Are you trying to find a “lane” for your activism? Why not start with supporting Black Womxn owned businesses? Last week, when I was co-quarantining with some of our chosen family, and dealing with my oldest kid’s mental health flare up, and watching powerful protests and terrible tear gas, someone on Instagram shared an image that showed the different “lanes” of activism. I’ve been at the activism game for a long time (like, since 6th grade), and over the years I’ve learned that there are many many ways to do activism. And the truth is, we’re not able to do all the things all the time. So while I’ve done my time on the streets marching for justice, June of 2020 is just not that chapter in my life.
So there I was, stuck in the house, not able to do much other than post on Instagram, run my diversity focused business, text my Black Womxn friends to check in, and helplessly scroll through the news on Twitter. And that frankly didn’t feel like enough. I wasn’t actually DOING anything that was of concrete help. But then my friend posted about lanes of activism, and I remembered: there are so many ways that we can be of service. And literally nobody (particularly people you don’t know on social media) should tell you the right way for you to be in service in any particular moment. Figuring that out is between you and your soul.
As we all know, I am deeply passionate about womxn owned small businesses. And 2020 keeps throwing stuff at us so fast that we can’t keep up, but the fact of the matter is that we’re still in an economic… depression, if we’re being honest. And economic downturns are particularly hard on business owners that don’t have easy access to capital. Womxn in general have a hard time accessing capital, but Black Womxn are first among this group by a mile, on literally every metric.
So I decided that APW needed to create a roundup of Black Womxn owned businesses, that each of you could throw your support and dollars behind. But beyond that, I decided to shop for the cause. We all have to do something, and one of my lanes right now is opening my wallet. So we put together this round up, and then I spent… kind of a lot… of money buying things off it. I bought stuff for me (I’ve noted which things I bought in the roundup). I bought things for several of my POC/ otherwise marginalized friends as gifts, because I knew they needed love. And I created a list of things I still need to buy. In fact the moment I put down my proverbial pen, and stop writing this post, I’m going to buy a few more things, #sorrynotsorry.
But the best thing that this roundup did for me was to introduce me to a variety of Black Womxn owned businesses that offer products that I need on the regular, like cleaning solutions or beauty products. So next time I need those products, I’m going to head to this roundup first, and put my money where my mouth is, and make those businesses part of our regular shopping. Because justice isn’t a week in time, it’s a long haul. And #BlackLivesMatter isn’t a moment, it’s a movement.
So get out your wallets friends, and let’s get shopping.
Black Womxn Owned Businesses to Shop Right Now
Remember how I said I did a lot of shopping when I put together this roundup? One of the first things I bought was the Satori Notes CEO,000,000 bracelet, to remind me of my currently goals. Then I bought an online friend suffering from COVID another bracelet, but really I could fill an arm with them. (And you probably should too.)
Love Iguehi is close to my heart, because the designer lives quite literally around the corner from me. Her skirts are stunning, affordable, and custom made in exactly your size. (I’ve wanted one for ages, and really need to get on it.) She’s also currently making face masks, and her head-wraps are to die for.
From earrings (like these abalone stunners, which are perfect for the Slytherins in your life) to face masks, to plants, Queen Los Angeles has you covered. (Bonus points for affordability.)
Literally the only thing I have to say about this jumpsuit is “why don’t I have it yet?” But the Pinky Rose Boutique is full of flowing statement outfits that have SIP written all over them. (They also double as high fashion protest wear.)
If only I had an endless budget, I’d be the owner of many (many) high end Brother Vellies shoes. These Sahara Pompon Boots are just what we need to kick 2020 up a notch, but I’d wear these lime green heels… everyday? (Being unable to walk has never stopped me before.) If your budget is more limited, check out their Bodega section for a small impeccable selection of affordable home goods.
How is this for a high fashion jumpsuit that’s comfy enough for WFH. (Is anyone else wearing jumpsuits for WFH or just me?) If that’s out of your budget, House of Aama has amazing Southern Girl tote bags, that have that Beyonce Formation Southern Gothic vibe.
Breegan Jane is an incredibly talented interior designer in Los Angeles, and a lifestyle blogger. Her Maasai Collection, is a selection of handmade jewelry that rases money to help combat FGM practices in Kenya. Proceeds go to World Vision’s Child Protection Through Education in Kenya Campaign.
If you’re looking for the perfect WFH outfit, Oakland’s Taylor Jay Collection has you covered. We’re talking elevated basics, beautiful dresses and capes too. And truly, who doesn’t need a cape in these times?
When I asked y’all for your fav Black Womxn owned businesses on Instagram, one of you mentioned Latoya Boyd Jewelry. I have her Gold Sunburst Ring on my wishlist, and her earring game is strong… and y’all know how I feel about a statement earring.
McMullen is a local-to-us Oakland shop is an all inclusive concept shop for luxury womenswear featuring emerging and established designers from around the world. It’s LUX, and is impeccably curated.
Unlike many companies that are white owned and re-sell African made artisan goods and pocket the profits, SubSahara Expedition sells handmade Sub Saharan African goods that raise money for girls in Senegal. This wallet is made with Senegalese wax printed cloth, and I am (deeply) feeling it.
I live and die by my gold bangles. And yes I take them off for typing, and yes I wear them anyway. These Naked Bangles are legit my idea of everyday. And if that’s not your jam, Sun & Selene has amazing Zodiac jewelry too.
For the days you just want to stride into the bedroom like the Goddess you really truly are. Own that shit, womxn. Anya Lust is your go to for high end lingerie and sleepwear that is #bless, inclusive of plus sizes too.
Maybe you’re less a fabulous lingerie type and more a jeans and a t-shirt type. We’ve got you covered with reader fav Geek Chic Fashion, that makes everything jersey sexy.
Looking for on point vintage fashion that is LITTTTT? I mean, of course you are. Aren’t we all? Well The Collective at Indigo Style has you covered.
Home Decor & Supplies
Funny story, when Justina Blakeney first made our Black Womxn roundup, I was confused, because I know Justina as a Jewish woman. Spoiler: she’s both, and I learned something new! Her Hamsa quilt is on the list of every Jewish womxn I know, and these 3 Piece Planters are everything.
Jen Hewett is a printmaker, surface designer, textile artist and teacher. All of her products are also basically sold out right now. But this set of postcards is not, and you can buy it to send notes of love and support to all the activists and Black an WOC you know who need extra love right now.
You know what you need right now? Self care for the revolution. And girl, we gotchu. Lot XI has you covered with everything from soaps to bath tea, organic sugar scrubs (live by these), to Eucalyptus Fresh spray Eucalyptus Fresh spray (need one), to handcrafted body butters which I’m about to go buy.
UNWRP says “Now you will finally understand why your grandmother wanted to save the wrapping paper,” which really makes me feel seen. Apparently it wasn’t only my grandmother. UNWRP doesn’t just have wrapping paper, they also have pillows and scares in a bunch of bold feminist patterns (like these nails OMG.)
Post 21 is what happens when this roundup becomes a store. It focuses on modern and design forward products from black owned businesses, and the curation is real good. The products cover a lot of lifestyle ground, but this doll (currently sold out, but you can enter your email to get on the waiting list) is just perfection. And if you haven’t diversified your kids toys, 2020 is your time.
Hi. There is a Black Womxn owned paint company. So Clare is where I’ll be getting my paint from now on, the end.
The world of home decor can feel dominated by (frankly appropriative) white voices. So I was delighted to find Laura Hodges Studio, which is impeccably curated, and brings a voice to the space that isn’t the same as the ones that my Instagram feed is currently inundated with. TL;DR: Please, please, please buy your mudcloth pillows from a Black owned biz.
Y’ALL. GEODE PLANTERS, TEA LIGHTS AND VESSELS. Like I’m not even sure what to say. We’re on high alert right now. Buy them all from Tal & Bert.
I cannot be the only person who is newly interested in home cleaning products, being stuck at home all the damn time. But what if you want to clean for the revolution? I mean, who doesn’t. And PurHome has you covered, with really… everything.
Do I need a throw? Well, I guess I need one now. This one is handwoven in Ethiopia, but that’s not all. Hana Getachew started Bolé Road Textiles out of a desire to merge her love of Ethiopian handwoven fabrics with her career in interior design. And the results, my friends, are stunning. Shower curtain anyone?
Food & Drink
Looking for Black Womxn owned wine? WELL WHO ISN’T, REALLY? This beautifully designed wine in a can by The McBride Sisters is cute enough for your virtual bridal showers too.
Look. I was excited when I figured out that a business called Harlem Chocolate Factory existed. But then I saw these, and my life was forever changed. I mean, truly, what else is there to say? Mail these as a gift to someone who needs one, and it’s totally fine if that someone is yourself.
Three things I love (like in a deep deep LOVE kind of way): Tea, Brooklyn, and supporting Black Womxn owned businesses. Brooklyn Tea combines all three of my loves, and I am here for it. It’s in Bed-Stuy, which is close to my old home in Flatbush.
Remember when Queer Eye made over a BBQ place (owned by two very charming and proud Black Womxn), helped them mass produce their sauce, and then it all sold out overnight? Yup. Jones Bar-B-Q is the place. And if KC BBQ sauce is your style, now is the time. (“Est. 1970… something.” The story of all long term businesses.)
I’m sorry. I forgot my politics because I saw the “Birthday Cake” flavor and was like “WHO CARES I’LL GET IT!” But yes, friends, Partake Foods is Black Womxn owned, and they sell cookies for folx with dietary restrictions. All the cookies. School safe and top 8 allergen free. And we all need cookies.
What do we want? Wellness! When do we want it? Now. Golde has us covered. I should probably get this Turmeric Latte, since it’s supposed to be anti-inflamatory, and I’m finding 2020 to be VERY inflammatory. But everything they offer is pretty much what we need right now.
I just want pancakes all the time these days, and I will happily take my pancakes with a side of good politics. But a little known fact about me is that my Dad’s family is very (very) Southern, so what I’m really going to get from Southern Culture Artisan Foods is this Sweet Alabama Cornbread mix. Because I have been craving good cornbread. (And this topic is very controversial in the south, but I like my cornbread sweetened.)
Callaloo Box is a Trinidad and Tobago & Caribbean online grocery & subscription box service delivering seasonings, condiments, spices, pepper sauces, drinks, snacks & more directly to your door. I have a girlfriend from Trinidad and Tabago who could use exactly this right now, and some of you probably could too.
You know what I love? Food with damn flavor (extra points for spice). So I’m real excited to discover Essiespice, who’s logo has an actual chili on it.
Wine. It’s how we survive 2020. (I mean I wish this was a joke, but it isn’t really.) Black Womxn owned wine from Theopolis Vineyards? It’s how we survive 2020 in style.
Beauty & Self-Care
Did I buy this? Yes. Did I buy this for several friends? Also yes. Not only does Melanin Haircare sell these beautiful headwraps, they also have a line of natural and organic hair products ranging from style creams to conditioner. I have on good authority that they won’t make your hair as magical as their founders hair (I’ve met her in person, and I can attest that her hair is a gift from the heavens), but every Black Womxn I’ve talked to about it assures me it’s damn good product. (Also: prove investors who turned them down wrong by buying the shit out of this.)
This was recommended by one of my Black Womxn friends who goes bold with her makeup, and always tells me to do the same. High pigment cosmetics are the name of the game at Juvia’s Place. The eyeshadows are a customer favorite but make sure not to miss out on the highly reviewed matte foundations, in all the tones.
The Honey Pot offers organic, biodegradable (and cruelty-free) menstrual care products only made from the good stuff. And if there is any place we should be putting only products made by womxn, it’s for sure our vaginas.
The same friend who recommended eyeshadows sent me here. She loves a bright lip and she is always on me to wear one. Famous for their highly pigmented lip products, The Lip Bar makes vegan cosmetics made for everyone.
I have been on a quest to figure out how to manage my not quite curly but really frizzy hair, and so many products want you hair to be one thing or another. Pattern doesn’t. Their products range focus on hair they call: curlies, coilies, and tight textures. So I bough a bunch of products from Pattern (including this spray bottle which seems like NBD but produces a long diffuse spray, which is just what I want.) Did I order a bunch of product so I could look at the design? Maybe. But I’m excited to report back on how it works for my hair. Everything I’ve tried so far has been truly excellent.
Let’s be honest, we could all use a little R&R right now. Whether that’s in the form of herbal teas, herbal bath soaks or body oils, Àse Naturals has you covered.
Sucka Free Shampoo, say no more. The Doux was formulated pro-stylist and developed in a textured hair salon, so you know your curly hair is in good hands!
Made with rosewater, starfruit and cucumber extracts, Lauren Napier Beauty wipes are a much less chemically heavy way to have wipes in your makeup kit. And for those of us who live and die by makeup, we know wipes are a must have. (Also, I’m a sucker for rosewater anything.)
We know not all nudes are created equal. And the gals behind Mented Cosmetics know that too. They started their company with nude lip shades for everyone and have since expanded to a whole line of cosmetics, including a line of nude nail polishes that actually compliment more than one skin complexion. No more ballet pink = flesh toned.
It all started with lip masks, but it’s the Supa Balm that our readers can’t stop talking about. Something about sitting in one place all the damn time has made me really sensitive to keeping my lips moist, so I’m 500% excited to try this. Bonus points to KNC Beauty for great product design.
Looking for handmade high quality hair care products? Are you the type of human (like me) who has a hair-wash day? Ecoslay has everything you need, and magical bundles you can send as gifts or keep for yourself. (And don’t be fooled, while their products are named after food, they are not in fact food.)
Eyeliner is my always and forever makeup product, and it can be really hard to find the right one. This one promises to be precise, long lasting, AND removable, which is the dream. UOMA Beauty has so many good makeup products for all skin tones, and it’s about damn time.
Looking for nail polish for your new routine of DIY in home mani pedis? Yeah, me too. Pear Nova has an extensive collection, including gel lacquer in dopeAF shades, including complementary mani pedi duos like this one.