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.
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, their vitamin C serum helped me fade some dark marks caused by early quarantine stress picking, and they 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
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 their 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
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 their suppliers. Their 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.” They also make 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.
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. Their 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.
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.
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. —C.A.
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.
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 their foundation, which has one of the largest shade ranges on the market. —C.A.
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, 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, daycares, 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.” They opened a storefront in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and are still committed to making books accessible to all.
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 coronavirus. They are running a GoFundMe to help keep their family business alive, continue to serve their community, and feed their 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.
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 wood 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’s bathing suits 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. Their 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.
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.
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 mask 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.”
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 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 their pieces. According to the brand’s site, their 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 their Instagram.
Label by Three’s clothes are designed and handmade in Phoenix, Arizona. The brand’s focus is on sustainability, and their designs are made in limited runs from deadstock 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 brand highlighted 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 N’yongo.
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. They’ve since reopened in Bed–Stuy, where you can find their 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.
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 make 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 their 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 their 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
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 (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.
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 their 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. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
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 everyday. 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 non-conforming 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
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.”
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
If you’ve watched season three of Queer Eye on Netflix, you’re probably familiar with Kansas City barbecue pitmasters 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 in which Justice of the Pies’s founder and chef Maya-Camille Broussard teaches three, step-by-step tutorials a week.
André Hueston Mack, the former head sommelier at Per Se, founded Maison Noir Wines, which offers 11 different types of Oregon-grown wine, a line of apparel, and ships bottles to 31 different states.
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 their 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 they’re really not kidding about sustainability: The extremely delicious crackers are made from the extra finely ground heirloom corn flour from the production of their (also very tasty) cheese balls .
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 bi-monthly 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, they’re 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 they describe 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, they’re offering Zoom classes for kids and adults in all different types of dance including ballet, hip-hop, and modern.
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 their black-and-pink gear. They also have 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. (They’re 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, they’re offering one-on-one and small group virtual training sessions and once it’s safe to get back in the gym, Iconoclast also 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 business, we consulted existing lists on websites and publications including Shoppe Black, Essence, and the Maria Antoinette, and also talked to our writers, editors, and friends about the businesses 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.
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 designs 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 (or volatile organic compound), shipped right to your door.
The L.A.-based home decor 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 leaving 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 hand made in Lagos, Nigeria.
Due to her Swedish roots, Johanna Howard 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 most well-known places to shop for bohemian décor. Her designs are colorful, global-inspired, and with each purchase, two trees are planted. —J.M.W.
Lit is a luxury soy candle company started by Denequa Williams in 2015, and everything is hand-poured in Brooklyn.
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 also 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, and 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
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 that is now stocked nationwide in Bed Bath and 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 in The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection) and the rest of the line on her website.
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.
DC-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 last couple of days, we found a bunch of black-owned businesses we 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.
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 eco-friendly products (my favorite is the stain stick), and in normal times, they also 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. They also make clothing, accessories, and beautifully hand sewn fabric face masks and donate a mask to Harlem Nursing Center for each one sold. —Liza Corsillo
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 their Studio Worsted wool, which comes in colors named after D.C. neighborhoods (where founder Karida Collins started her shop). —Mia Leimkuhler
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, home décor, and more. —Anthony Rotunno
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