According to data from the Small Business Administration, there are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States alone. By contrast, there are over 19 million white-owned businesses. Managing a business is always difficult, but Black-owned businesses face many unique challenges. Due to factors like a lack of funds and resources, 80% of Black-owned businesses fold within their first 18 months. Intentionally supporting these businesses helps them survive and thrive. What’s the impact? Supporting Black-owned businesses strengthens communities, helps companies create more job opportunities, and builds generational wealth for Black people. Here are 10 of these businesses that you can support online:
Women’s clothing, swimwear, accessories
Andrea Iyamah, a Nigerian fashion designer, owns the company that bears her name. In the brand bio, Iyamah is described as having a “flair for fashion and the arts,” which led her to master her tailoring skills and educate herself on fashion. She founded the A.I. brand at 17-years old. Since its creation, the brand has always sought inspiration from African cultures. Celebrities such as Ciara, Gabrielle Union, and Issa Rae have worn A.I.
This Miami-based brand was founded specifically for women of color frustrated by the lack of sunscreens designed with them in mind. Normal sunscreens leave white residue on dark skin. Black Girl Sunscreen’s formulation prevents this from happening. The sunscreen is natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and reef-safe. Healthy ingredients include aloe, shea butter, carrot seed oil, and more. The brand will also recycle empty containers for you. Products include a sunscreen with SPF 30, a matte broad-spectrum SPF 45, and a kid’s SPF 50 sunscreen.
Founder Nancy Twine’s grandmother taught her how to create natural hair products. After moving to New York City, Twine saw that the natural hair care available on the market didn’t live up to her standards. She founded her own brand: Briogeo Hair Care. The cruelty-free products don’t use any sulfates, silicones, parabens, DEA, synthetic color, or phthalates. On each bottle, you can see the percentage of naturally-derived ingredients and their source.
Founded by Aurora James in 2013, this brand’s goal is to preserve traditional African design and techniques. Brother Vellies also cares about the people who make the goods, so sustainability is integrated into every step of the process. That means using vegetable-tanned leathers, recycled tires, hand-carved wood, and more. Products are made in places like South Africa, Kenya, Italy, and New York City.
Founded by Amira Rasool, The Folklore describes itself as an “innovative online retail concept.” They sell luxury designer brands from Africa and the diaspora, giving contemporary artists, creatives, and brands a place to thrive. Their product line is carefully-curated and exclusive, which means they carry a limited stock of their products. Some styles are one-of-a-kind. The Folklore also provides wholesale services to African designer brands. This helps brands enter the global retail market and increase their profits.
Melissa Butler began making lipstick in her kitchen while working a Wall Street job. She wanted to challenge the beauty industry’s lack of inclusion, diversity, and reliance on unnecessary chemicals. After a rejection on Shark Tank, TLB kept going and in 2019, opened a flagship store in downtown Detroit. The lipstick’s ingredients are made from natural ingredients and enriched with shea butter, coconut oil, Vitamin E, and avocado oil.
Founded by Chantel Davis, a Jamaican model, this swimwear brand offers swimsuits that fit and accentuate curves. Davis spent more than a year researching and designing before the release of CASTAMIRA’s first one-piece swimsuit collection. The brand uses eco-friendly fibers and green packaging.
This London-based company offers a collection of hosiery and lingerie designed for women of color. Founder Ade Hassan got the idea after struggling to find items that matched her skin tone. Her company gained immediate and dramatic attention back in 2014 when she posted the first product photo online. Customers include Beyonce and her dancers, who wore the lingerie during the “Formation” world tour.
Recently named a Dame by Queen Elizabeth, Pat McGrath has a long career as a makeup innovator. Nicknamed “the mother of makeup,” McGrath is arguably the most influential makeup artist in the world. On the company website, she describes Pat McGrath Labs as her “Golden Revolution.” The collection includes lipsticks, eyeliners, eyeshadow, foundations, and more.
Cashmere Nicole founded this beauty brand in 2011, which is committed to high-quality, healthy ingredients in its inclusive products. They’re now sold in 1,000 locations around the world. Beauty Bakerie is also dedicated to social justice initiatives, such as Sugar Homes, which supports qualified orphanages with funds and supplies. The company’s executive team is 75% Black, while the Board of Directors is 60% Black.