Over the last couple of years I’ve been searching out Black Owned Businesses (BOBs) to patronize for products and services. Admittedly the services aspect has been a bit more difficult because by the time you price out contractors and compare, often it doesn’t work out. For other consumable goods, it’s definitely an easier process.
Clothing and accessories tend to be the biggest market and easiest to find, but they’re typically not your everyday clothing wear. Usually they’re either various African prints or graphic tees with pithy statements; I’m often hard pressed to find basic everyday workwear. That’s not to say those businesses aren’t out there, I just haven’t found many within my price range.
Social media has definitely made it easier to get connected to small businesses across the country, and the world, if I can’t find BOBs that provide the products I want more locally. Patronizing fashion and cosmetic lines is never the problem, but reminding myself that there are home decor and cleaning supply businesses is the challenge I’m trying to overcome before I default to a big box store or retail chain for those needs.
Below is the list of internet-based businesses that I just happen to know of, and many are places I like to shop or have bookmarked for later (*hint, hint–it’s my birthday month :D)
Clothing & Accessories
Andrea Iyamah: Higher end women’s clothing, could work for everyday work attire once the collection moves away from summer swimwear
Beads Byaree: Women’s clothing, jewelry, sometimes shoes; everything is one of a kind so you have to really keep up with her products lest everything be sold out
Busayo: African printed women’s clothing, styled for your everyday and workwear
D’iyanu: African printed Men & Women’s clothing
Ikiré Jones: You’ve probably seen his work if you watched Black Panther, T’Challa wears one of his scarves at the end of the movie. His clothing is artwork, scarves and jackets are unisex, but there are sports coats and shirts, entire suits, geared towards Men
Nakimuli: Women’s clothing & accessories; really cute swimwear shown on a variety of body types
Printed.Pattern.People: Women’s clothing–dresses, kaftans, jumpers, footwear–and accessories
William Okpo: Designer women’s clothing that could totally be your professional workwear, if you have that coin to purchase it
Zurikgirl: African printed women’s clothing; your chic statement pieces for going out
Beautiful in Every Shade: t-shirts that support the organization’s work to change beauty standards around POC and connect artists to their communities
BGM Apparel: Clothing that celebrates Black Girl Magic
Dopeciety: t-shirts and apparel featuring the owner’s artwork; men & women
Fly Nerd: t-shirts for those Fly Nerds
Gloss Rags: t-shirts dedicated to those slain by police & vigilante violence
HGC Apparel: Clothing designed with a nod to the style of the late 80’s/early 90’s; “Black by Popular Demand”
Izzy & Liv: Graphic tees, decor, swag, and monthly subscription boxes
Jasmine Mans: A poet with pithy graphic tees & mugs; you can also purchase her poetry
Kashmir.VIII: she turns her art referencing pop culture into apparel and home decor; I love it! I haven’t purchased much, but I did get my Dora Milaje Wakanda Forever t-shirt from her, and I have had my eye on a clutch or two and a mug for a minute.
Mess in a Bottle: graphic tees and more, that come as a message in a bottle
Pewilben: An eco-conscious lifestyle brand with apparel, bath products, and accessories; men, women & children
Simone Cheri: Another celebrator of Black Girl Magic with some sportswear, and other apparel
Yes I Am, Inc.: A collection of graphic tees For The Culture
Cosmetics & Skin Care
Bolden: a full skin care line produced by and for women of color
Coloured Raine: they have some great no-budge matte lipsticks, as well as a host of other lip and eye products
Beauty Bakerie: a full range of cruelty free makeup with a baking theme; they’re most well-known for their no-budge lip whips and flour setting powder. Their lip whips truly do not move for anything!
Jade & Fox, Co.: face, body, & hair care; some delicious looking body butters
Joshica Beauty: natural hair and skin care products; Men & Women
Juvia’s Place: makeup company with super pigmented eyeshadow and blush palettes; I have three of them and they are all beautifully packaged with great color payout
Carrington Case: premium leather cases for your technology, aimed at Men but could be used by anyone
Enbois Originals: wooden jewelry, watches, and sunglasses; proceeds benefit organizations in Haiti; Men & Women
Fanm Djanm: Mostly hair wraps, but also some clothing, bags, and jewelry
Fly Le Gendre: Travel in style with their clutches, passport covers, and more
Harley London: Handcrafted wooden stationery, gifts, and accessories
Radical Dreams: Lapel pins, patches, and buttons referencing pop culture and contemporary events
Tawia Designs: Designer shoes, men & women
The Wrap Life: Hair wraps, of course, and some jewelry
Vitae London: minimalist wrist watches
Zaaf: Beautifully made handbags, work bags, and luggage for both men and women; for those of you always checking for these European/white Western designers, who could care less about our safety, since shop owners love to racially profile us for even attempting to purchase their products, maybe it’s time to divert your money into a brand that won’t call the cops on you
Bole Road Textiles: pillows, linens, throws, and more made with textiles supporting Ethiopian artisans
Eva Sonaike: London-based assortment of home decor
Joon Africa: an assortment of home decor, but one of the coolest things is the mudcloth peel & stick wallpaper
Llulo: pillows, throws, and wall pieces; they also have some apparel and accessories
xNasozi: an array of beautiful mudcloth and wax print throw pillows, aprons, and other household items
The Hoot: All natural, all-purpose cleaning supplies
True: Laundry detergent!
PUR Home: Laundry and cleaning supplies, cruelty-free, certified animal safe
Zesa Raw: Coffee, Cane, and Cocoa
There are obviously more businesses than I could ever name in one post, and more than I will probably ever know about, but these are the ones I’ve come across and have either purchased from or are interested in buying from. Of course, if you want a way to keep up with other Black Owned Businesses you could follow MyBlackBox.co on instagram.