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 also been disproportionally affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here, we’ve created a directory of over 100 Black-owned businesses you can support in seven different categories: beauty brands, bookstores, clothing and accessories, food and drink, fitness, home décor, and gift shops and beyond. The recommendations are pulled from a variety of sources — including our writers’ and editors’ reporting — and we’ve written about many of them before. Over the last couple of days, we’ve done some more in-depth research into Black-owned businesses we hadn’t covered in the past, and at the top of each category you’ll find a more in-depth explanation of our reporting methods. 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
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.
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 first one ships on July 1.
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.
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 summer-y huarache sandals to thigh-high boots, and 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”