Are you engaged in economic protest or a blackout against police brutality? Do you simply believe in socially responsible spending? Do you simply want a more personal shopping experience? Your desire to make responsible and loving purchasing decisions does not have to cramp your giving style. Some people think that women are hard to please. Don’t worry. There is a great deal of variety with respect to products and offerings from African American small business owners. You can look good, feel good and do well by supporting the wonderful entrepreneurs on this list.
Are you interested in purchasing a dazzling outfit? Candy Bomb, Fly Jane, Swank Blue, Qristyl Frazier, Zahiyya (custom-made modest clothing), Uptown Girl, Blue Labels Boutique, Busayo NYC and AntiSparkle are all black-owned clothing lines.
Uptown Girl – Erica Wallace, owner of Uptown Girl, has always wanted to be an entrepreneur because her parents owned businesses. Uptown Girl has allowed her to combine her love of fashion with her love of business. The fashions are hawt! Her role as a business owner gives her great joy because she loves playing a special role with respect to the special occasions in her customers’ lives. The company also has a huge heart. The Uptown Girl team volunteers with organizations that rescue children who are victims of human trafficking.
Blue Labels Boutique – Similarly, Kristie Glenn founded Blue Labels Boutique in order to live her passion instead of remaining bored out of her mind in the corporate rat race. She wanted to use her love of fashion to help women feel fearless and confident. The fashions are casual, trendy, vibrant and elegant. http://www.bluelabelsboutique.com/collections/new-arrivals
Busayo NYC – Busayo NYC is improving the lives of people of African descent globally. Busayo Olupona of Busayo NYC is a new NYC-based designerof African heritage who is fusing African textiles and ground breaking designs to create new looks. By sourcing material from West Africa, she is also creating vital global trade linkages.http://www.busayonyc.com/.
Antisparkle – Most of the designers mentioned specialize in dresses. What about the girl who just likes to chill in a T-shirt? Antisparkle provides the answer. Founded by Monique Malcolm, AntiSparkle is an independent T-Shirt brand that encourages people to make a positive statement through clothing. Besides, spreading messages of hope, AntiSparkle, donates some of its proceeds to Kiva, a provider of micr- loans to entrepreneurs worldwide.http://www.antisparkle.com/
If you are interested in clothes, you should also be interested in attractive shoes to compliment those clothes
Shawn and Shane – Shawn and Shane are twins from Detroit who leveraged their design experience with industry icons such as Addidas, Converse, Fila and Puma to create their own line of shoes and sneakers for both men and women. Please check out their designs at http://shaneandshawn.com/This company has a great deal of love as demonstrated by the fact that Shawn and Shane encourages their customers to make a pledge against domestic violence.
Samanta Shoes – Are you buying a gift for a tall woman? Have no fear because Samanta Shoes is here. I actually know the husband of the founder through InRoads. Samanta Joseph, the Designer and CEO, was inspired to create her shoe line for women with large shoe sizes because of her own frustration with finding elegant and trendy shoes. http://www.samantashoes.com/a/
Lingerie – Urban Intima Inc.
Clothes and shoes are certainly exciting, but what about the end of the night? I’m talking about lingerie. Urban Intima Inc. is an online mail order intimate apparel and lingerie line. Denise Beauregard started it because most physically fit women with large breasts cannot find appropriate lingerie. The company offers high quality and stylish lingerie and accessories that will make any woman feel pretty.https://squareup.com/market/urban-intima
Jewelry and Accessories – KahYoot, Rachel Stewart and VCreations
You really can’t go wrong with jewelry and accessories Many women love to adorn themselves with tasteful earrings, bracelets, necklaces and head pieces. Shopping responsibly can lead to beautiful results when you check out these vendors.
KahYoot – Started by Samantha Benton in 2008, Kah Yoot is on a mission to make fashionable and affordable accessories and jewelry. New designs are added regularly so you are sure to find something that you love. http://www.kahyoot.com/
Rachel Stewart – Rachel Stewart brings true artistry and meaning to jewelry design. Her afro-pick earrings and warrior woman cuffs will easily become your prized possessions. http://rachelstewartjewelry.com/
VCreations – Many women with natural hair love to tie up their hair in elaborate head gears, but they do not actually like the process of tying up the hair with scarves. Vanessa Johnson, the founder of vcreations.com, solves that issue through her head gears that come pre-wrapped. These head pieces also come with matching earrings that are sure to make a beautiful statement. http://vcreations.biz/
Does a woman in your life need the perfect clutch for a holiday party? Love Cortnie and Christopher Augmon are two young African-American designers and entrepreneurs who have you covered.
Love Cortnie – Cortnie learned how to sew from her grandmother during a summer in which she was in between jobs. With just three bags, she started an Etsy shop. The rest is history. Her clutches are beautiful and innovative. http://www.lovecortnie.com/
Christopher Augmon– Christopher Augmon has leveraged his multicultural background to create unique bags and jewelry that fuse cultures for beautiful results. He has leveraged his experiences with Bloomingdales, Ralph Lauren and other major brands to create bags that are classically unique, but distinctive. http://augmon-com.myshopify.com/
Makeup: Best Face Forward, Vera More, Lipsynk and Lip Bar
Okay, we have covered the dress, shoes, underwear and purse. This list would be incomplete without makeup. There are a number of makeup brands by black women entrepreneurs.
Vera Moore –Vera Moore, founded this makeup line in order to make herself look her best as an actress. At the time, many makeup artists on sets had very few make up resources for African skin. Years later, Vera Moore is an established brand that can be found online and at national retailers. http://www.veramoorecosmetics.com/
Best Face Forward – Best Face Forward is a luxury makeup concierge that offers three premiere services: a fruit and vitamin infused makeup line that is available nationwide through the online store , traveling makeup artists and monthly beauty workshops. The founder, Shola Akintobi, was inspired to start Best Face Forward in order to meet the needs of busy women and moms when they can’t make it to a salon and to also make sure that women had access to makeup without harmful parabens and sulfates. She believes that her clients are able to do more and be more when they look great. http://bffmakeupstudio.com/
Lipsynk -, Lypsynk cosmetics is a lipstick cosmetics line that was founded by Denise Wiggins. The company has a variety of lipstick colors that complement deep skin tones. Denise Wiggins was inspired to create the line because of her passion for beauty and women’s empowerment. She currently donates $1.00 of every purchase to efforts to combat Ebola. What a worthy cause! http://www.lipsynkcosmetics.com/index.php
Hair Products – Curl Kit
Do you know a woman who is constantly confused about what products to use on her hair? Curl Kit would be the perfect gift. Curl Kit takes the guess work out of product selection by sending monthly kits filled with healthy full size and sample hair products. The CEO and Co-Founder, Heather Cummings, was inspired to start it due to her own frustration with shopping for products. The subscription is only $20.00 per month which is very reasonable. http://www.curlkitshop.com/
Books: Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair, One Drop, Drifting, Afro State of Mind, Options, and Swirling and Marriage
As I have mentioned before, you can never go wrong with a book. There are so many books by African American authors that will certainly nourish the mind and spirit of the women that you love. Many of these books are independently published which is also a positive feature with respect to social responsibility.
Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair is a phenomenal new coffee table book for women who love photography and or natural hair.
Women who are interested in history and social issues may love One Drop by Professor Yaba Blay.
If the recipient is interested in personal stories, she might prefer Drifting by Katia Ulysse which discusses one fictional woman’s experience during the Haitian earthquake or Afro-State of Mind by Lurie Favors which is a memoir discussing Lurie Favor’s journey to hair-acceptance and self-love.
Finally, the woman who is still searching for love may appreciate Options by Darroll Lawson and Swirling by Christelyn D. Karazin. Many of these books can be found at the independent black owned bookstore – Hueman.
The women in your life may feel like they have too much stuff. A perfect gift would be a memorable experience. How about a gift certificate to a spa? Check out this list of black owned spas. If you are in the New York area, I recommend Georgiana’s Creations for a pre-New Year’s party cellulite busting massage.The Daily News covered Georgiana’s Creations and the miracles Ms. Georgiana is able to produce. If you are in the New Jersey area, Serenity Spa in Englewood provides a relaxing spa experience.
What about a weekend getaway? Akwaaba is a black-owned group of inns in multiple statesincluding New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I have had great experiences there. Check out the Root’s list of top black owned bed and breakfasts and the website of the African-American innkeepers association.
Additionally, you might want to purchase tickets to a local black owned theater. Please see this list of African American theaters. http://www.africanamericaninns.com/
Thanks so much for reading and for having the intention of purchasing with love by purchasing items made with love by entrepreneurs who love what they do. Please subscribe to purchasinglove in order to get more updates about small businesses that are making the world a better place.