An important way to support the Black community and especially Black women-owned businesses beyond a Black square on Instagram is with your spending power. When you’re shopping for vintage chairs, fashion or skincare, do you ever wonder who’s profiting from your dollars? Researching brands and products can be time-consuming, but 100% worth it if you’re going to be supporting a business owner from a Minority. However, we’ve done all the work for you. In celebration of Black History Month, we have collated nine inspiring Black women doing remarkable things in the world of beauty, art, culture and tech.
Zerina Akers founded BOE in the summer of 2020. What started off as an Instagram account to draw attention to Black-owned businesses soon became an e-commerce site which now features over 30 brands bringing everything from fashion, beauty and homeware under one roof. Speaking of BOE, Zerina Akers says “Our goal is to change the narrative and to invite you to support Black-owned businesses, celebrate Black creators, and participate in an inclusive, unified community”.
Monti Landers, a model turned swimwear designer, launched Riot Swim back in 2016 as a brand made for and by Black women. Featuring a full range of tonal nudes and vibrant colourways, the collection caters to a diverse range of body shapes and skin tones. With her minimal aesthetic and high waisted silhouettes, Monti Landers is a name to remember come summer.
Maggie Holladay made her transition from fashion to furniture with Claude Home. The carefully curated e-commerce site features a range of pieces from velvet sofas, to minimalistic clean-lined sculptures, giving a nod to her vintage aesthetic. Holladay also uses her platform to highlight unique interior artists, for those on the hunt for luxury pieces.
Black Girl Sunscreen was founded by Shontay Lundy in 2016 in the hot Miami heat. After searching for melanin sunscreen to no avail, Lundy recognised the need for women of colour to have a sunscreen catered to a darker skin tone. BGS uses all-natural ingredients and leaves no sign of white residue on the skin. Her brand retails in the US and Nigeria, with international shipping available.
Karen Young founded the skincare company, Oui The People back in 2015. The skincare company aims to change unrealistic beauty ideals with the ethos that “beauty shouldn’t come at the expense of our psyche”. Committed to changing the language of beauty, Young aims to build “efficacious products, designed thoughtfully, that help you feel great in the skin you’re already in.” The brand specialises in shaving essentials, hair removal and body care.
Dossé-Via is the founder of Know The Zodiac, a monthly astrology subscription service. The service offers a month to month subscription containing a full scope run down of Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars and Rising signs for the month ahead. After building her business for the last ten years, she has amassed a large fan base, including the likes of Katy Perry, Ella Mai and Miguel under her belt. Alongside Know The Zodiac, she runs Magic and Melanin, a travel company that provides tourists in West Africa with immersive two-week trips, that help support local entrepreneurs.
Ethel’s Club, founded by CEO Naj Austin, is an online social and wellness club designed to centre and celebrate people of colour. Using her matriarchal grandmother as inspiration, Austin created a healing space to highlight the Black community through conversation and creativity. The online collective provides daily classes surrounding the topics of wellness and culture to connect like-minded people in the community
Brittney Escovedo of Beyond 8, offers a next-gen approach to brand management and production. Her agency provides a diverse and interactive experience for clients across tech, fashion, art, music and lifestyle. Escovedo’s mission statement is to cultivate meaningful and authentic partnerships within the creative field and to promote multicultural awareness and inclusivity. She represents brands such as Pyer Moss and Deveaux New York.
The Blk Pact is brought to you by entrepreneurial trio Melissa Butler, Sierra Ivee and Simone Ashley White. The ethos behind the company is to drive economic empowerment to the Black community. The site features over 500 ‘Black Pact certified’ companies that have signed up to the directory. The aim is to allow customers to harness their collective buying power to uplift Black businesses. The Blk Pact states “By prioritising Black merchants and businesses when shopping, we aim to redistribute wealth, reallocate power to the people”.