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10 Black-Owned Businesses To Shop This Black Friday & Beyond
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10 Black-Owned Businesses To Shop This Black Friday & Beyond

Time to spend green, and shop black.

Shopping

Black Friday has rolled around and it. is. time. Time to take advantage of all the mega-savings that are here, forcing us to swipe our poor little hearts (and credit cards) out, and stack up on holiday purchasing cheer. Although, there have been a few slight changes between this and last year due to the pandemic, we're kind of here for them. Most major retailers are now offering exclusive Black Friday deals throughout the entire month of November, versus having all of us out here fighting for 30-inch TVs in the middle of the store a day after being thankful for what we have. But, forget all that, it's time to spend green, and shop black

Whether you're here for the Black Friday hustle and bustle or not, it's always nice to support a black-owned business—especially during these times (or any time for that matter). So, grab your wallet, sis! We've compiled a list of 10 of the best black-owned businesses to support this Black Friday and beyond.

Uniqurl

Uniqurl was developed by Alexis Stanley, an RN who suffered from a hair journey setback in 2016. After not being able to find products that worked for her, she decided to begin making her own, in her kitchen. By 2017, she had begun experimenting with hundreds of ingredients and it wasn't long before Alexis started using her products on her two daughters and sharing her recipes with her followers on Instagram while giving them free healthy hair advice. Her followers wanted more of what she was offering so Alexis decided to package her formula and put a label on it!

In addition to their vegan and organic products, Uniqurl has established a COVID-19 Single Mom's Fund to support women who could use a helping hand during these times. We stan black owned philanthropy too!

Uniqurl plans to have huge Black Friday deals. Text UNIQURL2020 to 29071 to gain access.

Curvy, Curly, Conscious

Founded by Shelah Marie, 'Curvy, Curly, Conscious' is the self-proclaimed go-to place for women of color to connect, commune, and embark on their paths to self-love and care. They're a community of women, who believe in elevating each other by coming together and encouraging frank conversations. Their message? Let go and invite higher into your life (the next level in your inner knowledge, your self-discovery and taking care of yourself from the inside out). 'Curvy, Curly, Conscious' even hosts retreats to assist in helping you tap into that higher vibration (something we can all stand to do after a wild af year).

Essie Spice

Headed to the kitchen, one of our favorite items to support is Essie Spice. Launched in late 2013, the small-batch operation sells three signature sauces and one spice blend, all loosely based on the West African flavors. None are totally traditional recipes, instead they combine flavors and cooking techniques from their founder, Essie Bartel's, global travels. The brand boasts, "There are 101 ways to use Essie Spice vegan cooking sauces and spice blends. From cocktails and desserts to savory seared proteins veggies and soups—you name it, we fit right in."

Oh, and they're delicious too!

Essie Spice is offering 17% off your total purchase using code SPICEVERSARY at checkout. With your holiday purchases, a percentage will be donated to the Tarkwa Breman Girls School in Ghana, which goes directly to tuition, uniforms and feeding as the girls do not pay a dime for their education.

Rich Auntie Energy

"We are wealth manifesting aunties", their website reads as this company proudly flies the flag for women that believe traveling, stacking, and being faithful to living how you want to live, is the only way to live. Listen, and we're here for it all because some of us don't have, or don't want to have, kids, m'kay?

The brand, 'Rich Auntie Energy', was a thought that became an idea, that became a goal, that has somehow, strangely enough, manifested into an entire brand. They developed into a simple, but bold, apparel line which makes a full-on unapologetic statement—nothing more, nothing less. Because sometimes, it's just best to let your clothes do the talking for you.

Select items will be marked for sale on Black Friday, so check the website to cop their discounts.

HDN LEF

For those of us who choose to indulge in legal consumption, HDN LEF, has taken its piece of the cannabis pie. They are an edible production company, focusing on a variety of CBD and medical THC infused edibles and topicals to help manage pain throughout the day, and provide a restful sleep at night. Their goal is to introduce safe cannabis use to women. But don't expect to just show up and order, HDN LEF operates under exclusive clientele.

Founded by a black woman, HDN LEF gives us an opportunity to support in an industry that belongs to us, but that we're being shut out of at rapid rates. Happy eating!

HDN LEF is offering 15% off all products when you enter the code BETHANKFUL.

Spoken Flames

Spoken Flames, a New York-based and black woman-owned candle company, is reshaping the way that we experience burning candles. The brand has a collection of candles that offers a vibe-y experience through spoken word poetry audio. When a candle burns and is captured from the lens of a Spoken Flames Instagram filter (accessible on the brand's Instagram handle @SpokenFlames), a meditative augmented reality experience will follow.

"No more 'light it and forget it' candle moments," Spoken Flames writes of the immersive experience on its site. "We've crafted a multisensory candle experience that will engage your senses of sound, sight, and smell—and transcend reality through a unique and immersive digital experience designed to activate your moment of self-care."

Peak innovation and revolution for the culture.

Kahmune

You know, I was well into adulthood when I learned that band-aids are supposed to be flesh-colored. I mean, they had always been "that" color for as long as I could remember, we never thought any differently, which speaks volumes to how we're often unconsidered in overall consumer products.

Kahmune took this challenge head-on, and created a shoe line for women to find their true nude. The founder, Jamela A. Acheampong, says that her story, is probably your story too. "We are a solution to the age old fallacy that 'nude' refers to a specific color. It's time for a change." Queen.

For Black Friday, Kahmune will be donating 15% of all sales to three women's charities through November 30.

Bombd Aesthetics

Ladies, I know how we are about our skincare. Well, this brand, is no different. Bombd Aesthetics is a vegan skincare company that believes you should be able to pronounce the names of the products that you use. Created after the owner's daughter developed a sensitive skin issue, Bombd Aesthetics was born.

One of their most popular products, is their tumeric mask, which has instantaneous rejuvenation powers and rightfully so, as BA hand makes their products using oils, butters, and ingredients that you recognize.

Why? "Because what goes on your body, is just as important as what goes in."

Yassss.

Happy Mango

Happy Mango is the epicenter of black woman-owned eco-friendly children products. They're a kids and baby store that serve moms and kids up to age 4. They also have registry services, baby showers, and birthday party packs, and carry brands like Nuna, Babyletto Cribs, Colgate Mattresses, Grovia, Uppababy, DockATot, Ergo, Nurseryworks, and more.

Owner Phnewfula Frederiksen (pronounced "new-fa-la") is a Clark-Atlanta University alum, who has spent 20 years working in promotions departments at labels such as Interscope and Atlantic Records. But after the birth of her son in 2008 and her daughter a few years later, she decided to focus on being a mom. Shortly after, Phnewfula launched Happy Mango as a pop-up shop, where she built a local following among "tree-huggers" and eco-enthusiastic parents. Many of the products at Happy Mango are comparable in price to traditional store-bought baby items. New moms, be sure to check out this amazing store online or at their brick-and-mortar in Atlanta. Click here to see what items are on sale for Black Friday.

SaTrell Beauty

SaTrell, a beauty brand where you'll find exclusive products that will inspire creativity and expression, was founded by wife, mother, and entrepreneur Nichole Wright. They have cruelty-free, free from harsh chemicals, and complimentary of all skin tone products such as nail polish, glosses, and more. Like many other black-owned polishing products, SaTrell was born after a need of finding items that weren't chemically-induced.

Soon, Nichole set out to provide affordable, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly cosmetics. She wanted a cosmetics brand where a woman can indulge in her beauty, be creative, be expressive, and confident in her own skin. *poetry snaps*

Expect to see SaTrell alongside new and trendy products on the market, as they are carving out space to do cosmetics, their way.

Satrell is having a Black Friday Sale - 11/23 - 11/30 30% off site-wide and free shipping with purchase over $25 with code Thankful30.

Feature image by Shutterstock

Honey & Spice Author Bolu Babalola’s Hopeful Romance

Some may see romantic comedies and dramas as a guilty pleasure. But author Bolu Babalola indulges in the genre with no apology. “I love romance,” Babalola tells xoNecole. “I’ve always consumed romance. I’ve always read romance. I’ve always written romance,” she says. “It wasn’t even a conscious decision, it’s just a part of me. It’s just what I enjoy reading.”

In her debut romance novel Honey & Spice, Babalola follows up her debut anthology Love in Colour by once again allowing her love for all things love to bloom into a world brimming with vibrant and lively characters. In Honey & Spice, we are introduced to the character of Kiki Banjo who Babalola describes as “the resident romantic adviser” at the university where Kiki also hosts a love advice radio show for Black women on campus called “Brown Sugar.” When a mysterious man arrives at the school and sows discord amongst the ladies, it threatens to undo the work that Kiki has put into trying to lead them all down the right path in their love lives. “A confrontation ensues, an entanglement ensues, and eventually they find themselves having to fake a relationship to save both of their reputations,” Babalola says.

Babalola says that creating Kiki allowed her to write about a Black female character that is flawed. “She is messy. And she is giving romantic advice to women at the university but she doesn’t have it figured out,” Babalola says. “And it was really freeing for me to write a young Black girl like that.”

Babalola is joining a recent wave of writers who are allowing audiences to embrace Black women to be their whole complicated and imperfect selves on screen and in books. Along with debut author Raven Lelani’s hit book Luster (that Babalola describes as one of the books that made her heart beat fast,) and Insecure’s Issa who Babalola describes as a “delight” and “messy.” “She’s so gorgeous, but she’s not exactly smooth,” Bablola says.

Of course, romance is one of the many genres that suffers from its share of anti-Blackness, both with who gets to write them and the kind of characters we constantly see being loved and desired. It’s the Julia Robertses and the Meg Ryans of the world who are seen as the kind of women that society deems to be worthy of affection. While those women as some of her fave on-screen leading ladies, she also cites Vivica A. Fox in Two Can Play That Game and multi-hyphenate entertainer and rom-com queen Queen Latifah who Babalola says is “beautiful, self-possessed, sexy, deep brown skinned, and fully aware of her beauty.”

During our conversation, I was reminded of when Toni Morrison famously said that she “wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” That was one of my favorite Toni Morrison quotes,” Babalola says when I brought it up to her. “It’s a compulsion. Maybe it’s a little bit narcissistic, but I love writing those stories for my younger self,” she says. More than just herself though, Babalola feels a sense of pride every time young Black girls tell her how much her work impacts them. “When they come up to me and say they felt seen, they felt held, ‘You made reconfigure my idea of romance, and gave me hope about it,’ that makes me really happy.”

Despite the cynicism that many critics have of the romance genre, Babalola says that she doesn’t let that impact her love for the genre. “I really believe that people who think love is a weak or frivolous thing are –” Babalola pauses for a second. “–I’m trying to say they’re dumb but in a nice way,” Babalola jokes. “They really don’t have an awareness of the kind of complexity that’s within that genre, what it takes to forensically explore emotions and human vulnerability.”

While binge-watching television when she was in university, she got the idea to expand her writing skills and her love of romance to the screen. Last year, the pilot for her 30-minute hangout comedy Big Age, aired on Channel 4 in the UK. It follows the life of a Black woman who quits her lucrative law job to pursue writing all the while juggling the prospects of a budding new romance and an old flame.

“I’m a storyteller,” she says when I ask her if screenwriting was always in her cards. “Books and novels were just the first things that I gravitated to because I read books so I’m gonna write books.”

Be it on screen or in a book, Babalola’s love for stories about love and messy Black girls will always find a platform.

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Featured image by Caleb Azumah Nelson

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