collection of bikinis, one piece swimsuits, and more.” – Riot Swim

4.Liana Farmer

“Visual Artist, Educator, and Mama” – Liana Farmer

5.Linoto

“Hi, I’m Jason Evege, founder and creative director of Linoto. Linoto makes amazing, real linen sheets that help you sleep better, linen napkins and tablecloths that enhance your dining and entertaining events, linen curtains that beautify your home, and linen spa towels that rejuvenate and refresh your bath and shower experience. Most importantly, we make beautiful, soft, artisanal quality products that feel special to us and to the people who enjoy them. What sets Linoto apart is our bold color offerings, exceptional workmanship, and the fact that all of our products are proudly made at our workshop in Westchester County in New York.  We are passionate and invested in everything we make. Every item is marked on the cloth with chalk, cut with tailor shears, expertly measured, expertly sewn to the same standards as a designer dress, then washed with natural laundry soap and shipped in plastic free recycled packaging. Linoto would not be possible without the extremely skilled and dedicated technicians who cut and sew our beautiful creations at the workshop in New York. They are a like a second family to me and most of them have been with the company since our scrappy beginnings when we were still working out of my apartment. Making linen sheets the right way is hard work. The fabric is very heavy, very expensive, and requires a great deal of skill to work with. It all started in 2007 when I was shopping around for real linen sheets and I was unable to find any set in a simple, modern style for less than $1000. What’s more, I had to wait 4-6 weeks for delivery from Europe. I was so frustrated by my search that I decided to make my own set of linen sheets as well as a few sets for friends and family. The sheets were a huge hit and it was suggested that I set up a website and see if there was demand. I graduated with a degree in fashion design from the University of Cincinnati which has one of the best design programs in the country. We were taught very well how to make things from concept to finished product. I was very fortunate to have all of the skills and machinery required to try my ideas without large capital investments. In the first 12 months (working nights and weekends out of my home while holding down another job) I sold more than 120 linen sheet sets to customers throughout the US and abroad who were so pleased to find real linen sheets at an affordable price. Linoto has now fulfilled more than 10,000 orders to loyal customers around the world and enjoys a fabulous reputation for quality, value, and style.” – Linoto

6.Joe and Monroe

Joe + Monroe provides eco-friendly, individually hand poured luxury scented candles. A luxurious vegan blend of natural apricot and coconut wax, our candles are infused with essential oils that sourced from all over the world. Providing an environmentally clean burn, our candles are gluten free, toxin free, paraben free, phthalate free and are made fresh to order!” – Joe and Monroe

7.La Botica

La Botica ( meaning; Spanish variation of farmacia/chemists shop) is a concept brand, luxury candle studio and chill-wear brand located in New York City. Bringing together modern ritual and la cultura. Established as a curated showroom by artist, Dawn Marie West, La Botica encapsulates edits that evoke the dreamy, effortless and undone. Created to house the possibilities for a chill, muse-worthy identity and lifestyle. La Botica was created as my dream sanctuary, a farmacia of my own self-care. Working in photography and the museum industries, I rarely committed to my self-care but as an artist, I would use my art as my sanctuary – and as a result, I decided to lend my art to a new medium; fragrance and experience. The delicate things that always elevated me, perfumed candles, bodysuits, ethical palo santo, and a bachata playlist was my ritual. Combining my experience in art direction and luxury perfumery with my Black and Afro-Dominican culture, La Botica took on it’s own identity as a chill space to escape and a collection of sustainable luxury pieces, for your own sanctuary.” – La Botica

8.Herbal Gods

“Doing organic the healthy way” – Herbal Gods

9.Peak + Valley

“I’m so glad you’ve discovered our little corner of the internet. 🙂 What started as a personal quest to treat my own chronic stress, fatigue, and skin issues has turned into a company that is here to help you feel well. Years ago, I was working at a lab studying the neuroscience of stress and became enthralled with the question of how the stressors of the modern world were affecting our bodies overall. While I was studying stress, I was also dealing with chronic stress and anxiety myself so this question had personal roots to it. This launched me into months of dedicated personal research into the mechanisms behind stress— and that’s when I discovered adaptogens. I couldn’t believe how this category of herbs and mushrooms helped balance the body’s reaction to stress, all while supporting immune functions, brain health, and skin complexion. So, I started incorporating several adaptogens – like reishi mushroom and ashwagandha – into daily smoothies and tonics. After a few weeks of consistent use, I noticed that I could calmly respond to stressful situations, no longer had adrenal fatigue, and had healed my eczema. However, as I had a research background, I had very high standards for the herbs and mushrooms that I was sourcing. I wanted high purity/potency, as well as ingredients farmed with an eye towards mindful practices. That’s a pretty hard thing to do, and it took me a very long time to find suppliers and farmers that I trusted. One day, I took a step back and looked at the all the work I had put into this, and realized that I really wanted to share my findings and research with others. And so, Peak and Valley was born. 🙂 We’re a small (and growing!) team based in Seattle that started in 2019 with the goal of providing inclusive, fun, and honest products to the world of wellness.” – Peak + Valley

10.Skin Buttr

SkinButtr is a beauty brand inspired by you, natural body buttrs, scrubs and skincare by Tatiana Elizabeth. Our body are line consists of whipped shea based bodybuttrs and scrubs. While out skincare line is an all natural hydrating step by step system. Both our body and skin care lines are designed to leave your skin fresh glowing and deeply moisturized. All Skinbuttr products are made with you in mind, created by Tatiana Elizabeth with the mission to simplify, educate, build confidence, and promote healthy glowing skin and push sustainability. Simplify how many beauty products do you have? Now how many do you use? … Wait don’t answer that. It’s kinda embarassing how most women are product hoarders. (We won’t even ask how many actually work) Skinbuttr is here to simplify your beauty regimen, from the mirror to the shower and back to the mirror again. A product line that actually works. We’ve got you covered. Educate when it comes to skin, ignorance isn’t bliss. Knowing whether you have dry, oily, or acne prone skin is super important. Skin isn’t a one size fits all type of situation. here at skinbuttr we are here for ya. If you have any questions or issues, consider us your skin concierge. Build your confidence we want your glow to radiate from the outside in, and right back out again. Skinbuttr is all about loving the skin your in an literally glowing. We don’t want you to not only look good but to physically feel good too! Helping you get rid of those pesky stretch marks, acne scars, cellulite so you an feel like the best version of you <3. Promote healthy skin our formulations are made by skincare specialists. Our products are made to Healy, hydrate, and leave your skin feeling super silky soft. We want to heal your skin, not just mask it! (No pun intended). Skinbuttr products are hand made, and free of harmful chemicals, cruelty free and vegan. Get buttr’d!” –Skinbuttr

11.Alaffia

“Our success is measured by empowerment. Empowerment Projects are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sales of Alaffia products. Alaffia invests in our communities because it is our moral responsibility and to ensure African resources empower African communities. The goal is to alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality. Our Empowerment Projects include several Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Environmental Sustainability. All of Alaffia’s projects empower Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty.” – Alaffia

12. Naked Flamingo

“We are an organic + plant based skincare line for all skin types. We create products with you in mind, and opt to deliver the best + minimal ingredients for all formulas. NF was made to serve one purpose..HEALTHY skincare. There was a time where I did not want to get up and go to work because I was having a horrible cystic + hormonal acne breakout. * Raise your hand if you’ve been there. Having acne prone skin is definitely a challenge at times. One day you wake up and you’re free and clear.. literally. Other days your face is covered in pimples and you don’t know where you went wrong. That my friend is why we’re here. We take pride in providing different types of skincare products like gels, fruit + AHA masks, and powerhouse ingredients to kick out dirt and welcome new skin! We opted for plant based + organic ingredients because they are truly the best option for you. Each batch is made with love,care, and powerful yet minimal formulas to bring out the best in our products. We’re proud to say we’re 100% recyclable with biodegradable packing peanuts. All of our plastic packaging is totally recyclable. Do your part and help the earth! Sustainability is our ultimate goal.” – Naked Flamingo

13. Black Girl Sunscreen

“Our story begins with the need for melanin women to have a sunscreen brand that caters exclusively to them. From carrying expensive umbrellas to the beach and downright neglecting to go outside all together, our founder thought it was time to create a natural non-white residue sunscreen brand for women of color.2016 was the year Black Girl Sun Screen was created in the ever-popular city of Miami, Florida. Beach days are always necessary but blotchy makeup and white residue are two things we were frustrated with when enjoying a sunny day. In fact, all outside activities began to come to a halt since we knew how much sun rays would damage the skin. (even ours)This past year has been truly amazing! From touching down in Nigeria (yay we’re international now!) to being featured in Essence Magazine and debuting our kid’s line of Sunscreen-BGS Kids!We’re showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Did we mention the fact that you can find us in Target too!? It’s our goal to educate and protect melanin beauties worldwide. We’re reaching new heights and we want you in on the ride. Black Girl Sunscreen uses NO parabens, or other harmful chemicals while infusing the finest ingredients to shield and moisturize your melanated skin without the dreaded white residue common with most sunscreen. We plan on sprinkling this Melanin Magic everywhere…Come glow up with us! We’ll be glowing and growing all 2020 + beyond!” – Black Girl Sunscreen

14. Propa Beauty

“The true heroes of our lives will always involve a woman, starting from our mothers to our aunts, sisters and girlfriends. We make products that harness the fantastic work and support women give to each other every day. We are that sister, that friend who is rooting for the overcomers. Applauding you on, through big and small victories as you take on life by the Goals. As a female founder, makeup has played an important role in many key milestones of my life. During my corporate career, I wanted a makeup line that energized the courageous and confidence in women as we take on the battles to become leaders in our own fields. Makeup is powerful and its about time its marketed as an arsenal which goes beyond just getting cute. I want women to look their best on the outside, but also to feel their best on the inside. No more “MAKING IT WORK.” Over the last couple years, we have been painstakingly mixing pigments and formulas that have our skin tones at the center stage of beauty innovations. Never again will we have to say, “if only this shade was just a tiny bit darker, a tiny bit warmer or a tiny bit redder than it would be perfect for me.” Welcome to Propa Beauty Inc. Join us, as we embark on a mission to build a beauty tribe, leading by example as we launch a brand during these uncertain time of Covid-19, while motivating Queens everywhere. Welcome to our Queendom of Beauty!” –Propa Beauty

15. The Lip Bar

“The Lip Bar is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that exists to help change the way you think about beauty.  Every day people are being told how to be beautiful – so we’re here to remind you that you don’t have to change. You Are Enough! In 2012, I launched The Lip Bar because everywhere I looked, the media was telling women that beauty looked a certain way. I hated it! So I started making lipstick in my kitchen because I believed beauty shouldn’t compromise health and because I was determined to change the way people thought about beauty. There is no standard! You are the standard. I started The Lip Bar in my kitchen while working on Wall Street because I was tired of the beauty industry’s lack of diversity, lack of inclusion and excessive amounts of unnecessary chemicals. “Our rejection on Shark Tank was not easy, but at that moment, I had to make a decision.  And I decided that I would not give someone else power over my dreams.” – Melissa Butler, The Lip Bar founder. We went from 40 to 450 real quick! Now available in more than 450 Target stores nationwide, visit the store locator to find your favorite TLB lippie in a Target store near you. In February 2019, we opened our flagship store in the heart of downtown Detroit in Parker’s Alley. Surrounded by a community of women led businesses located just behind the Shinola Hotel, The Lip Bar store is an everyday reminder that dreams do come true!” – The Lip Bar

16. Eden Bodyworks

“As the old adage goes, “necessity is the mother of invention/when there’s a will there’s a way.” This exact sentiment is what drove Jasmine Lawrence to launch EDEN BodyWorks back in 2004. After facing her first beauty challenge — a hair-damaging chemical burn — at age 11, Lawrence was shocked to learn about the lack of natural products that could help nurture and restore her hair. So, in true entrepreneurial fashion, she took to her kitchen and began concocting her own remedies. As a leader whose vision for helping others has no bounds, Lawrence also maintains a dual-career in the field of technology. Currently, she is the Technical Program Manager of Facebook’s Social Good team, which specializes in building products that make it easier to connect people with the ones they love most. Prior to Facebook, Lawrence held positions at Microsoft through the company’s HoloLens Experience and Xbox Engineering teams.  For over a decade, coming up with straightforward solutions aimed at common, everyday beauty concerns has been EDEN’s promise to you. Inspired by nature, we offer quality products that treat and maintain the hair and body’s original design. Each of our collections combine the transformative power of benefit-rich ingredients known to deliver the best results. So no matter what you’re facing — whether it be tricky split ends or dry, dull skin — we’ve got you covered at an unbeatable price!” – Eden Bodyworks

17. SUNDAY II SUNDAY

SUNDAY II SUNDAY is specifically designed for active women. Life is an adventure, and we believe you shouldn’t have to compromise for your hair. Our products are made with active ingredients designed to restore moisture loss due to sweat, buildup and the environmental damage that takes place in between washes. We want to celebrate your active and that may look different for everyone. From a HIIT workout, to a marathon, skydiving, a night out dancing with the girls or a passionate night in with a loved one, active lifestyles vary. When used daily, our proprietary formulas are proven to deliver reduced itch in 15 minutes and a healthier scalp in just 28 days. SUNDAY II SUNDAY wants to empower you to sweat freely, because when it comes to your hair, we’ll handle the bounce back. Life looks good on you.” – SUNDAY II SUNDAY

18. Cold Laundry

“COLD LAUNDRY is a clothing brand founded in 2019 by Ola and Cerise Alabi. We believe in “escaping the noise”. The premise behind this is to escape the roughness, grit, and monotonous routine of everyday life. It is a place of peace and an aesthetic experience. Our clothes are meant to inspire, calm, and bring about happiness and pleasant thoughts. This philosophy is reflected through the tones, designs, and the locations we capture our imagery.” – Cold Laundry

19. Lait De Coco

Lait de Coco values the use of sustainability through a completely different experience, as the main focus. This way Lait de Coco delivers fashion to a world which desperately needs improvement. Putting Vintage into a new and visual way to present sophisticated clothes, is what makes Lait de Coco unique in her own way. The assortment of brand is based on a mixture of various styles. Inspiration comes from European romance with a tropical touch. Sunsets and palm trees, combined with the exposure of the female body, and ‘kitsch’, create the formula which makes Lait de Coco herself. The brand Lait de Coco is mainly focused taking individuals on a trip to a certain land where they want to be, what they aspire to be, and most importantly, what they can be. Besides the timeless- and handmade pieces, the brand also puts a great effort in expressing the female body in the most sophisticated way. Through the products they offer, an important message of uplifting women is carried, including all forms and shapes within the genre of the brand. The aim is to give women a certain sense of power along with raising environmental awareness.” – Lait de Coco

20. Grey Remedy Ceramics

Grey Remedy celebrates the creation of art as a form of meditation. For Melissa J. Chin, working with clay, which initially started out as a small hobby, quickly transformed into a lesson on the power of discipline, persistence, and patience. The focus and self-control required to create ceramics allowed Melissa to explore mindfulness in a way that she had never tapped into, inspiring her to pursue more balance in her life outside of the studio. Driven by this new passion, Melissa decided to dive into her creative journey in the summer of 2017. Grey Remedy is the product of her daily practice in making art to ground herself.  All Grey Remedy pieces are made with stoneware clay and are handcrafted from start to finish. The creation process, which involves forming the clay on the pottery wheel, air-drying it for several days, firing it in a kiln, glazing it, and then firing it again, takes several weeks for each item. Although producing stoneware inevitably involves tired hands and a lot (a lot!) of waiting, it is truly a rewarding labor of love. Grey Remedy’s elegant, minimalist pieces are designed to complement any space and create a soothing atmosphere. Our hope is that these pieces will help you to turn each part of your daily routine into a beautiful and peaceful moment.” –Grey Remedy Ceramics  

21. Isatu Hyde

“Potter and designer. Specializing in individual and batch production, wheel-thrown ceramics.” – Isatu Hyde

22. Predominantly Black

” Originated in 2015, Predominantly Black is a monochromatic boutique for humans and home. A majority of our items are made sustainably within the United States. We are a culture based on the beauty of simplicity, clean lines, & artistic execution. Our mission is to provide a perfectly curated space for all monochromatic whims, complete with a variety of textiles and silhouettes at your fingertips. PB believes in conscious consumerism, providing our extended family with a high quality long lasting item.” –Predominantly Black

23. The Koop

The Koop New York is a Brooklyn based scented candle company founded by Kristin Rose, former hospitality Marketing Manager. All of our candles are handmade and poured by one of our four team members. Our small but mighty team is dedicated to providing subtle luxuries to everyone.” – The Koop

24. The Honey Pot

“If you’re here because your honeypot is unhappy, I’ve been there. The whole reason I started The Honey Pot Co was because I was suffering from bacterial vaginosis for months and couldn’t get relief. One night, an ancestor visited me in a dream and gifted me with a vision to heal myself.  With her help, I created The Honey Pot Co to solve for what other brands wouldn’t, using the power of herbs.” – The Honey Pot

25. Chelsea Williams

Chelsea Williams is a plant-based public health nutritionist, media contributor, and wellness writer based in Los Angeles, CA. She serves as 1 of 6 Board of Advisors for The Well, a social brand by Samsung Mobile USA and POPSUGAR Fitness that focuses on wellness content and experiential events. Chelsea’s work has been featured on various media outlets such as TV One, Fox 45 News, ABC 7 News – WJLA, News Channel 8, ESSENCE, PR Newswire, and Beauty Independent. Chelsea possesses a Master of Public Health Nutrition (MPH) and is a Certified Communicator in Public Health (CCPH) through the National Public Health Information Coalition.” – Chelsea Williams

26. Hanahana Beauty

Hanahana began from a simple want to truly feel confident in my own skin. Four years ago, I decided that I was over buying skincare products without knowing what was actually in it. I went back to what I knew, shea butter! As a child, my mother would heat up shea butter and cloves and add them to her own body butter concoctions for our family to use. If you had a muscle pull, “use nkuto” was the answer (nkuto is the Twi name for shea butter). Your head hurts? “Rub nkuto.” Dry skin? “Use nkuto”—it was the go-to in our household. All of the information I gathered and my experiences lead me to my decision to start a business. Curiosity and research lead me see the lack of transparency and sustainability upheld within the beauty industry, abut also lead me to the Katariga Women in Tamale, Ghana. Meeting the Katariga Women and immersing myself  in the community inspired me to not only think creatively about creating a teaching experience for others to learn from but also to look deeper into Hanahana Beauty’s vision of uplifting women of color and sustainable direct sourcing. Hanahana Beauty is an all-natural, skincare + wellness brand whose mission is to disrupt the global beauty industry. Our intention is to increase accessibility, transparency, and sustainability in all aspects of what we create. From the fair sourcing of our shea butter, to the creation of our homemade products, down to the responsible representation of  people working with us at every end. Hanahana supports the uplifting of women of color through designing and making all our products with natural ingredients. Our products are made with love and shea butter directly from the Katariga Women’s Shea Cooperative in Ghana combined with natural oils. Our promise to you is that our products, made with all-natural ingredients, will have you feeling smooth + confident in your own skin.We simply want women to feel smooth and confident in their own skin, while being able to dismiss popular beauty standards and free their way of thinking.” – Hanahana Beauty

27. Flaunt Body

“Not just another skincare brand. What sets us apart is our focus on niche skin concerns. We create products that: Respond to Taboos – We tackle skincare solutions that previously weren’t addressed, which now, more consumers are willing to openly discuss. Provide Inclusive Solutions – Our products are suitable for all skin and skin types, including sensitive skin. On-the-Move Skincare – Consumers are increasingly mobile and seek time-saving solutions in order to consolidate routines. Our versatile, efficient products are designed for active, fast-paced lifestyles.” – Flaunt Body

28. Skin By Nequai

“Skin care has always been something that was important to Owner/Creator Shanah-Nequai Rieara. With a desire for clear skin and love for the environment, Skin By Nequai was born. We offer hand-crafted skincare that actually works to help keep your skin under control. We want you to feel beautiful and confident in your skin. Our products are designed to give you real results in as little as two weeks. Whether you’re battling hyperpigmentation, or pesky pimples, #SkinByNequai has you covered.” – Skin By Nequai

29. Klur

“Since the inception of KLUR, my vision has been to cultivate a brand that reflected the values of clean, ethical, and inclusive beauty.  For nearly a decade I have concentrated on helping others achieve skin wellness through personalized treatments and the creation of products defined by simplicity and usability. As an esthetician and formulator, I’ve always treated people with a complete approach to skin health; prioritizing minimalistic regimens that deliver multiple benefits and long-term results. This philosophy eventually led me to formulate a modest range of offerings for a devoted clientele of over 2500 people. With expert training and hands-on experience, I was able to document the effects of various ingredients and formulations on diverse skin conditions and ethnicities. I didn’t realize this at the time, but I was conducting user trials and gathering research data. All of which is the foundation for what KLUR has become today. To me, KLUR is more than just quality products and a conscious ethos. It’s about a human connection. At its heart, there is a well-considered functional approach in both process and products. We are an independent, self-funded, woman-owned and operated company. We believe that sustainability not only means addressing the long-term impact on our ecosystem but that we must also make products that meet the demands of everyday life. My hope is for you to experience the same luxurious results and enjoyment through simplification. Thus demonstrating skin wellness can be achieved with well-considered, clean products and minimal maintenance.” –KLUR

30. KNC Beauty

“Kristen Noel Crawley was strolling through Don Quijote in Tokyo, when….BAM, love at first sight. A wall of lip masks caught her eye, and she became OBSESSED with the idea of perfect, kissable lips. When she discovered there were no natural lip masks on the market, the solution was obvious: she had to create her own. Two years and countless trials later, Kristen created the first all-natural, collagen-infused lip mask that now sits on the lips of Hollywood royalty and has everyone saying: My mask,please.” –KNC Beauty

So, you made it to the end of the list? Hopefully that means you’ve been looking at each site and adding to your shopping cart! Happy Juneteenth part two!

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