March is Women’s History Month and while we encourage our readers to celebrate women every day like we do, March is a time to really focus on appreciating the contributions of women cultivators and history makers, particularly in the Black community. With remarkable illustrations of Black girl magic such as Michelle Obama and Simone Biles, Black women have continued to make history even in the face of adversity, all while influencing little Black girls everywhere that no dream is too big to achieve.
Just look at the numbers. The National Center of Education Statistics’ study showed that Black women are one of the most educated groups in the U.S. and they are more likely to become business owners in comparison to white women according to Forbes. The studies prove that Black women are more willing to take risks and sometimes make history in the process.
So, for Women’s History Month, we want to shine a light on 10 Black-women owned small businesses that you should support.
Sylvine is a visual artist who creates beautiful art that explores Black women in their femininity and their everyday life. This work includes women wearing grills, stylish nails, and hairstyles synonymous with Black women. Her artwork ranges from canvas prints to posters and even phone cases. “Everything about the Black Culture inspires me a lot. The Black Woman is my muse,” Sylvine said on her site.
Prime Beauty is a cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand that has been seen on the likes of Issa Rae and Tamar Braxton. The site notes that the brand's goal is "to create quality and affordable products that defy Eurocentric beauty standards and uplift the beauty that is being a woman of color. Specifically focusing on the long-standing gaps in color cosmetics for deeper skin tones."
If you like to have game nights with your family and friends, then you might enjoy Kulture Karaoke. It’s a music card game that celebrates Black music and Black culture featuring categories of the 90s and 2000s hip hop and R&B music. In an exclusive statement to xoNecole, the game creator, Dae Fenwick, said, “The concept was born early in the pandemic, in 2020. It was created as just something fun for my friends and I to do at a time when we needed more joy. After playing with friends, I thought maybe others would enjoy it too, and Kulture Karaoke was born.”
4.Jade Gold Studio
Jade Gold Studio is an online boutique that features affordable and stylish jewelry and accessories. According to the website’s description, "Each piece of the collection is exquisitely crafted with the everyday woman in mind - women who enjoy simplicity, women who enjoy making bold statements, and every woman in between. The pieces can be worn by themselves for a minimalist look or layered for a lively, bold look."
NYC brand Zaime is an ethically-made clothing line that is both functional and luxurious. The brand creator, Zapora Williams, wanted to prove that fashion can be “responsibly manufactured” while also being sophisticated, elegant, and edgy. In an interview with Forbes, Zapora talked about the fight to be respected as a Black designer. “We often get lumped into streetwear,” she said. “Black doesn’t automatically mean streetwear. I wanted to showcase Black women in a new light.”
Sahel Cosmetics was founded by Sahel to honor her Chadian roots. The company’s most popular product is the chebe powder, which is a reddish-brown powder that is native to the African country of Chad and is said to promote healthy hair hydration and less breakage. The chebe powder is seemingly responsible for the thick, long hair that is often seen on the women in that region.
Ivy’s Tea Company was created by herbalist Shanae Jones as an ode to hip-hop. The teas' names are all influenced by songs and figures in hip-hop like Nip’s Tea, which is in honor of Nipsey Hussle and C.R.E.A.M., which is a popular song by Wu-Tang Clan. In a previous interview with xoNecole, shared what inspired the brand. “I find that hip-hop is a great teaching tool and I see no reason why herbalism and herbal tea or any tea shouldn't be a part of that teaching,” she said.
Luxury footwear company Kendall Miles takes shoe design to the next level. The shoe brand that has been seen on Lizzo and Mickey Guyton caters to women who love to keep it classy and chic or flashy and edgy. Just one scroll through their Instagram page and you will see it’s giving variety, from fur-lined heels to strappy heels to a simple pump.
As the weather starts heating up again, it’s time to start thinking about swimsuit shopping so why not a Black woman-owned brand? Castamira is a “conscious luxury” swimsuit brand founded by Wilhelmina model Chantel Davis. The collection’s aesthetic is inspired by the 1970s and the 1990s and it is designed with the woman in mind focusing on showcasing women’s natural curves.
10.Bright & Salted Yoga
Yoga Instructor Arianna Elizabeth has a YouTube channel where she teaches viewers yoga at home. The classes range from beginner to intermediate so anyone can participate and she often offers challenges for yogis to focus on certain body parts or poses. Her classes are rooted in faith and she closes each class out with affirmations to say to yourself before getting off of your mat.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
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'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
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Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ