10 Black-Owned Businesses To Shop This Black Friday & Beyond
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 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).
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.
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, 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.
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.
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."
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, 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
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Max And Maya Living: A Candid Look At Love Abroad Behind The Cameras
For Maya and Max, the cameras are always on. The YouTube duo famously chronicle their lives as partners in both love and work in front of an audience of more than one million across various social media pages, candidly detailing everything from the ins and outs of their relationship and traveling to more intimate moments including the home birth of their first child in the countryside of Sweden. The pair have carved out a digital path, each step symbolic of who they are individually and their union that refuses to shrink itself into traditional roles.
Side by side, the two shared with xoNecole, their lives prior to the creation of Max & Maya Living, their popular YouTube channel. Tracing back to when Maya, known as “Shameless Maya,” was a solo highly sought-after influencer with international campaigns and a million followers, and Max was a budding actor, student, and photographer exploring the world.
Now, three years later, as joint influencers, married, with a child, and living in a new country, the two take a walk down memory lane before an audience accessed their home, their dreams, and their family life with the click of a button.
With sincere smiles of adoration and affection and earnest candidacy, the two shared how one late night tucked away in a cafe in Colombia turned into a proposal nine months later. A friendship quickly transcends to become a story of love strengthened by cultural differences, long distance, and an age gap to build a foundation of both self-discovery and a forever partnership.
Take us to the beginning, how did you two meet?
Max: I was backpacking through Colombia, and I made a stop at a hostel where Maya was staying. I was living in London, and I was transiting to Berlin, and this was my trip just before relocating. We were staying in a surf hostel, but there were no waves, and at night it turned into a spring break vibe where people were shooting vodka through water guns, and I was not there for that. So I walked to this outskirts hotel, and there at a barista cafe, Maya was sitting there.
Maya: We began bonding over our history in the arts. We both went to drama school, so that was our first talking point and from there, we [talked] for hours and embarked on a beautiful friendship. Max and I hit it off and [spent] three days… laughing our butts off and just being able to relate to one another.
After leaving Colombia, where did the friendship stand?
Maya: When I went back to L.A. I thought this would be over; I was like, wow! I really feel like I met such an amazing soul, but I couldn't see him as anything more than a friend. I'm 12 years older, and I'm this huge YouTuber in L.A., and he's a student transitioning to Berlin. So in my brain, I automatically put him in the friend category. But, he just kept reaching out, and he was so honest with everything, and a lot of guys put up a front… they see my nice home, my nice car, they won't say it, but they just look and start asking questions. Whereas Max he was like, "Omg! You live in this house? Are you rich, Maya?" Just very candid.
Max: I had a feeling that there was a slight mutual love potential, but I was afraid. I thought the stakes were very high, and I did not want to lose her as a friend. If I allowed myself [to think about how a relationship would work], it was just too complicated. But since our foundation was such a beautiful friendship, the obstacles of age and location, living on different continents, in different stages of our lives and careers, I [just] allowed myself to be grateful for our friendship.
Are you able to pinpoint when your feelings for each other transitioned from just friendship?
Maya: [Back in L.A.] I was reading my journal because I had written out what I was looking for in my ideal partner, and I remembered crying. What I had written was what and who Max is and what we did. I had written out an ideal date for us, and we had done that in Colombia, which was hiking, and that wasn't even a date. It was more like, "I'm going to this national park. Do you want to go with me?" So we were doing this long distance [friendship], and Max had no idea I was even entertaining this idea of us being together.
Max: For me, Maya was checking all the boxes, but I hadn't done anything but be myself. It was a strong feeling that I didn't even think of myself saying, I want it to be exclusive. It just came from the heart. I knew that I wanted to be exclusive regardless if it was going to be long distance. I think there's a tendency for men to put up a facade - you want to check all the boxes that person is looking for because otherwise, you might lose this person forever.
Just a few months after their initial spark in Colombia, Maya booked a job in Germany. Not exactly Sweden where Max was spending time with his family before his move to Berlin but still much closer to him than when she was in the City of Angels. Immediately after her job concluded, she decided to visit Sweden and visit Max.
Essentially, making the first move, for Maya, this was her chance to explore the feelings that constantly linked her back to Max. For Max, it was the time to show the dazzling YouTuber more than just another country to mark off on her passport but his home.
So Maya, tell us about your trip to visit Max in Sweden.
Maya: Love requires you to risk winning and risk losing, and you have to be okay with that. You can't be afraid. You have to keep taking steps forward, and I'm so glad I did. I made the first major flight to Sweden to see Max. Most women wouldn't do that; they'd think, "He needs to come to me." You just need to be honest with who you are and what you [want]. If that's very important to you, then that's your choice. For me, love required me to take a risk.
Since he was working in Sweden for a very short time period, it didn't make sense for me to request him to come to L.A. So, I was willing to take that first step, and you have to be open when it's a healthy risk.
"Love requires you to risk winning and risk losing, and you have to be okay with that,. You can’t be afraid. For me, love required me to take a risk."
Max: The day after Maya left Sweden, I could have asked her to marry me. I'm very traditional in that sense, where I believe in finding the one. Some people choose to commit to a relationship because of other values or interests. But I knew I needed that feeling, and I got that feeling with Maya.
At this point Maya you’re in L.A. and Max is in Sweden. What kept the spark alive despite being thousands of miles apart?
Max: The hardest thing was to say goodbye when you don't know when you're going to see each other again. So we came up with this idea where every time we say goodbye, we should have the next trip booked. By the time I left L.A., Maya already had her flight booked to visit me. So there was always something to look forward to, and you knew when you'd see each other again.
Maya: I think what was refreshing about Max is that he wasn't what I expected. In my mind, from society and social media. I feel like especially Black women are trained to idealize a certain kind of relationship, tall, dark, handsome, and six figures. You know, he has to have all these things. But with Max, he was in transition. [I had to ask myself] where were you at his age? We all start from somewhere? We're all on a journey. But the fact that he was disciplined and had a strong work ethic. So it's really looking at the qualities because I'm looking for a life partner, not someone to date for just a couple of years.
How did you two navigate cultural differences and being in two very different phases of your career?
Maya: It's important to acknowledge social norms and the differences of what each person likes and dislikes and then having a conversation about what each person wants. So if you are dating outside of your culture, you have to understand differences and not to take things as an insult.
I remember Max didn't open a door for me. I knew he wasn't doing this to disrespect me. So I literally went on Google and looked into Swedish culture. And I found information explaining that Sweden is big on equality. In their culture, opening the door for a capable woman is an insult. So it's important to acknowledge your culture and their norms. As well as seeing your dynamics and having candid conversations about what you each want. And try to see through the person that you love. Look at the core values. Look at the fun you have together.
Engaged and making the decision to explore a life together was just the beginning for the pair that, on paper, was as far apart as the distance between the continents in the middle of them. Fervently wanting to close the miles between them, Max and Maya explored all of the options; Max even considered a student visa to attend UCLA to be with Maya. However, before a full plan could be realized, the pandemic hit, and the two had to immediately shift gears.
Ready for a change of pace from the fast-paced influencer lifestyle of Hollywood, Maya moved back home to Canada. From there, the two purchased a home in the place where love first blossomed, Sweden. Finally reunited, the two married, and the very next day following the ceremony, Maya had to leave the country because of visa requirements. But, she didn’t leave alone. Max was right beside his partner as they traveled from Canada and Mexico together until they could return to Sweden together.
Finally settled and in their home, the two merged their lives together with the birth of their child and the start of their relationship as partners.
How did you two create “Max and Maya Living” together? Especially with Maya’s already influential social media career?
Maya:[When we met] I was working on my YouTube channel, and because Max was getting into videography and filmmaking, it just seemed like the most convenient option is to work with your partner. So while we were living in Mexico together, I hired Max to shoot for me. But I just didn't like the dynamic of being his boss when we already have the layer of me being 12 years older.
In "Max and Maya," that was born out of the desire to create mutually. I wanted to see him grow, and my energy was kind of like waning at this point because I had been doing my YouTube channel, Shameless Maya, for ten years, and it was just more or less the same thing over and over again. I wanted to start something new and fresh that we could both be part of.
What was that transition like for you going from behind the camera to a partner on camera with Maya?
Max: I was never intimidated by Maya’s success, I was curious, and I went through insecurities, but I was never intimidated. At the time, I was an aspiring actor and videographer. Then, all of a sudden, I felt like I got so much for free just because it was Maya. But I had to accept I was still learning. Maya was a very great teacher, and I became a sponge. Eventually, we progressed into two different levels of expertise, and now we work as a team.
How do you balance the marriage of Max and Maya versus the coworker space of “Max and Maya” you occupy when creating together?
Max: The one thing that I find the hardest is to switch off work when you are working very close with your partner. Don't bring in the emotions from your private life into the workspace, meaning, if you're working on something, try to work towards some sort of neutral space where you can step in together and be like, okay, we'll deal with this private stuff at another time.
And really nourish the family identity together, like your privacy as a family. So when we're out, and we're actually vlogging. That's not family time per se. So make time for family without the cameras.
Why do you think your story as a couple, as coworkers, as social media influencers resonates with so many and continues to engage thousands?
Maya: I think it's because we are carving our own path and being honest with ourselves, and however that translates online is just a by-product. A lot of women especially subscribe to the ideals of someone else versus what they enjoy. I know what I want. I'm older. I take on what society calls masculine attributes. I don't find it that. I just know who I am and when I'm in a relationship. It's nice to not feel like I have to dumb down or ask for help.
Max: I'm a very emotional person, and this relationship allows me to fully embrace that and just be myself. I don't have to act as if I'm something else. I don't have to prove that I'm some sort of alpha male that has to provide according to traditional social norms.
Maya: Society tells you that when you're married and have a child, you're supposed to have stability. But for us, we've always been travelers. We've always been adventurers, so we've just adopted our daughter into our lifestyle. It's easy to lose yourself to your partner or your family. And I think it's important to hold on to your self-identity as well as sharing this new dynamic with children and partnership. In our channel, we just share who we are and try to inspire others to create the life that you want.
For more of Max and Maya, follow them on Instagram @mmhilding and @mayasworld. Subscribe to their YouTube channel here.
Featured image courtesy of Max and Maya Living