advertisement
advertisement

7 black-owned businesses to support online right now

If you want to be more intentional about where you spend your money, here are some places to start.

7 black-owned businesses to support online right now
[Photos: Not Work Related, Royal Jelly Harlem, Expedition Subsahara]

Over the past few days, people have taken to the streets to protest the systemic racism that persists in the United States. Even if you can’t join the frontlines, there are many ways you can help. One, in particular, is by spending money at black-owned businesses, as data journalist Mona Chalabi pointed out on Instagram.

advertisement
advertisement

In a data visualization, Chalabi illustrated how hard COVID-19 had already hit businesses owned by people of color: 40% of black-owned businesses and 35% of Latinx-owned businesses have gone bust, compared with 15% if those owned by white people. Among those that remain, 21% of black business owners say they don’t think they’ll be able to keep their companies afloat, compared to 5% of white business owners.

One thing we can do right now is be more intentional about how and where we’re spending our money. Get takeout from a local black-owned restaurant, order books from black-owned bookshops (many, like Chicago’s Semicolon and the Bronx’s Lit Bar, have storefronts on Bookshop.org), or skip Amazon or Sephora and shop from marketplaces like We Buy Black, Black Owned Market, and BLK + GRN. There are several online resources that help you search for companies owned by black entrepreneurs, including Black Wall Street, Buy From A Black Woman and SupportBlackOwned.com.

If you’re a white business owner and want to show solidarity, take a cue from Asheville, North Carolina-based East Fork Pottery: On Instagram, it invited customers who were planning to shop with them to spend that money with black-owned businesses instead, and offered a list of black potters to visit. Alternately, if you’re a retailer, listen to Aurora James, founder of fashion label Brother Vellies, and pledge to devote 15% of your shelf space to black-owned brands. You can also urge other major retailers like Target, Sephora, and Whole Foods to do the same.

To get you started, here are some innovative black-owned businesses, whether you’re looking to refresh your home or spruce up your wardrobe. It’s a tiny fraction of the incredible work being produced across the country, so we hope it inspires you to find new designers and exciting businesses in your own community.

GOODEE

This B-Corp startup, founded by designers (and brothers) Byron and Dexter Peart, curates home goods from artisans and brands that have a strong social or environmental mission. The brothers also design some products themselves. They split their time between New York and Montreal, where they have showrooms.

advertisement

Expedition Subsahara

This home goods and accessories brand, headquartered outside of St. Louis, curates beautiful, handmade pieces that will fit into any aesthetic. It’s particularly known for its colorful wicker baskets that are both decorative and practical.

Black Pepper Paperie

This design studio, founded by Hadiya Williams in Washington, D.C., creates wearable ceramic art, paper goods, and home decor, inspired by the African diaspora.

advertisement

Nubian Hueman

Anika Hobbs launched this company as a way to curate fashion, design, and home goods from artists all over the world. With retail storefronts in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, it’s also recently started making face masks with traditional kente cloth.

The Fuzzy Pineapple

Based in Tallahassee, Florida, this boutique sells an assortment of quirky, colorful clothes and accessories. You can also create customized pieces by getting in touch with the brand.

advertisement

Royal Jelly

Founded by mother-daughter team Teta and Maya Gorgoni, Harlem-based Royal Jelly sells clothes, accessories, and home goods made from traditional African patterns. Everything is handmade in New York.

Gregory Sylvia 

This fashion brand, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and founded by husband and wife Gregory and Terri Sylvia Pope, creates luxury leather goods and accessories.

advertisement

Note: This post has been updated to remove a designer who does not identify as black. 

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

More

All week you can attend Innovation Festival keynotes with Robert Downey Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Janelle Monáe, and more. Claim your free pass now.