I’ve recently decided to shift away from using the term “Black History Month” because Black history goes far beyond a month. I wanted to curate a collection of Black-owned businesses to support, as well as books and television shows that relate to Black history, in honor of Black history. The following list highlights some of my personal favorites that I’m hoping to check out soon! I hope you find this useful!
Cameroon-born Wilgory Tanjong, Anima Iris founder, grew up obsessing over the vibrant colors and extravagant textures in her mother’s wardrobe. She launched Anima Iris in early 2020. This collection of luxury handbags is inspired by African fashion. It has a degree in African Development from Princeton University because Tanjong is as knowledgeable as she is artistic. These geometric bags feature a signature circular handle and can even be custom-made, based on in-stock materials.
Queer, black couple Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart founded Blk Mkt Vintage in 2014. It’s a Brooklyn-based curated collection of antique and vintage collectibles and clothing, all selected in an effort to celebrate and commemorate Black history and culture. Blk Mkt Vintage is growing everyday through its brick-and-mortar shop in Brooklyn and killer online selection, with write-ups in Vogue and Architectural Digest,
Every piece in this women’s lifestyle brand’s collection is sourced and handmade in Nigeria. The brand describes itself as designed “for the ever evolving woman, a woman who doesn’t limit herself to what spaces she can occupy but fully embraces that she can be as multidimensional as she wants to be.” A.Au is known for its dramatic, voluminous dresses, and even carries bridal wear.
Two Days Off was founded by Black client change scientist Gina Stovall. This features women’s fashion pieces that are ethically made-to-order or in small batches in Los Angeles, CA. Stovall’s goal was to create a sustainable clothing company with items designed for longevity. Two Days Off features staple garments that are meant to remain timeless.
Trinidad-born, Boston-residing designer Jade Gedeon founded the jewelry brand ‘We Dream in Colour’. This brand prides itself on prioritizing social consciousness and sustainable craftsmanship. Each and every one of these bold and (you guessed it) colorful pieces are made by hand!
Beauty & Wellness Businesses
Golde, a wellness line founded by then-23-year-old Trinity Mouzon Wofford, was born in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Since the company’s founding in 2017, Golde products have made a major breakthrough in the wellness world and can now be found in Goop and Urban Outfitters. Some best selling products include superfood latte blends and decadent, fruity face masks. Golde made major waves in 2020, and I can’t wait to see these superfood essentials continue to fly off shelves in 2021.
If you’ve been sleeping on Ivy’s Tea Co., it’s time to wake up. Ivy’s Tea Co. was founded in 2016 by herbalist Shanae Jones. Which was created with the goal of infusing Black culture with holistic health and wellness. Carrying products with a deep hip-hop influence, Jones has established an impressive business that we will certainly see thriving this year.
Former YouTube entertainer B.Simone launched her makeup brand in 2019. As a result, she has seen rapid success ever since. B.Simone Beauty’s collection consists mainly of lip products. The brand prides itself on being 100% vegan and cruelty-free. What’s even better is that these products are relatively affordable. They continuously rack up glowing reviews despite their luxe aesthetic!
Rachel James founded this vegan and cruelty-free nail polish line in 2012. The goal was “creating a high end product, hoping one day to hold rank with the classics and become a global beauty standard.” I think it’s safe to say that Pear Nova is well on its way! James’ hometown, Chicago, isnpires each collection of classic and gel nail lacquers. High fashion, world travels, and her favorite music also.
Home Decor Businesses
Neffi Walker’s home decor collection The Black Home puts a unique spin on minimalism, with dark focal points and pops of color. Walker’s goal was to celebrate Blackness in all ways when creating The Black Home . My favorite items from this brand inlcude Bold wallpapers and feminine candles because they are so trendy!
Designer Justina Blakeney created Junglaow after finding success with her home design blog of the same name, started in 2009. Blakeney believes that “the key to having an amazing home is creativity, not wealth.” The beautifully funky pieces at Jungalow are extremely reasonably priced, with this in mind.
Brothers Dexter and Byron Peart founded Goodee, an online home goods marketplace. This was in 2017 after achieving greatness with their own homeware brand, WANT Les Essentiels. Goodee features items from all over the world, created by independent makers.
So, I’ve selected these books as ones to check out for anyone hoping to educate themselves on race relations in America and beyond. These books give great insight into the Black experience and are essential reads for anyone looking to learn – which should be all of us.
- No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart – Robbie Tolan & Lawrence Ross
- Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – Audre Lorde
- Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
- Black Futures (ONE WORLD) – Kimberly Drew & Jenna Wortham
- A Promised Land – Barack Obama
Television & Movie Businesses
The following are some television shows and movies that I’ve personally watched because it furthers my education. It also helps inform myself on Black history and the Black experience. Netflix can stream all of these titles!