I committed to purchasing from small businesses during the holiday season in 2014 and it was not an easy process. The one percent have abundant economic resources to make purchasing from them seamless, convenient and emotionally enjoyable. Most small business owners do not have such resources. I struggled to complete a purchase of cookies because renegade ads for a major cookie brand kept on popping up on my screen directing me to a major brand’s site. One company did not have online commerce capabilities and the owner expected me to email him my credit card info. What a joke! I had to try three different websites before I was able to find a company that would send a particular brand of wine to my state. I had to travel farther than I would usually travel in order to secure goods. I am also guilty as an owner. My sister wanted to purchase shoes from my shoe company joojos and experienced difficulty getting the shoes in the size that she needed. My husband and I, the owners of joojos, have limited capital and therefore our inventory is not as wide-ranging as a major children’s shoe company.
But these sacrifices are small compared to the sacrifices that those before us have endured for the causes that they believed in. No one spit in my face. No dogs were sent to attack me. No guns were waved at me. Moreover, I have built invaluable mutually beneficial relationships with fellow entrepreneurs. It was worth it.
I have compiled a list of black-owned alternatives to major brands. I will update it from time to time. Please see the link to the pdf below and the table below. Please share it widely.
Purchasinglove’s Guide for Buying Black
All of these businesses are black-owned and many of them are small start-ups which desperately need our patronage. Patronizing from these businesses may require patience. But that patience pales in comparison to the sacrifices that our ancestors have made. Moreover, that patience is a small sacrifice for the goal of economic empowerment within communities of African descent. According to Maggie Anderson, author of Our Black Year, 95% of wealth in the black community leaves. While one dollar circulates in the Jewish community for 20 days, the Asian-American community for 30 days and the Anglo Saxon community for 17 days, it only circulates in the African-American community for 6 hours before leaving. It is time to recirculate the wealth in order to create employment and inter-generational wealth. Ujamaa (cooperative economics) has never been so important. Please subscribe to purchasinglove.wordpress.com for updates to this list.
Additionally, if you are an entrepreneur of African descent, please do three things. First, register your business with the Around The Way App which is a black-owned business directory. Second, set up a web store at purchaseblack.com. Third, contact me, Ama Yawson, at email@example.com so that I can feature you on my socially responsible spending/small business blog Purchasinglove.wordpress.com.
|Item Category||Big Box Brand||Emerging Black-Owned Business|
|Cookies||Ms. Field’s Cookies||Favorable Treats
|Energy Bars||Kind Bars
Nature Valley Bars
|Bath and Beauty Products – Soaps, Lotions/Butters and Hair Products||Origins Body
Pooka Pure and Simple
Camile Rose Naturals
Karen’s Body Beautiful – Hair products for natural hair by a Bed Stuy native – available at Target
Ixora Botanical Beauty
Nuekie – Natural skin care for dry skin formulated by a black woman chemist
The Mane Choice – Hair vitamins and hair products
Naturally Me – Vegan Body Products for Dry Skin
Sheamakery – high end bath products that look like desserts
|Gift Baskets||Wine and Country Gift Baskets||Taikun Cos , LLC Riding Hood Baskets|
|Bookstores||Barnes and Nobles||Hueman Bookstore|
|Special Interest Books by Black Publishers||Penguin books Kids
Simon and Schuster
|Just Us Books – Publisher and Distributor of books for children of color
Independently published books for teens and adults include Afro-State of Mind by Lurie Favors, Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair by Michael July and One Drop by Yaba Blay.
Independently published books for children include Sunne’s Gift by Ama Yawson, The Ghanaian Goldilocks by Tamara Pizzoli and Thunder and Lightening by Mary Evans which are all available on Amazon.
Elizabeth Arden Spas
|Support a local black-owned spa in your area by going to the link below.|
|Wines||Yellow Tail Wines||Heritage Link Brands is a black-owned distributor of black-owned South African wine companies including Seven Sisters, House of Mandela, M’hudi and One World
Bee D’vine wine is a brand of Ethiopian honey wine which is black-owned and produced in California. A certain portion of revenue is used for reforestation projects in Ethiopia.
|Tea||Teavana||Loose Leaf Teas that inspire creativity and productivity|
|Baby Food||Earth’s Best Organic
|Sista Girl Baby Food|
|Uptown Girl – Trendy Fashions
Blue Labels Boutique- Trendy Fashions
Busayo NYC -African print in modern styles
Rue 114 – African inspired with plus sizes
Antisparkle – Inspirational T-Shirts
|B. Oyama – High end Italian suits with Parisian style
Martin de Tours – Custom Made Suits owned by Bed Stuy Local
Kool Nerd – Inspirational T-Shirts. Some of the proceeds from sales go to promoting science, technology, engineering, art and math among children of African descent.
Brooklyn Circus – Trendy Street-Wear
|Children’s Clothing||The Children’s Place
|Mixed Up Clothing – Spring and summer multicultural fashion
Gbekembe Girls – African inspired fashion that grows with your girls
|Women’s Shoes||Jimmy Choo
|Shane and Shawn – Stylish Shoes which are designed to be comfortable.
Samanta Shoes – Stylish shoes for women with larger feet.
Fever Shoes – Trendy Shoes
|Children’s Shoes||Stride Rite||Joojos – Artisinal baby and toddler shoes made from Italian leathers and partially-hand crafted in Romania.|
Precious Heart Designs
|Intimate Apparel||Victoria Secret||Urban Intima|
|Dolls||Mattel||Sugarfoot Ragdolls and Books
Natural Girls United – Natural Hair Dolls
|Children’s Educational Products
-Language Acquistion Programs
|Smartcoos – Language programs for Mandarin, Spanish and more.
Sweet Blackberry Videos – Created by Karyn Parsons to teach important stories of African American triumph
|Greeting Cards||Hallmark||African American Expressions|
|Shaving Products||Art of Shaving
|Founded by African-American Silicon Valley guru Tristan Walker, Bevel is a shaving system designed specifically for men with kinky or curly hair. This is the first product of Walker Brands which aims to be be a fresh, new and Black-owned consumer products conglomerate.|