There are lots of ways to support the struggle against police brutality. You can donate money to a local grassroots organization. You can join a protest if you feel you can do so safely. You can educate yourself and, if you are white, talk to other white people about racial justice. But one of the most direct and sustainable ways to support the Black community is to shop at Black-owned businesses, many of which have been disproportionally affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
We first created this directory of (now almost 200) Black-owned businesses in June 2020, and this is our second big update of it since then. Previously, we pulled recommendations from a variety of sources including our writers’ and editors’ reporting. This time around, we focused primarily on adding the brands Strategist staffers themselves have been buying from. To make it easier to browse and give you plenty of ways to show support, we’ve sorted the 198 brands into seven different categories: beauty brands, bookstores, clothing and accessories, food and drink, fitness, home décor, and gift shops and beyond. We acknowledge that this list is far from complete and skews toward New York City–based businesses (where most of our team is located), but we will continue to update and add more national and non–New York local businesses moving forward. If you want to jump to a specific category, use the links below.
Some of these beauty products were recommended to us by experts in our reporting, others were recommended by friends and colleagues, but the majority of them are part of our writers’ and editors’ regular grooming routines.
Ace Beaute was founded by Niye Aniekan-Attang in 2015 to sell cruelty-free faux-mink lashes; now it also offers brightly colored eye-shadow palettes and a wide range of nail and beauty tools. —Aisha Rickford
Aini Organix is an Africa-inspired natural skin-and-body-care company. They make shea- and coconut-oil products with botanical ingredients, including a wide range of serums with ingredients like jasmine and Moroccan rosewater. —A.R.
Alaffia focuses on fair-trade natural hair, face, and body care with products that center on a few key ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, and coconut oil, all of which are sourced from cooperatives in West Africa. You can buy its popular bubble baths, body lotions, and deodorants at Whole Foods or Amazon; profits support the Alaffia Foundation, an organization involved in empowerment initiatives in Africa. —A.R.
Shontay Lundy founded Black Girl Sunscreen, a moisturizing sunscreen for women of color in 2016, after growing frustrated with the unflattering white cast caused by most sunscreens. The line’s sunscreens — one for adults and one for kids — have nourishing ingredients like jojoba and avocado and range from SPF 30 to SPF 50. “I can confirm that it never leaves a white cast when I use it,” says Elisa Johnson, who recommended it to us, “and it blends seamlessly with makeup.” —A.R.
Model, actor, and recording artist Dorion Renaud was inspired to create Buttah Skin after discovering the revitalizing effects that the simple combination of a gentle cleanser, vitamin-C serum, and shea butter had on his own skin. The vitamin-C serum is also a favorite of Elisa Johnson’s, who says it gives her “a smoother, more even complexion.” —A.R.
Ron Robinson worked as a cosmetic chemist for big beauty brands like Lancôme, Clinique, and Estée Lauder for decades before launching BeautyStat. After just a few weeks of daily use, its vitamin-C serum helped me fade some dark marks caused by early quarantine stress picking, and it also have an eye cream I’m itching to try. —Dominique Pariso
In 2011, Dana Jackson was diagnosed with lupus and completely changed her life. Because of certain symptoms of the disease, she had to take an all-natural approach to beauty and wellness. Her products have completely natural ingredients, and they can be found at Credo Beauty as well as on her own site. Her skin soufflé is her hero product, and it’s magical. —Chloe Anello
Brought to our attention by Byrdie writer (and Strategist contributor) Sydney Gore, BLK + GRN is a beauty and wellness marketplace full of all-natural products — all of which are made by Black artisans. We especially love its gift sets, whether for gifting or keeping for yourself, which feature a myriad of the retailer’s best products. —Casey Lewis
Hair-care label Bread Beauty Supply — named for the brand’s belief that its products are a daily essential for curly hair — is relatively new, having launched in 2020. Founder Maeva Heim was inspired by the products she saw in her mother’s braiding salon, and the brand carries its own wash, scalp serum, and two different oils. Its lip-gloss-like Hair-Oil is a personal fave, giving my curls a little more shine and definition than I would get with just an air-dry. —Ambar Pardilla
At one of Skål’s outdoor markets — another Black-owned business — I came across these luxury nail polishes with the best Brooklyn-centric names (“Yerrr,” anybody?). Founded by Bed-Stuy native Ariel Terry, the lacquers are also 11 and cruelty free. —Chelsea Peng
Nancy Twine, who grew up making homemade hair products with her grandmother, is the founder of Briogeo, a clean, natural hair-care line that caters to all textures. Rio Viera-Newton is a fan of its Don’t Despair Repair Mask because it has “the ability to moisturize my sad hair without creating any heaviness,” and finds it to be a good dupe for the Christophe Robin masks. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
Self-taught makeup artist Danessa Myricks’s eponymous beauty company produces makeup that targets specific skin types and makeup goals — dividing products into those concerned with either complexion, color, or glow. The brand is also known for its highly pigmented color palettes. —A.R.
Environmental scientist Evelyn Nyairo founded Ellie Bianca, which makes vegan and cruelty-free skin-care products. The hero product is Rose Skin Oil, but the Breathe Bath Salt and Luxe Day/Night Serum are also standouts. The company also makes an exclusive line of spa-grade products. And perhaps best of all, Ellie Bianca supports the women who harvest the shea and other ingredients for its products, making them great for those with both sustainability and fair trade in mind. —A.R.
This skin-care line from Nigerian entrepreneur Ozohu Adoh includes a high-end face oil, night balm, and hydrating serum — all of which are made with Africa-sourced ingredients that are formulated to target “dryness and discoloration caused by the sun, free radicals, and air pollution.” —A.R.
Kayla Phillips, a touring hardcore/punk/metal musician, founded Foxie Cosmetics in 2015. And because Phillips lives with chronic pain, she started out making soothing bath bombs and salts but has expanded since to create hair, skin, body, and fragrance as well. Vegan since age 14, Phillips ensures that products are cruelty free and sustainably made. Most impressively, all of the products are handcrafted, packaged, and shipped by Phillips herself. —A.R.
Hanahana Beauty, founded by Abena Boamah-Acheampong, is a clean beauty brand that sustainably sources its shea butter and pays double the fair-trade price to its suppliers. Its shea butter comes in a variety of scents, including vanilla lavender, amber vanilla, and eucalyptus, but lemongrass is a favorite of Strategist beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, because “it literally smells like summer.” It also makes a face scrub, lip treatment, and an exfoliating bar. —D.P.
Created by a former performer Hassan Sayyed, Haus Urban takes into consideration what stage performers need for their skin to counteract stage makeup, sweating in said makeup, and more. His line is all-natural and includes everything from body butters and oils to face washes and toners.
Highbrow Hippie was started by beauty-industry veterans Myka Harris and Kadi Lee. They stock their shops — online and in Venice, California — with thoughtfully sourced wellness and beauty products, including their own line of small-batch honey-infused bath salts. —C.L.
Bea Dixon started making feminine-care products in her kitchen, and today they are sold at large retailers like Target, Urban Outfitters, and Walgreens. They are 100 percent natural but still clinically tested and gynecologist approved. The line encompasses everything from organic tampons to bath bombs to feminine washes for everyone from the most sensitive to expectant mothers. —J.M.W.
Desiree Verdejo created Hyper Skin after a bout of hormonal pregnancy acne left her with stubborn hyperpigmentation. Its first product, Hyper Clear, is an affordable vitamin-C serum formulated with 15 percent skin-brightening ascorbic acid as well as kojic acid and vitamin E. —D.P.
Keeping with her mission to use her platform for good, tennis player Naomi Osaka’s sunblock line was developed with the intent to dispel myths about melanin-rich skin not requiring sunscreen. In addition to offering tinted sunscreens (that won’t leave a white cast on melanated skin), the line includes eye cream, facial oil, and more. —Sanibel Chai
KNC Beauty, founded by Kristen Noel Crawley after she observed the popularity of lip masks on a trip to Tokyo, makes all-natural collagen and retinol lip and eye masks with aloe, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin A. They’re a favorite of Elisa Johnson’s, who calls KNC Beauty’s retinol-infused eye mask a “literal face-saver.” —A.R.
Tony Johnson, son of Sierra Leonean immigrants, created his company after asking his parents what natural ingredients from back home they used to treat skin issues. Krio Skincare’s face, hair, and body oils are formulated with African oils like marula and baobab oil and have names that celebrate Sierra Leonean heritage, including Tacugama body serum, after Freetown’s chimpanzee sanctuary, and Bintumani hair oil, for the country’s highest mountain. —A.R.
Lauren Napier, former celebrity makeup artist, created a line of face wipes that don’t strip the skin and instead hydrate it as it takes off makeup. She created a different texture for the wipes, and they’re individually packaged, so they don’t dry out. They’re the ones I always buy for myself. —C.A.
Before Harlem-based salon the Nail Suite closed for the pandemic, “you’d be lucky if you could get an appointment two, three weeks out,” says founder Lisa Logan, manicurist for the stars and famous for designing Beyoncé’s nails for her “Single Ladies” music video. Now that New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening, you can book your appointment at the Nail Suite online or, if you’re not in New York, shop its nail colors. —A.R.
One of the original and best-known natural-hair vloggers of the past decade, Whitney White (a.k.a. Naptural85) co-founded her hair-care company, Melanin Haircare, with her sister Taffeta in 2015. A longtime proponent of clean, DIY natural-hair products, Melanin Haircare’s silicone-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, style cream, and oil use plant-based and safe-synthetic ingredients like camellia oil and mango butter, African black soap, and turmeric. The company also sells hair accessories like hats and headwraps. I absolutely love its products, which come in large sizes (16 ounces) at reasonable prices and have drastically improved the health of my hair since I started using them almost a year ago. My favorite is the Twist Elongating Style Cream, which is unscented and light enough to give my fine hair definition without weighing it down. —A.R
Gwen Jemmere started Naturalicious, a natural-hair-care company, with the mission to “eliminate the frustration, time, and expense” associated with Black hair and to assure customers with curly and coily hair that “they are the standard of beauty.” The company has products specifically made for all types of curl textures, including multi-step systems and treatments. —A.R
Awa Diaw and Chelsea Trotter started Nekawa as second-year M.B.A. students with a desire to share the uses of shea butter for hair, body, and health and to bring “minimalism” to beauty. Senegalese-born Diaw sources the shea and oils for lavender and unscented butters and baobab face serum from Senegal; 10 percent of all proceeds go to Amref Health Africa, a health-development nonprofit. – A.R.
A body-care company, founded by Karen Young, that makes the nicest reusable, direct-to-consumer razors I’ve ever seen. They also sell a body gloss, a gel-to-milk in-shower moisturizer, and bikini-line masks. —D.P.
Pat makes some of the most luxurious makeup products, and with her long list of celebrity supporters, she’s one of the most loved makeup artists.
Jacqueline Carrington decided to create her line of nail lacquers — designed specifically to compliment women of color’s skin tones — after her daughter took an interest in nail polish. The brand’s vegan, cruelty-free polishes come in a range of nudes as well as bright shades like lime and orange. —D.P.
Rooted Woman offers ethically made, vegan-friendly nail polishes, along with online self-care courses. Its nail polish comes in a range of muted, flattering colors — like a glittery pink called “Joyful” or a gleaming red aptly named “Unwavering.” Plus it’s the longest-lasting one that I’ve ever used. —A.R.
Jamika Martin started developing the idea for what would become Rosen Skincare, a brand with natural ingredients like fruit extracts, kojic acid, and clays, while an undergraduate at UCLA. Dissatisfied with what was available, Martin wanted to make “thoughtful products” for acne-prone skin — so Rosen was created for custom routines to target specific skin issues like scarring, texture, and hyperpigmentation. Its products are available on its site and at Urban Outfitters. —A.R.
Shea Radiance was created after Funlayo Alabi started mixing shea butter in her kitchen to treat her kids’ eczema and dry skin. Now, it’s a fair-trade hair-and-body-care company that utilizes sustainable supply chains to empower women and communities in West Africa. My favorite is the Antioxidant Body Cream, which has eucalyptus, ginger root, and baobab oils, giving it a rich and luxurious scent. You can buy its products from its website; they are also available at Whole Foods and Amazon. —A.R.
Dorian Morris founded Undefined Beauty, a botanical-and-CBD-powered beauty brand, with the dual mission of introducing the benefits of cannabis in skin care (like its popular Glow Elixir), and “infusing social purpose” into the beauty industry. Her brand is committed to highlighting the social-justice crisis of cannabis-related incarceration of people of color. —A.R.
As pointed out in our list of sunscreens for darker skin tones, Unsun, founded by Katonya Breaux, is one of the few sun-protection brands founded by a Black woman. This came expert-recommended as one of the best tinted mineral formulas out there that works for a wide range of skin tones. —J.M.W.
Sharon Chuter, a former beauty executive, started Uoma to bring more diversity to the world of beauty. I recommend its foundation, which has one of the largest shade ranges on the market. —C.A.
When Illeisha Lussiano’s Lower East Side hair salon the Way had to close due to COVID-19, she created a braiding kit so people could braid their hair at home. You can buy the kit at Lussiano’s online store, which also sells hair accessories, home incense, and, in a very 2020 move, face masks. —A.R.
One of the best ways to be anti-racist is to learn about anti-racism, and one of the best places to buy books is at a Black-owned bookstore. Some of these shops are ones our writers frequent in their own neighborhoods. We also found several recommendations in the comments section of this post on Cup of Jo and on Instagram from Iris de la Torre and Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Chelsea Kravitz has also compiled a list of Black-owned bookstores across the country that we referenced; you can find the full list here. —Maxine Builder
Cafe con Libros — which means “coffee with books” in Spanish — is an intersectional feminist community bookstore and coffee shop in Prospect Heights.
Located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Frugal Bookstore is a community bookstore with the motto “Changing Minds One Book at a Time.”
Named after Harriet Tubman, this bookstore in Philadelphia’s Fishtown specializes in books by women authors.
For Keeps Books is an Atlanta-based bookstore that carries rare and classic Black literature as well as records and T-shirts. —Hilary Reid
Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fulton Street Books has curated an Ally Box, which is “is a three-month limited book subscription for allies (and those who seek to be allies).”
The Lit. Bar, which opened in 2019, is the only bookstore in the Bronx, serving the borough’s 1.5 million residents.
Loving Me Books
Angela Nesbitt, a registered behavioral therapist, created Loving Me Books to bring parents and children books with more diverse characters and story lines. You can buy from her online stock, but she also provides services to schools, day-care centers, and book fairs.
Mahogany Books started as an online bookstore a decade ago, specializing in books “written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.” It opened a storefront in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and is still committed to making books accessible to all.
Malik Books is an independent bookstore in Los Angeles that specializes in works by African American authors and programming centered on African American culture, like a Nipsey Hussle reading list that celebrates the L.A. rapper’s legacy. –Aisha Rickford
Semicolon is Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore.
Sister’s Uptown has been serving Washington Heights for 20 years, opened and operated by Janifer Wilson and her daughter Kori. They sell their books online via oneKin and recently put together a “Consciousness Reading Book Guide” on Instagram.
Newark’s only African American–owned bookstore Source of Knowledge had to close because of the coronavirus. It is running a GoFundMe to help keep the family business alive, continue to serve the community, and feed its employees. —Liza Corsillo
Clothing and accessories
The stores and brands included here come from a variety of sources: Some were culled from Black-Owned Brooklyn, a website that profiles Black business owners in the borough, others are places where I personally love to shop, several have been mentioned in our “What I Can’t Live Without” series, and dozens were shared on Instagram, including by Teen Vogue fashion and beauty features director Tahirah Hairston; actor and writer Jordan Firstman; and Lawrence Schlossman and James Harris, hosts of the popular podcast Throwing Fits. —Hilary Reid
Anya Lust is a luxury lingerie e-commerce business founded by Krystle Kotara. On the site, you’ll find pieces from a range of smaller high-end lingerie designers as well as links to sign up for Sensual Yoga and Tantric Date Night workshops.
After a hugely successful run in the 2000s, designer Kimora Lee Simmons relaunched Baby Phat — one of the first streetwear lines for women — last year and is now running it alongside her daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. —Karen Iorio Adelson
BedStuyFly offers graphic tees, hats, jackets, and sweats for men and women and has stores in Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg.
I love Chris Echevarria’s confident, go-with-anything loafers, and I’m not alone — in just the past few months, three other guys have recommended them on our site. As menswear writer Jordan Bunker explains, their “chunkier, more modern, almost sneakerlike shape slots in easily with wide jeans, shorts, and gym socks as well as suits.” Beyond their silhouette, the shoes are Goodyear welted, meaning they’re waterproof and will hold up for years to come. —Louis Cheslaw
Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst wrote about Bed-Stuy’s BLK MKT Vintage, which is owned by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart. The couple combs flea markets and estate sales for Black ephemera (including 1970s Afro picks and 1970s anti-apartheid stickers), which you can find on their website alongside art and vintage pieces.
A menswear store located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Circus was featured in Black-Owned Brooklyn, where owner Ouigi Theodore cited “Cooley High, sports, Jay-Z Brooklyn, Spike Lee Brooklyn” as the reference points for styles carried in the store.
Brother Vellies makes fine leather goods including handbags and shoes that range from summery huarache sandals to thigh-high boots. It was founded by Aurora James, who established the 15 Percent Pledge (which asks major retailers to devote 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses). —Dominique Pariso
Los Angeles–based designer Cameron Tea uses wooden beads to make bucket hats, rectangular mini-purses, and bags that are shaped like hearts.
A swimsuit line founded by former model Chantel Davis, Castamira has bathing suits that are designed to support women with curves and come in sleek one-shouldered cuts as well as ruched designs with lace-up details.
Los Angeles–based CBAAF’s clothes are hand-dyed and made of 100 percent recycled cotton. Its current collection includes oatmeal and Black tie-dyed T-shirt, long-sleeve, and shorts sets.
Christopher John Rogers makes stunning womenswear pieces in voluminous silhouettes, including iridescent pink taffeta skirts and a red feather-trimmed bustier.
Elisa Johnson’s favorite sunglasses are from Coco and Breezy, an eyewear line founded in 2009 by Corianna and Brianna Dotson. As Johnson puts it, “In my opinion, you can’t beat the detail and quality of their products, which include regular eyewear in addition to sunglasses. When it comes to the latter, my favorite style is the Avatar. I love a good aviator shape, and these manage to look absolutely original while still giving off that classic look.” —Aisha Rickford
One of the shops I found through Firstman’s Instagram story, Cool and Casual Studios, is a Los Angeles–based shop that offers a mix of vintage and independent designers. You’ll find breezy striped linen shirts and ideal pairs of stonewashed vintage jeans.
Carly Cushnie started her eponymous brand in 2008 and offers clothes that are minimalist and elegant as well as a bridal line of sculptural gowns, jumpsuits, and suits for women.
Elisa Johnson also told us that her favorite sweatsuit is from Daily Paper, an Amsterdam-based men’s and women’s clothing brand created by Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei, and Abderrahmane Trabsini. “While a little on the pricey side for a sweatshirt and sweatpants, I think they’re worth the investment because together they make for an easy, wearable moment, and each is stylish enough to wear separately with other things from your closet.” —Leah Muncy
Darryl Brown’s focus is on minimal workwear — think Dickies or Carhartt but on a smaller scale. The heavyweight tees, hoodies, and pants are all made in the United States, and J.Crew and Nordstrom recently began stocking them, too. —Jordan Bowman
Detroit-based clothing label Diop makes diaspora-inspired streetwear, including fabric face masks inspired by mud cloth from Mali. For each mask sold, Diop is donating a portion of proceeds to coronavirus relief initiatives, including Feed the Frontlines, which supports Detroit restaurants and provides meals to emergency and health-care workers. —Liza Corsillo
New York City line Edas — which sells spiral earrings, hand-rolled jewelry dishes, and miniature leather bags — was started by Sade Mims, who is also the head designer for the brand.
Farai London is easily identified by its bold watercolor-like patterns, double-lined mesh fabric, and sexy cutouts (think Maddy from Euphoria). Since launching in July 2020, the brand has been worn by the likes of Kylie Jenner, and is now sold at Revolve and Selfridges. —J.M.W.
Flat Fifteen is London-based designer Francesca Kappo’s line of tiny handbags in iridescent silk and gingham that, as Kappo writes on the site, “your Aunty would probably wear to Church on a Sunday.”
FlameKeepers Hat Club’s mission is, in its words, “to pass the torch of good taste from one generation to the next.” Founded by hat-industry veteran Marc Williamson, the Harlem-based hat boutique offers an array of luxury hats, from cashmere baseball caps to wool fedoras, in a variety of custom sizes and styles. —L.M.
Bed-Stuy’s Gizmo Vintage Honey is where you’ll find retro patchwork tops, perfectly broken-in jeans, and utility jumpsuits.
We could all use a few more lounge sets these days, and this brand, which offers custom-made matching shorts, sweats, and tops, was included in Hairston’s stories.
Mother-daughter duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka started House of Aama in 2015. According to their website, the brand — which sells silk halter tops, corduroy jackets, and off-the-shoulder tops — “explores the folkways of the Black experience by designing timeless garments with nostalgic references informed by historical research, archival analysis, and storytelling.”
Founded by fashion blogger Fisayo Longe in 2016, Kai Collective is a London-based luxury womenswear brand providing ethically sourced clothing — like velvet statement skirts and vegan-leather dresses — at non-luxury price points. —L.M.
Founded by fashion and travel blogger Fisayo Longe, KAI offers glamorous ruched burnt-orange and purple skirts and patterned mesh going-out turtlenecks.
Kenneth Ize works with a small group of weavers and Nigerian artist-and-design groups to create its pieces. According to the brand’s site, its focus is on “reinterpreting examples of Nigerian craft to create an original perspective on luxury production within textile and fashion.”
When we talked to Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors about the things she can’t live without, dresses from Los Angeles clothing store Kutula by Africana were high on the list. “I grew up in Los Angeles and I used to go to this African store when I was maybe 18, 19, 20 years old, but they never had clothes for young people. I would go in because I liked the fabric, but I didn’t like the styles,” Cullors told us. “Then one day I was in the neighborhood, maybe a decade and a half later, and I walked into the store and was like, What the hell, this is not the same store. These two young women who are sisters, Bo and Kay, were like, We’re the daughters of the woman who used to own the store, our mom was going to get rid of the shop, and we were like, ‘No, this is a staple in the community, we’ll take it over.’” Now, Kutula offers ready-made and custom pieces, many of which you can find on its Instagram.
Label by Three’s clothes are designed and handmade in Phoenix, Arizona. The brand’s focus is on sustainability, and its designs are made in limited runs from dead-stock fabrics sourced from independent sellers in the United States.
Designer LaQuan Smith started his namesake brand when he was 21 and, on his site, describes the aesthetic as “unapologetically glamorous.” Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga have all worn his designs.
Another highlight in Hairston’s Instagram story, Alexandra Bunch’s Los Angeles brand Local European offers the sleek bike shorts, satin corsets, and ruched turtleneck dresses you might hope to wear out dancing again someday.
Rosemary Matovu opened her closet-size store on West 10th Street in 2007 and stocks it with truly fabulous vintage pieces picked up on her world travels: from cancan skirts to antique Victorian slips. Rosemary also makes her own fabulous pieces out of vintage finds.
Womenswear brand Maki Oh was founded in 2010 by Maki Osakwe, who, according to the site, “fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary construction.” The line has been worn by Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Founded by 26-year-old skater Adrienne Cooper, Moonlight Roller makes some of our favorite skates. Their site also features lots of gear and accessories like jelly-toe caps, light-up wheels, and a rainbow of laces. —D.P.
Designer Moshood Afariogun opened Moshood Creations in Fort Greene in 1994, and the store remained there for 25 years before it was forced out by high rents. The store has since reopened in Bed–Stuy, where you can find its signature wrap skirts, dashikis, dresses, jumpsuits, and patchwork pants. Moshood was also profiled on Black-Owned Brooklyn.
I came across this brand from Tahirah Hairston’s Instagram stories. Founded by Hleziphansi Zita, this line of architectural jewelry is elegant and sculptural — each piece reminds me of something you’d find in a museum, and the prices for the sterling silver and gold plating are reasonable.
Sisters Rachel Topping and Rikki-Richelle (whom I met at a Building Black Bedstuy event) created this brand with an eye to increasing the representation of authentic Blackness in the mainstream media. It does this through bold and beautiful messaging on everything from home goods to clothing to hair accessories — many of which I own and have gifted to others. —J.M.W.
After graduating with a B.F.A. from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Nia Thomas founded her eponymous NYC-based apparel and accessories brand with a focus on community and sustainability, offering responsibly sourced, recycled, reclaimed, and biodegradable goods like plant-dyed socks and recycled-silk scarves. —L.M.
On Nude Barre’s site, you’ll find hosiery and underwear in 12 different shades of nude. According to a feature in Forbes, CEO Erin Carpenter, a former Knicks City Dancer, started the line after struggling to find undergarments and tights that were actually “nude” — and not just beige.
Octave is a Brooklyn-based jewelry line of geometric pieces with hand-cut raw stones, including opal and mother of pearl.
Oma the Label carries thick gold hoops and rope chains that are easy to imagine wearing every day, along with flattering basics and bodysuits, including a square-neck leotard with high-cut legs.
Founded by Whitney Mero, Harlem’s Onion Cut & Sewn has been in business for over 20 years and sells vibrant dresses in jewel-tone solids and bright stripes.
The Nigeria-based brand Orange Culture was founded in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal, who works with ethically sourced fabrics from local Nigerian fabric-makers to create androgynous pieces, including iridescent button-down tops and beaded vests.
Bronté Laurent’s namesake label is all about finding clothes you’ll never want to take off — but it’s not loungewear. Instead, think recycled material turned into relaxed designs that you can still get dressed up in. Though if you are looking for something more casual, the brand also has limited-edition sweats and tees with an “Honor Black Women” logo. —J.M.W.
Peju Obasa is a London-based womenswear designer who makes bright knitted and crocheted belt bags with raffia and jersey yarn.
Included in Throwing Fits’s post of businesses, menswear brand Post-Imperial was founded by designer Niyi Okuboyejo in 2012. According to Post-Imperial’s site, the fabrics used in its garments are treated in Nigeria using a hand-dyeing process called Adire, which involves first hand-painting the fabric with a dye-resistant wax and then dipping the fabric in dye — the process results in gorgeous naturally dyed textiles with patterning.
Rebecca Allen’s shoes come in three simple silhouettes — minimalist two-strap high heels, a pump, and pointy-toe flats — and five different shades of “nude” that cover a wide range of skin tones.
Riot Swim sells the bathing suits that are all over your Instagram feed. Designed by Monti Landers, one of its most recognizable styles is a cheeky, deep-V one-piece, but the entire range consists of minimalist swimsuits in a range of colors from neutral to neon. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
L.A.-based Samaria Leah Denim, according to Samaria Leah, “marries the past and present” with its one-of-a-kind pieces made with upcycled vintage Levi’s. Each pair of denim is made to order (with a size range of 24 to 38) and styles range from lightly distressed cutoffs to lace-up mom jeans. —L.M.
The Bed–Stuy coffee-slash-clothing shop founded by Kai Avent-deLeon focuses on jewelry, home goods, and womenswear by emerging designers (it is also where Strategist senior editor Katy Schneider buys, as she puts it, “more of less all of her clothing”).
Brooklyn-bred Franci Girard was five-foot-ten by the time she hit fourth grade. So this brand was born out of a very real and longtime struggle to create actually stylish clothing for tall women (five-nine and over) — and she really, actually has. (That is, after she played professional volleyball, got an M.B.A. from Harvard, and went to Parsons.) The line just launched in 2019 with all manner of pants — jeans, leggings, palazzos — that are extremely flattering, at least judging by the way they look on Franci. —Jessica Silvester
I came across New York–based designer Tia Adeola’s brand on my Instagram discover page and immediately loved her Renaissance-inspired designs. Adeola launched the line from her dorm room at the New School (from which she graduated in 2019), and since then, her iridescent puff-sleeved ruffle crop tops have been worn by everyone from SZA to Dua Lipa, to Lizzo, to Gigi Hadid.
A vintage shop on Instagram and Etsy, Small Needs carries ’80s-glam lace corsets as well as timeless silk blouses and gold jewelry.
Based in Utah, Stella and Haas makes pieces that Elisa Johnson likes to call “layering jewelry” — minimal gold- and silver-tone pieces that are easy to mix and match. Johnson told us that she has an impressive collection of Stella and Haas hoops, bracelets, and necklaces and favors the brand’s Old English Zodiac necklace for its customizable, personal touch. —L.M.
Telsha Anderson’s online shop carries a sharply curated selection of popular independent designers, including Priscavera and Gauntlett Cheng, and magazines including Gentlewoman and Document.
Telfar Clemens’s eponymous brand Telfar was largely popularized thanks to its signature bags — which our colleagues at the Cut called the Bushwick Birkin. The brand also has a line of apparel and jewelry, but I am personally waiting for the small shopping bag in white to hopefully be restocked.
Founded by Shilla Kim-Parker, Thrilling curates vintage clothing from boutiques across the country and brings them together in one digital marketplace, where you’ll find one-of-a-kind vintage beaded gowns from the ’70s and lounging-around-the-house-worthy caftans. —Hilary Reid
TLZ L’FEMME’s tagline is “to live zealously femme” and sells everything from ruched leather pants to a silver bodysuit to parachute pants that were once worn by Cardi B. The brand also sells “Love Bags” — 100 percent of proceeds are put toward filling a second tote with items like water, baby wipes, and flashlights that the owners then distribute to those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
Torch is a vintage sportswear brand dedicated to sourcing clothing from historically Black colleges and universities. It stocks everything from Vintage Morehouse T-shirts to crewnecks to vintage caps, and it also has its own line inspired by collegiate-tennis uniforms. —J.B.
Minimalist leather-goods brand Tree Fairfax offers timeless cross-body bags, belts, totes, and waist bags in rich shades of mahogany, cognac, black, and russet.
Victor Glemaud worked as studio director for Paco Rabanne and style director for Tommy Hilfiger before launching his own eponymous label in 2006. Glemaud’s focus is on knits for all genders: His fall 2020 collection was made entirely from merino wool, cotton cashmere, and a merino-cotton-ramie blend.
We Dream in Colour makes some of the most fantastical jewelry I’ve ever seen with pieces shaped like swans, peacocks, and shells swinging from a reef. The sister-led label focuses on local manufacturing with every piece made in their Salem, Massachusetts, studio. —A.P.
Wales Bonner, which includes elegantly tailored pants and graphic Havana shirts, started as a menswear line in 2014, and has since expanded to womenswear. Designer Grace Wales Bonner was awarded the LVMH Young Designer Prize after her first solo runway presentation in 2016.
William Opko — owned by two sisters and named after their father — makes incredibly luxe, playful garments that look like prep clothing from another world. Also really cool hats!—Erin Schwartz
Yam is a handcrafted, Astoria-based jewelry line founded by Morgan Thomas. The pieces are lovely and the kind of thing you’d want to wear every day. There are delicate gold and pearl necklaces, gold-chain bracelets, and a pair of thick triangular hoops that can be spotted on Lizzo in the “Good As Hell” music video.
Zou Xou is a shoe line founded in New York City by Katherine Theobalds. Each pair of mules, loafers, and flats is handmade by an artisan in Buenos Aires, and the designs are practical and elegant.
Food and drink
To come up with this list of Black-owned food businesses, we consulted Equity at the Table, a database of women and gender-nonconforming individuals in the food industry. We also referenced Grub Street and the Strategist’s existing reporting on everything from chocolate bars to restaurant openings and asked our colleagues to share their favorite neighborhood spots. —Maxine Builder and Leah Muncy
A Dozen Cousins, which was founded in 2018 by Ibraheem Basir, makes “soulfully seasoned” vegan beans — like gingery Trini chickpea curry and tangy Mexican cowboy beans — that you can buy at Walmart or on Amazon.
Hawa Hassan’s Basbaas hot sauces, which are inspired by her mother and feature the flavors of her native Somalia, can be used as a marinade, a base for a salad dressing, even just spread on a piece of toast. Kerry Diamond, editorial director of Cherry Bombe, once told us that the green coconut cilantro chutney, in particular, “makes everything taste better and brighter.”
Blk & Bold was founded in 2018 by Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson and claims to be the first-ever Black-owned nationally distributed coffee brand. Its fair-trade specialty coffees and teas, which include single-origin roasts from El Salvador and low-acidity Ethiopian beans, can be purchased at Target, Amazon, Whole Foods, or directly from its website.
This little tea shop in Bed–Stuy is run by a couple: Ali is a tea sommelier who can laugh at the fact that there’s such a thing as a tea sommelier, and Jamila has a background in teaching that’s apparent in her constant positivity and patience in explaining tea to clueless skeptics like me. You feel their warmth in every aspect of the store, including the other customers. I’ve definitely developed more of an appreciation for tea since shopping there, but that’s never the reason I go. —Peter Martin
After a detox diet encouraged Myriam Simpierre to pursue a low-sodium, low-sugar diet, she opened Buy Better Foods, a market and learning center offering whole local and sustainable foods, health-and-wellness products, and instructional workshops, based in Brooklyn. —Leah Muncy
Casa Del Toro is an Oaxacan taqueria located in Hell’s Kitchen owned by restaurateur Sanjay Laforest. It serves regional signatures, like tlayuda, and handcrafted cocktails, like avocado margaritas. After a brief closure due to COVID-19, they’ve since reopened with a streamlined menu of $4 tacos, batched cocktails, and wines to go.
Exau is made by Skyler Mapes, a Bay Area native, and her Calabrian husband, Giuseppe Morisani. The two own olive trees in Italy, where their high-quality oil is harvested, pressed, and bottled each year then sold till it’s gone. —Emma Wartzman
Vermont-based Global Village Cuisine makes allergen-free, African-inspired frozen dishes — including chickpea vegetable tajine and Swahili curry chicken — that are available at select Whole Foods and on its website. It was started by Damaris Hall, who reworked many of her family’s Kenyan recipes to be free of dairy, gluten, and nuts.
Harlem Hops, which will be celebrating its second anniversary this year, is Manhattan’s first and only Black-owned craft-beer bar. Founded by three HBCU graduates, the bar offers a rotating selection of craft beer along with small plates. The community-focused bar also runs Harlem Hopes, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to offset the cost of college education to native Harlem residents.
If you’ve watched season three of Queer Eye on Netflix, you’re probably familiar with Kansas City barbecue pit-masters Deborah “Little” Jones and her sister, Mary “Shorty” Jones, who have been running Jones Bar-B-Q for decades. The Queer Eye cast, after giving both women and the restaurant a makeover, connected them with a manufacturer to help them distribute their secret-family-recipe barbecue sauce. Their tangy-sweet, made-from-scratch sauces are now available online, and if you happen to live in Kansas City, they’re still open for BBQ takeout.
Justice of the Pies bakes sweet and savory pies, as well as quiches and tarts, which they usually sell throughout Chicago’s coffee shops and farmers markets. However, they’ve pivoted during this pandemic to delivering meals to hospitals and, most recently, launching an at-home cooking subscription service called Justice for All for which Justice of the Pies’ founder and chef, Maya-Camille Broussard, teaches three step-by-step tutorials a week.
Lillie’s of Charleston is a sauce and spice company that sells an array of barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and spice rubs under the slogan “May you never feel unwanted, unloved or hungry.” You can find its signature condiments, like its hot-mustard BBQ sauce and dry spice rubs, on Amazon or at select South Carolina locations.
I trawl supermarket shelves every summer for this ice cream, which is made in Brooklyn by food-justice advocate Adriane Stewart and sourced from local ingredients. The sweet-potato-and-banana flavor was what originally piqued my interest, but I’m also partial to the soursop. —Katherine Gillespie
André Hueston Mack, the former head sommelier at Per Se, founded Maison Noir Wines, which offers 11 different types of Oregon-grown wine and a line of apparel and ships bottles to 31 different states.
While sisters Robin and Andréa McBride grew up on opposite sides of the globe (New Zealand and California), they met for the first time in 1999 and discovered a mutual passion for wine. Together, they created McBride Sisters Wine Company with a line of wines inspired by their separate upbringings, offering bottles that hail from both New Zealand and California’s central coast. In 2019, they created the McBride Sisters SHE CAN Professional Development Fund to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry, and they will be awarding grants in 2020 to Black female–owned small businesses that are struggling to reopen due to the pandemic. —Leah Muncy
Red Bay Coffee is an ethically run, community-focused coffee company founded by artist and entrepreneur Keba Konte in Oakland, California. Chef Daniel Patterson, owner of Coi in San Francisco, described its beans to us as “well-rounded and delicious … with sweet, buttery chocolate notes.”
Most allergen-, gluten-, and dairy-free brands look medicinal or just plain old dull (with tastes to match). Partake has completely reinvented the category with exciting flavors, actually palpable textures, and delicious tastes. And I never feel guilty indulging in its cookies, which is very easy to do. —C.A.
Pipcorn is a women-owned, minority-owned family business that started as a heritage popcorn side project and has since evolved into a whole sustainable snack brand. And it’s really not kidding about sustainability: The extremely delicious crackers are made from the extra-finely ground heirloom corn flour from the production of Pipcorn’s (also very tasty) cheese balls.
In 2013, Shaquanda Coco Mulatta, also known as downtown nightlife performer Andre Springer, created Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce — a “performance of flavor,” in her words — for her first appearance at Bushwick’s annual drag festival, Bushwig. Made with tomatoes, onions, and fresh chile peppers, Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce has an intense, well-rounded heat and can be used as a condiment, marinade, or cooking sauce. —L.M.
Founders Catherine Carter and Erica Davis created The Sip, a membership-based Champagne company, to bring diversity into the world of Champagne. By subscribing, you’ll receive bimonthly boxes of mini-bottles of sparkling wines.
Sol Cacao was founded by three brothers in Harlem and makes its impeccably sourced, single-origin bars in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx.
Started as a pop-up vegan café, Sol Sips opened in a permanent location in Bushwick in 2018, when chef-owner Francesca Chaney was still a student at Brooklyn College. In addition to regular pickup and delivery, it’s offering vegan meal kits on a sliding scale in New York City. A two-day plan includes a total of six meals and starts at $60, with dishes like a blueberry, mango, and lavender smoothie bowl for breakfast and a white-bean burger for dinner.
Whetstone Magazine — along with its weekly podcast Point of Origin — was founded by food writer Stephen Satterfield with the mission of expanding empathy through food, covering everything from Canto-Western diners in Hong Kong to communal ovens in Morocco. It should be required reading for all chefs and foodies, according to cookbook author Priya Krishna, who says the magazine’s diverse and global vision “reminds us that we are all more alike than we are different as eaters.”
Krista Scruggs makes wild-fermented wine-slash-ciders in Vermont, and though all of her bottles are currently sold out online, you can do curbside pickup of Juice for Justice, a co-fermentation of wild apples and grapes, or Maps, which Zafa Wines describes as “straight-up strawberry juice in the form of grape wine” from Co Cellar in Burlington, which Scruggs co-owns.
The brands and organizations below are integral parts of the fitness community, both in New York City and beyond. At the Strategist, we’ve called gym owners, fitness trainers, and even dancers from all of these businesses in our research and reporting on everything from jogging strollers to workout leggings. —Karen Iorio Adelson
Part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Extension offers dance and fitness classes for everyone — even if you’re an absolute beginner with two left feet. Right now, it’s offering Zoom classes for kids and adults in all different types of dance including ballet, hip-hop, and modern.
Co-owned by scholar and activist Pamela Brown, Align Brooklyn is a boutique wellness studio that offers functional fitness-focused yoga, Pilates, barre, and HIIT classes, along with chiropractic and nutritional services. —Leah Muncy
Founded in 2009 to promote fitness and end the obesity epidemic among Black women, this running group now has chapters in dozens of cities and offers training and community to both beginner and experienced runners. If you’ve ran any major race in the past decade, you’ve likely seen runners sporting its black-and-pink gear. It also has a philanthropic arm supporting Black women’s health that you can donate to directly.
Instead of fitness fads that promise fast results, the trainers at Body Space Fitness (whether in group classes, private, or semi-private training sessions) emphasize serious, functional fitness — think kettlebell and TRX exercises and pushing weighted sleds across a turf floor — that’ll actually make you stronger. (It’s offering virtual one-on-one training during the pandemic).
Chavonne Hodges created her company Grillz and Granola, along with her signature workout TrapAerobics, to help diversify the group fitness space and make it more inclusive. Whether you are looking for a full-body workout or to tone a specific area, Grillz and Granola offers everything from TrapAerobics to Trap Arms, Trap Legs, and Trap Abs. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
Located in Clinton Hill, Healhaus is a wellness space and café founded by Darian Hall and Elisa Shankle. HealHaus is dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment for healing and offers unlimited monthly subscriptions for yoga and meditations classes as well as affordable drop-in classes.
At New York’s Iconoclast Fitness, personal trainer Ngo Okafor (who works with Brooke Shields) and a team of fitness pros help clients transform their bodies through a mix of cardio and strength exercises. Right now, Iconoclast is offering one-on-one and small-group virtual training sessions, and once it’s safe to get back in the gym, the company has an infrared sauna for relaxing post-workout.
At-home yoga videos hosted by Jessamyn Stanley, who’s also an advocate for body positivity and the decriminalization of marijuana.
In researching Black-owned home-décor businesses, we consulted existing lists on websites and publications including Shoppe Black, Essence, the Maria Antoinette, and Byrdie (whose list was written by Strategist contributor Sydney Gore) and also talked to our writers, editors, and friends about the places they patronize when outfitting their homes. —Lauren Ro
These candles, made with all-natural soy wax, braided cotton wicks, and scented oils, are hand-poured and packaged in Baltimore.
In 2018, Alexandra Winbush founded an eponymous tea and candle company dedicated to wellness and self-care. Their soy-based candles and seasonal loose-leaf teas can be purchased individually or as a bundle package, which includes a candle, 25 tea bags, and a curated playlist to match the mood. —Leah Muncy
Interior designers and husband-and-wife team Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason began AphroChic as a blog and have since launched AphroChic Magazine, “a curated lifestyle publication of the African Diaspora showcasing creatives of color across a range of industries and fields.” In addition to their publication, the couple also design a collection of pillows and rugs and have collaborated with companies including Moroccan lighting brand Dounia Home and removable-wallpaper company Chasing Paper to create special collections that are available on their website.
Neffi Walker, interior designer to celebrities like Yvonne Orji and Porsha Williams, not only offers design services but sells her own line of hand-poured candles and flatware. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
Washington, D.C.–based mixed-media art and design studio and lifestyle brand Black Pepper Paperie Co. was started by Hadiya Williams. It offers handcrafted wearable ceramic art, home décor, paper goods, and apparel “rooted in memory and cultural influences from across the African diaspora.”
Clare is a home-paint company founded by Nicole Gibbons, an interior designer and television personality who has appeared on HGTV and OWN. Clare was started to make shopping for paint as straightforward as possible and offers designer-curated colors, mess-free paint swatches, and premium quality paint that’s free of VOC (volatile organic compounds), shipped right to your door.
Claude Home, started by 23-year-old Maggie Foster, sells a particularly well-curated mix of vintage furniture. —Casey Lewis
The L.A.-based home-décor store, founded by Brittiny Terry, offers a curated selection of artisan-made products and in-house designed goods for the eclectic home.
Goodee, a curated marketplace showcasing minority artisans from around the world, was founded in 2017 by designers, creative directors, and twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart, after they left WANT les Essentiels, which they co-founded. Everything on offer at Goodee, from furniture to throws to accessories, is ethically made and transparently sourced.
Ilé Ilà, a Nigerian lifestyle and furniture design company, was founded by architect Tosin Oshinowo in 2017 to celebrate her native Yoruba culture. Every piece, which features gorgeous, vibrant upholstery, is handmade in Lagos, Nigeria.
Johanna Howard, who has Swedish roots, pulls inspiration from Scandinavian design and combines it with the creativity she’s discovered during her travels around the globe. Her alpaca dip-dyed throw is particularly striking — it’s hand-dyed in pots over an open fire, giving each throw its own character.
Interior designer Justina Blakeney’s home-décor line Jungalow started as a blog back in 2009 and has since grown into one of the best-known places to shop for bohemian décor. Her designs are colorful and global-inspired, and with each purchase, two trees are planted. —J.M.W.
Lam’s love for vintage and treasure hunting started when she was a child and has since evolved into a full-grown business: The Lam Label. The Louisiana-based (online) shop sells a curated collection of vintage ceramics, with one-of-a-kind finds from Art Deco vases to novelty salt-and-pepper shakers. —Leah Muncy
Black- and Asian-owned, Lichen carries painstakingly curated furniture and charges as little as possible for it so more people can have access to good design. If something’s at Lichen, there’s a good chance it’s four times as expensive everywhere else. —L.C.
Linoto, which makes luxurious-feeling linen bedding right in New York State, was started when founder Jason Evege couldn’t find nice linen sheets that cost less than a grand. (In our deep dive on linen sheets, one Strategist editor said they have “the right ratio of soothing to crisp qualities.”) —C.L.
Lit is a luxury soy-candle company started by Denequa Williams in 2015, and everything is hand-poured in Brooklyn.
Nya Kam founded Brooklyn-based aromatherapy company Love Notes, which makes “custom blended” all-natural soy wax candles. Their curated fragrance collections contain notes from jasmine and cocoa to black amber and gardenia. —Aisha Rickford
Multidisciplinary artist, designer, and activist Malene Barnett creates ceramic tiles and sculptural vessels, mixed-media paintings, and handwoven rugs, combining her modern Black experience with the heritage of art in the African diaspora. She also founded Black Artists + Designers Guild, a collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers.
In addition to her interior-design work, Marie Burgos designs and curates a collection of modern lighting, furniture, and mirrors that are rich in texture and color.
We’ve written about Natty Garden, a Brooklyn-based nursery owned by Joel Mahfood, a Jamaican native, which is operating throughout the pandemic. It also has an online shop that sells a selection of plants, pots and planters, soil, fertilizer, gardening tools, and more.
The Bed-Stuy boutique was founded by interior designer Achuziam Maha-Sanchez and her husband, Lionel Sanchez, combining their global sensibilities and style to their shop, which offers gifts, home décor, and design consultation.
Osa Atoe started Pottery by Osa with a pottery wheel in her New Orleans kitchen after taking community pottery classes in 2013. Her one-woman operation is now based in a Baton Rouge studio, and she sells her earth-tone bowls, mugs, pitchers, and vases (which are beautifully and painstakingly detailed) via Etsy. Ten percent of her sales are donated to the Baton Rouge Food Bank and the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, and she takes custom orders too. Her work goes fast, but she restocks her Etsy shop regularly and posts pre-drop sneak peeks on her Instagram. —Leah Muncy
Angela Richardson founded PUR Home, a company devoted to laundry detergents and household cleaning products, after becoming passionate about eco-friendly living and soapmaking. The ingredients are plant-based and nontoxic, and the products come in fun, biodegradable containers. —A.R.
Robin Wilson Home
As an experienced project manager, real-estate developer, and business owner, Robin Wilson started her own brand of textiles — which includes sheets, comforters, and towels — in 2009, and it is now stocked nationwide in Bed Bath & Beyond.
Atlanta-based Rochelle Porter designs vibrant décor and fashion textiles based on her own artwork, like this pillow cover that’s printed with a watercolor design, or this bright-pink face mask featuring a limited-edition, hand-designed textile.
Strategist writer Nikita Richardson moonlights as a ceramicist — and the founder of See Line Ceramics — making beautiful planters, vases, and marbled tumblers.
Veteran interior designer Sheila Bridges created her own riff on traditional French toile first as a wall covering and has since expanded the collection to include fabrics, glassware, and more. You can purchase the Harlem Toile de Jouy wallpaper (which is in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection) and the rest of the line on her website.
Another favorite of Elisa Johnson, Silked was founded in Los Angeles by Phoenix Gonzalez and Sandra McCurdy and offers locally sourced, environmentally responsible cotton, satin, and silk eye masks and pillowcases (and now face masks) that reduce frizz and calm skin. —L.M.
Inspired by a childhood surrounded by African art and music, LaToya Tucciarone founded SustainAble Home Goods with the intention of stocking handcrafted pieces from around the world as a way to promote financial stability to the artisans. That includes Oaxacan pottery crafted by some of the best potters in the region, hand-dyed baskets by Rwandan basket weavers, and bronze sculptures molded by a lost wax-casting method in Burkina Faso.
Harlem-based shop Tackussanu Senegal specializes in handmade baskets and other home décor made by artisan women of Senegal.
Los Angeles native and multidisciplinary artist, designer, and creative director Kenesha Sneed makes art, ceramics, and textiles under the name Tactile Matter.
D.C.-area native Nasozi Kakembo founded xN Studio in Brooklyn in 2011 and carries furniture, mudcloth and indigo pillow covers, and other homewares as well as fair-trade goods from Uganda.
Founder Shannon Maldonado stocks Philadelphia shop Yowie (which has been featured everywhere from Bon Appétit to Architectural Digest to Domino magazine) with bright home goods (zebra-print towels, colorful glassware), banana jam, camo-print totes, and bread-based zines. —Hilary Reid
Gift shops and beyond
In our research over the past couple of days, we found a bunch of Black-owned businesses that didn’t fit neatly into any of the categories above. There’s also a handful of business our writers and editors know, love, and patronize regularly that defy genres, so we’ve included those Black-owned businesses here.
I learned about this ultralight backpacking brand when updating our hiker gift guide, and I will be buying a couple of their handy stuff sacks for an upcoming trip. Founder Livio Melo designs and crafts everything out of his apartment in the Bronx with a focus on improving access to the outdoors for all. Plus his custom packs get great reviews on backpacker forums. —K.G.
Bold Xchange is an online marketplace started by Danielle Deavens and Doug Spencer with the goal of making it easier to find and shop Black-owned brands. They currently have a selection of beauty, skin-care, apparel, and household items on their site. When you shop on their platform, you’re also getting fast, three-day shipping and an opportunity to save money the more you buy. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
This is the best laundromat in the neighborhood, but it’s so much more than a laundromat. Started by sisters Corinna and Theresa Williams, they sell really nice ecofriendly products (my favorite is the stain stick), and in normal times, they have delicious treats to enjoy while you’re doing your laundry. —Casey Lewis
Custom Collaborative is a New York City–based entrepreneurship-development program that trains and supports women from low-income and immigrant communities to launch fashion careers and businesses. Custom Collaborative also makes clothing, accessories, and beautifully hand-sewn fabric face masks and donates a mask to Harlem Nursing Center for each one sold. —Liza Corsillo
Named after founder Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother, Estelle Colored Glass makes some of our favorite glasses in a range of colors, all handblown in Poland. Plus its pastel-colored cake stands and sets of cobalt-blue wine glasses make an excellent housewarming or wedding gift. —D.P.
Mother-daughter duo Cynthia and Kathryn created HarperIman Dolls with a commitment to increasing representation in the doll industry by making dolls of color with different skin tones and hair textures — the types of dolls, in their words, that they wished they’d had growing up. The dolls, which are made from linen, are available in a variety of different skin tones, hair textures, body types, and outfits and can also be made to order. —L.M.
Hopps Skateboards is a New York-based skate company started and run by professional skateboarder Jahmal Williams, selling boards, apparel, and accessories often designed by local artists. The full Hopps crew, as well as videos, can be found here. —L.M.
Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly Ceramics is a ceramicist and graphic designer based in Columbus, Ohio, best known for her 100 Days Project, for which she created 100 different versions of the humble mug handle. (Think matte-black spikes and lots of geometric shapes.) She sells her creations on her online shop and regularly showcases her work on Instagram. — L.M.
Founded by art director Malcolm Dia, Manual is a film-photo company that offers disposable cameras and film-development services. Dia is currently developing protest photos taken on Manual cameras for free and donating a portion of all sales to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Located in Crown Heights, Marché Rue Dix carries vintage clothing, home goods, and jewelry as well as natural beauty products, teas, coffees, and spices. —Hilary Reid
A small Baltimore-based yarn company, Neighborhood Fiber Co. features hand-dyed yarns — many of them in soft and durable superwash merino — in a wide array of gorgeous colorways. I’m filling my cart with these generously sized 400-yard skeins of its Studio Worsted wool, which comes in colors named after D.C. neighborhoods (where founder Karida Collins started her shop). —Mia Leimkuhler
Paws and the City (P.A.T.C.) is a Brooklyn-based pet emporium owned by Jae Samuel, offering services such as grooming, boarding, dog-walking, in-house pet-sitting, and food delivery to Crown Heights and nearby residents — though these services have been temporarily put on pause due to COVID-19. In an effort to offset the financial toll of the pandemic, Paws and the City has set up a GoFundMe to save its brick-and-mortar store and to establish a new online shop. —L.M.
If you’re anything like me (and every other millennial) you’ve probably considered getting into film photography in the last few years. I’ve been developing mine at Photodom, a Black-owned shop in Brooklyn. Even if you’re not local, you can send in your film remotely, and also shop the website for everything from dark room supplies to vintage film cameras to disposables. —J.M.W.
Reparations Club, in Los Angeles, was founded by Strategist contributor Jazzi McGilbert. We’ve described it as a “gift shop and community space featuring a mix of goods made by Black and brown creators”; it describes its offerings as “curated by Blackness & POC.” Those offerings, which can be shipped nationwide, include a mix of books, clothes, and home décor.
The world of knitting can be intimidating, but yarn store–slash–workshop String Thing Studio is anything but. Even though the store boasts a wide array of skeins — from $5 balls of cotton string to over $50 balls of cashmere and wool yarn — owner Felicia Eve gives expert advice for people of all knitting levels. String Thing Studio is in the process of selling more items online, including some cashmere yarn and a personally curated “quaranskein mystery package,” or you can invest in a gift card, all of which are 20 percent off. —Kayla Levy
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had “right now’”in the headline. We’ve removed it. This story, and our support for these businesses, is ongoing.
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