It comes as no surprise that the cannabis industry and the legalization of marijuana is yet another barrier that Black business owners face. A new report released by Grand View Research, Inc stated that the global legal marijuana market size is expected to reach $73.6 billion by 2027. However, many states have very specific guidelines that stand as barriers for many people of color looking to get into the cannabis business and Black and brown people are still serving harsher sentences for the possession and distribution of drugs than their white counterparts.
In tandem with that, Black people across the country lack the capital and access to venture into the marijuana business due to the various restrictions as to who can own cannabis businesses. While the fight continues to dismantle another area in which systemic racism oppresses our community, these business owners are propelling forward to be the diversity that the whitewashed wellness industry so desperately needs. Here are five Black-owned CBD brands to support with varying products.
The Jersey-based CBD dispensary founded by Almaz Adeigbolo offers everything from pre-rolls and honey, to bath bombs that reduce anxiety. They also sell strains of CBD flower to help with depression and insomnia. Additionally, Adeigbolo is also a chef, and she curates cannabis-infused culinary experiences with her boutique food company, brwnbox kitchen.
BROWN GIRL jane is owned by sisters Malaika and Nia Jones and beauty and wellness expert Tai Beauchamp. The Spellman grads started the company after Malaika fell in love with the healing properties of plants and CBD, and felt frustrated with the lack of representation of people of color. Their products range from facial serums to body butter and yoni oils.
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Light a candle 🕯, turn the lights 💡 down low, and pop on some soothing tunes 🎶... the September box is heading your way! This month, Set The Mood with Budzy! Stay tuned for sneak peeks at the products in this month's box 💙and keep your eyes peeled 👀 for pre-orders coming soon!
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Not sure where to begin your CBD journey? This company provides a monthly subscription service of products such as calming wearable patches, chocolates that fight anxiety, nourishing facial masks, feel-good teas, healthful treats, and soothing balms all delivered to your door.
Yes, you read that right, hot sauce. Chef Paul Booker intends to blend up his passion for food and cannabis for all to enjoy. The former athlete shared that after enduring injuries and extreme physical stress on his body after his college football days, Satan's Breath was born.
If you're curious about exploring CBD, support these Black-owned brands as you venture into this area of wellness!
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Featured image via Undefined Beauty
Originally published on September 23, 2020
To know Zerina Akers is to know that she puts on for the culture. Since she made the fashion world her playground years ago while interning at W Magazine and studying under Stella McCartney, Akers has always known that she wanted to learn everything the industry had to offer. It was in 2014 that she finally felt like she was in a place to show the world what she had to offer. The moment was marked by the spark of her creative partnership with Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter as a stylist and costume designer. That very moment allowed Akers to break ground on an abundance of life-changing looks in the "Formation" video to the countless ensembles in Black is King.
The Maryland native recently personified Cardi's lyric, "If it's up, then it's stuck," when she transformed her finsta account into an e-commerce promised land for Black folks. Black Owned Everything is the new home to 14,000 registered Black-owned businesses with the mission to elevate the visibility of Black-owned brands. Akers acknowledges that Black businesses have fought exclusion, systematic oppression, and active disenfranchisement for decades. Because of that, BOE's goal is to change the narrative and to invite you to support Black-owned businesses, celebrate Black creators, and participate in an inclusive, unified community.
On this IG account, with over 200,000 followers, you'll find a bio that reads, "For When The Trend Is Over" and we have never loved a six-word social media biography more. In an interview with HIGHSNOBIETY, she elaborates on why she felt it was important to make this point. Akers says:
"BOE is a medium for creating meaningful and long-lasting participation for Black-owned businesses. We are building a community, growing socioeconomic status, showing pride in our product and what we produce. Taking ownership of our creativity so other brands don't take or sell our stories."
You can expect BOE to always be intentional about spotlighting our brands and our stories because we deserve. We deserve the immersive storytelling content, designer collaborations, capsule collections, and curations that Akers is set to make available on Black Owned Everything. This is what we mean when we say, "Black people deserve luxury."
By opening the world's eyes to the beauty we create as a people, we deny cultural appropriators the means of shoplifting our customs and heritage. Essentially, this creative genius wants to use BOE to teach the industry "to give proper recognition to Black creatives. All of the brands on BOE are innovative and bring a unique perspective to the marketplace." Not only can you shop gifted designers like Fe Noel and CISE but you can also add beauty items from SKINBUTTR, home goods from The Fond Home and hair products from Girl+Hair, to your cart; and that's not even scratching the surface of this gold mine.
Basically, you can outfit your whole life from Akers' luxury domain. And while this space us for Black people by Black people, it's for everyone because this experience needs support from everyone.
We are so thankful to this queen for providing a unique lens for us to see ourselves as true pioneers. For more information on Black Owned Everything, click here.
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It's my favorite time of the week, y'all! Time to loosen those purse strings and buy some black-owned goodiesss! #hellosomebody
And listen, I know it can be difficult at times to get out hands on those accessible to our day-to-day shopping, but fear not! I'm here to help a sista out with all this tea of where to find them. And what better way to help us all out than pointing us to major retailers? I mean, if you're already at Ulta Beauty, why not grab a few black-owned products while there, right? Right.
So, consider this list as a guide and a flex, because these business owners have worked hard out here, mkay?! Alexa, get in here and play "F.U.B.U." We're about to support some black-owned businesses today!
OK, you may not know this, but Ulta Beauty has recently unveiled a plan to double Black-owned brands on store shelves by the end of 2021. Additionally, they plan to invest in media campaigns that feature Black women and expand employee training to fight unconscious bias. In this plan, Ulta Beauty has pledged to spend $25 million on the initiative, including more than $4 million toward marketing that fuels growth of Black-owned brands. Also, Tracee Ellis Ross will become the company's diversity and inclusion advisor.
Shop online via this link, or head into their stores to get your hands on a few gems.
Much like Ulta Beauty, our forever bae, Target, has committed to supporting black-owned businesses--an initiative that they have supported for a very long time. They've recently added badges to its site and app that helps shoppers identify--and support--black-owned brands.
Additionally, one of the brands that they carry (and one of our favorites), The Lip Bar, has curated a full list of products sold in stores and online. Get into it!
Walmart has also swept in and answered the call of adding more black-owned beauty brands to their shelves, which they highlight on their website here.
OK, Wally World, I see you!
Sephora is the GOAT at this BO product game, as they have been inclusive to the culture for years. They've dedicated their website to much of the BO products they carry, and have it broken down by makeup, skincare, haircare, and more. Sephora also spotlights black-owned brands and is committed to taking part of the 15 Percent Pledge--where because Black people are 15 percent of the U.S. population, we'll have that much shelf space in their stores. Shout out to their very fierce (and black) Beauty Director, Myiesha Sewell.
Sidebar: this is a great time to pitch to them, sis! So stop waiting and get on it! Yes, YOU!
Not much more can be said about Amazon's support for BOB except that they are fckin ON it. Get on over there, ladies. They have a LOT to choose from.
Much like the other retailers, Nordstrom is stepping up to combat the issue of product disparity with Black_Space, a dedicated shop of Black-owned brands. Black_Space was created as part of Nordstrom's New Concepts pop-up initiative. Nordstrom tapped into a group of five Black creatives for this initiative: creative consultant Azza Yousif, stylist Marcus Paul, entrepreneur Beth Birkett, artist Harris Elliott, and stylist Matthew Henson, all of which have spearheaded and curated the shop's featured brands. What was born, was a large selection of menswear, womenswear, accessories, and beauty products from 28 Black-owned companies, 25 of which are new to Nordstrom.
Get those coins, y'all. Get all the coins.
Learn more, and shop more, here.
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Ladies, Valentine's Day is up the street and around the corner, meaning it is time to plan all the sappiness our little hearts can handle. And to get bae in the M-O-O-D, even with a full-blown pandemic still lurking around (because ya'll won't stay your asses in the house), what better way to celebrate than to host a date night at home?! More specifically, a date night at home where you can also support black businesses at the same time. Hello!
Black-owned businesses have quietly become the new, "who's all over there?" making V-Day no different for finding goodies to stock all of our needs. From wine to lingerie, we've got you, sis! Here's a list of black businesses to support for this year's Valentine's Day.
"Sleepover and feeling fancy? This sequin PJ set is meant to make a statement and doesn't have to be worn just as PJ's!" That's what the website reads for these fancy threads. Created by Influencer, Nichole Lynel, this label shows off the genius that is Lynel, one garment at a time.
Now, that we have your outfit together, you'll need some bomb tools while making dinner. In, walks HoH Kitchenware, your premium source for kitchen gadgets and unique kitchenware finds, perfect for all foodies alike. Their website has everything you'll need to whip up that bomb dinner, so don't be shy!
Philosophy Winery & Vineyard is the first African-American (as well as women-owned) winery in the state of Maryland. They produce high quality wines, with their Reign Rose' being ready to ship, just in time for the holiday.
To my curvy girls, you'll need some lingerie to go under those pj's, sis! Make sure bae is drooling when you show off your Curvy Fox wear. They have a new Valentine's Day collection on sale, to take care of all your sexpot needs. #purrr
Our good sis, Jackie Aina, has created mood candles for the win! Their website reads:
"Black women don't always have to be strong. Black women deserve self-care. Black women deserve luxury. Black women deserve to be spoiled. Black women deserve. We want to give you the products to live this new narrative out loud. We want to bring you self-care. We want to bring you luxury. We want to spoil you. As a brand, we're writing a love letter from Black women, to Black women. We're rewriting our narrative together."
Girl, just take my money. Whew.
For those of us who love the sweets, Mayas Cookies is your new fave dessert hub. They offer gluten-free cookies, ship worldwide, and are vegan. Oh, and they're black woman-owned.
Charismatic Creations had me at their tagline: "...Because a great night never started with a salad!" Based in the DMV, they specialize in all things "bar", offering everything you need to get the night poppin'. *wink*
Canna Luxe is a luxury smoking, femme-powered brand that specialize in accessories that get you right. Their newest LOVE ME bundle fits perfectly into all your V-Day plans, no questions asked.
Estelle Colored Glass has built a massive network of glass lovers who claw to get their hands on some of their products. They are a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass, all made in Poland. Expect to find their inventory filled with color options to match any special occasion.
Happy Valentine's Day, queens!
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This article is in partnership with Ford.
No one could have predicted the dire effects of the COVID-19 crisis, especially on Black communities. One consequence: Black-owned businesses are now almost twice as likely to close as other businesses because they're more likely to be located in areas hit hardest by the pandemic. If these effects--and this roller coaster of a year--have taught us anything, it's the need for people to not only recognize racial disparities but also take meaningful action to undo them.
As lockdowns took effect and the reality of what was in store sunk in across America, many individuals and businesses shifted gears from driving profits to community-focused problem-solving. Ford is one such company that put nearly all business aside early on to focus heavily on helping Americans in vulnerable positions, including first responders, educators, and small business owners.
The automaker has historically been one of the largest employers of African-Americans in the country, and supported initiatives and organizations that positively impact black communities.
That's especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. For one, Ford has teamed up with the National Urban League, to give Black business owners exactly what they need to get back on their feet ASAP: money.
"Access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles Black-owned businesses face," says National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial. "The pandemic has only widened the racial disparity." That's why Ford and the National Urban League have established the Emergency Capital Access Program (ECAP) to give Black business owners immediate access to a total of $600,000 in grants, along with technical assistance and counseling.
With priority given to businesses located in areas with Black populations of 25 percent or more, Ford and the National Urban League aren't just helping Black businesses, they're giving a necessary boost to Black communities too. "Small businesses are a cornerstone of the African-American community and play a vital role in their economic success," notes Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development at Ford Motor Company Fund, on the importance of deeply-rooted Black businesses fostering community well-being.
Of course, the most important way to support Black communities at this time is to focus on their health. Ford has also teamed up with Wayne State University and social services organization ACCESS to deploy its own vehicles as mobile testing units, servicing more than 10,000 residents in the company's home state of Michigan. The units are also equipped to test for conditions that can put individuals at high risk for contracting COVID--some of which are more commonly experienced by African-Americans than other groups. "Although there is still a strong need for COVID-19 testing, expanding our services to include blood pressure and HIV testing, and broadening our community outreach, allows us to have even a bigger impact in improving community health," says Wayne State University's Dr. Phillip Levy, M.P.H.
Above all, the most notable response to COVID-19 by Ford has been Project Apollo. Not long after the U.S. went on lockdown in March, the automaker quickly pivoted from producing auto parts to creating millions of CDC-compliant masks, face shields, ventilators, respirators and washable isolation gowns. This massive supply of PPE continues to be distributed to Black communities and HBCUs, as well as healthcare workers, first responders, disabled veterans, food banks, schools in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and other at-risk individuals throughout Michigan. In October, more than 700,000 of the masks Ford produced were delivered to breast cancer patients, survivors and their families in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, showing that, despite the pandemic, the auto company is continuing its existing outreach programs like Ford Warriors in Pink®.
Though nothing will right the innumerable wrongs Black communities have and continue to endure, these invested, forward-thinking initiatives offer a glimpse of much-needed positivity and teamwork in a country healing from more than just COVID. And while recovering from the pandemic will no doubt be a long process, prioritizing communities that need the most help is the best way to ensure that we'll come back even better than before.
Featured image courtesy of Ford
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.
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.
"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.
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