Black women have been at the forefront of both business and fashion since the beginning of time with effortless style, grace, culture, and beauty. Not only are we natural trendsetters, we are rarely given the proper recognition for our countless talents and skills, boxed into stereotypes until considered cool by the masses. Black women are also the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, making up nearly half of women-owned businesses in the United States.
Even as we are suffering through a worldwide pandemic, Black business owners are working hard to stay afloat in this uncertain economy. As we become more aware of how we're spending our money during this time, let's begin to put even more effort into supporting Black businesses and widening our network of alternatives in all categories.
For both special occasions and everyday wear, jewelry can play an important role in the lives of women. With the power to uplift our spirits during our most memorable moments, most of us take pride in the pieces we own. No matter the circumstances, women find a way to wear their favorite jewelry, even in hardships. As the fashion industry has slowed, these Black woman-owned jewelry brands have continued to create one of a kind styles and eye-catching designs while showing no sign of slowing down.
For all things cute, gold and dainty, according to the brand By Kaylin is a collection of pretty jewels to suit every mood. With a line up of gold plated hoop earrings, rings, and necklaces, this brand is perfect for everyday jewelry essentials. Each piece is designed with femininity in mind.
KRWND (pronounced "crowned") specializes in custom jewelry, body jewelry and limited edition collections. With the belief that jewelry is a women's crown, this woman-owned company offers simple pieces that make a statement. KRWND also creates stackable rings and earrings, perfect for laying or wearing alone.
Describing themselves as ethnic, bold, and beautiful accessories fit for a queen, MIANIK wants the world to know all women are worthy and should embrace their inner royalty. MIANIK accessories was founded by sisters Olayinka and Nzinga Noel's love for fashion evolved into a mission to turn an everyday outfit into a show-stopping ensemble while understanding that what you wear is an extension of yourself.
As someone who lives for a bold statement, J. ALXNDRA is a brand specializing in going beyond limitations. Worn on celebrities such as Issa Rae, this brand is taking jewelry design to the next level. With a mission of creating "looks" and making the ordinary extra, this line is contemporary fashion jewelry made with quality materials born from a place of passion while intuitively executed.
LELIA + MAE
LELIA + MAE jewelry describes itself as a celebration of women. Black-owned and proud of it, this brand is an entire mood board for black girl joy. Originally founded out of pure adoration for women, especially Black women and Black culture, LELIE + MAE wanted to curate a space, along with jewelry that uplifts and inspires confidence in every woman as they go about their daily hustles. Check out their massive line of jewelry, guaranteed to make you fall in love.
HUMANS BEFORE HANDLES
Humans Before Handles offers statement jewelry under $50. According to the brand's mission, their jewelry was created for all those who wouldn't dare leave the house without the perfect statement earring, unafraid to express themselves through style with strong attention to details. With creative designs at an amazing price, Humans Before Handles is a great source for bold women everywhere.
Where 'design meets art', JUNCTION is a brand crafting classic gold hoops and vintages style anklets and chain belts. With the perfect variety of simplistic designs, JUNCTION offers go-to everyday jewelry for women.
Handmade in the Netherlands, Goldiie Shop is a self-described vibe online with a Caribbean touch. With designs infused with vibrant colors and resin art, all earrings are unique in every way. Perfect to dress up and show out, Goldiie Shop is giving us majorly chic aesthetics.
Organic geometry: Octave Jewelry is known for their interpretation of wearable sculpture in metal and stone. Born of Nigerian descent, Ope, the owner, named the company after a medical services business founded by her mother. Ope states, "My business is a testament to that legacy of strength and entrepreneurship," as written on a recent Instagram post sharing a bit about herself and the idea behind the brand.
Oma The Label
"At the corner of sexy and sweet" is what is seen at first glance when visiting this online jewelry shop. Oma The Label offers sweet and feminine designs for everyday wear for every age range. Simple yet incredibly chic, this brand is focused on quality and affordability for the everyday woman. Oma The Label was created by Neumi Anekhe, a New York-based fashion stylist, in 2018. Anekhe saw a need for more brands to include minorities. Her goal was to help diversify the industry by changing the imagery and predominant representation that we see in fashion today.
The Serendipitous Project
The Serendipitous Project is sustainable jewelry and accessories that celebrate the past, art, and nature made to order/vintage/upcycled. For the girls making the best out of life, this brand uses vibrant colors and eye-catching details to loudly define itself.
DIXIEGRAZE By Hanna
DIXIEGRAZE By Hanna is a jewelry brand offering high-quality gold plated pieces, handmade and exclusively designed since 2013. All pieces are affordable and created to uplift and inspire with engraved messages such as "QUEEN" and "PHENOMENAL WOMAN" amongst a range of customizable options. DIXIEGRAZE is best worn layered up for an effortless gold overload.
Designed for women by women, Epifene Jewelry offers a collection of statement pieces sure to make any woman feel like a queen. Created by two friends in 2018, Epifene was created out of a true bond of love, friendship, and a strong desire to create innovative jewelry.
Beads Byaree is a brand unafraid to make powerful statements through their innovative designs. Worn by celebrities such as Kelly Rowland, this collection of fashion jewelry is sure to turn heads. With vintage designs mixed with wire art and beautiful natural elements, these customizable pieces stretch beyond the everyday imagination.
Born out of a deep desire to release pent up creativity, Evermore Designs is here to make a statement. With a variety of bold vibrant colors and abstract shapes, these styles are perfect for a tropical vacation or brightening up your everyday activities. With a combination of color and creativity, make sure to make room for these special additions to your jewelry box.
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Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Here's What Happened When I Started Taking Ice Baths Every Day
I'm sure by now you've seen a crazy number of people pop up across your "For You" page or in a random YouTube ad doing ice baths, also known as cold plunges. You may be wondering why these people are intentionally sitting in a tub of water between 39 to 50 degrees. I know that's what you're thinking because for the past few years, every time I post about doing an ice bath, my comments and DMs get filled with questions.
Since April 12, 2023, I've been doing daily cold therapy at home in my plunge tub, and I want to share the personal benefits I've seen it have on my life as well as the science behind the process. If doing cold therapy is a goal of yours, keep reading for tips and resources for you to start your cold therapy journey.
Courtesy of Christa Janine
The Physical Benefits of Ice Baths
I originally started doing ice baths in 2018 to reduce muscle soreness after an intense workout, but now I use them as a method to reduce inflammation in my knees and perform at a higher level during workouts. I recently had a double meniscus repair on my right knee, and daily ice baths have helped with my recovery process as well.
Since beginning cold therapy daily, I've seen an increase in my energy levels and improvement in my sleep patterns. Even though my workload has remained the same or slightly increased at times, I've been able to maintain my level of energy throughout the day without feeling completely depleted by the end of the night. Likewise, I used to have intense insomnia, but now I'm averaging 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
In addition to the direct benefits I've experienced in my physical health, science has shown that cold therapy can also boost your immune system, increase blood flow, reduce chronic pain, and boost your metabolism.
The Mental Benefits of Ice Baths
Since incorporating daily ice baths into my daily routine, I've noticed that when I get overwhelmed and feel stressed, I'm able to better manage my anxiety and control my nervous system. One method that is taught to novice ice bathers is utilizing your breath as you enter the cold water. This teaches you how to calm down your fight, flight or freeze response.
By understanding how to use my breath in stressful situations and practicing this usage daily, I'm able to implement this same practice when I feel anxiety or panic attacks coming on in my everyday life. Let's be clear: I still have anxiety, but I’m able to breathe through those moments and quickly move past them.
Courtesy of Christa Janine
In addition, another benefit I've found is mental clarity and awareness. This is one of the top benefits I receive from ice baths. Learning how to direct my thoughts and focus with my breath, I find clarity even in stressful moments. Though I’ve been bombarded with a variety of tasks and obstacles daily, I’ve been able to navigate through with a clear mind. This also allows me to articulate my thoughts and emotions more clearly because I’m more aware of what I’m experiencing in real time.
Lastly, daily cold therapy teaches you discipline and commitment to yourself and your goals. It allows you to focus on one thing at a time and teaches you how to be present in the moment. It's also a daily reminder that you can do hard and uncomfortable things even when they seem impossible.
If you're interested in learning more about starting your own ice bath practice I'd suggest looking into these resources and following these experienced cold therapists.
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Featured image courtesy of Christa Janine