You’ve seen a flood on social media around the conversation of #BlackLivesMatter, but you’re probably not sure where to begin, how to support the Black citizens and what to do to topple the pugnacious racism in America. You can break the wheel of racism with something as simple as your shopping habits, by supporting the local Black-owned brands around you. Zouton has charitably conjectured 15 Black-Owned brands that you must today and tomorrow.
Virginia Ali and her husband Ben are the purveyors of DC’s signature hot dogs, burgers and chili bowls, selling their love for food and their culture one bowl at a time. Ben’s Chili Bowl opened in August 1958 with a history of its own- the restaurant has played a role during the 1968 race riots, following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, as they stayed open past curfew to serve both activists and local police and firemen. This quaint shop has hosted President Barack Obama and countless celebrities.
That’s a name you’ve probably heard before. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is a popular fried chicken restaurant based in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It has been featured on Food Channel television shows including The Best Thing I Ever Ate, $40 a Day with Rachael Ray and Man v. Food. The business is known for the hearse out front advertising "chicken worth dying for".
Beauty Bakerie’s mission is to “be sweet and sweeten the lives of others” by encouraging men and women to feel both empowered and beautiful. The brand offers quality beauty products that don’t just serve one spectrum of the skin color. Their products are cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan.
Founded by a woman of color, Karen Young, OUI the People is a very inclusive beauty brand that respects beauty of all races. Their long-lasting steel razors avoid ending up in a landfill, where 2 billion plastic razors are found each year. “This is our commitment to changing the language of beauty. No perfecting, flawless, nor anti-aging claims. Just efficacious, thoughtful, and damned good products that help you feel amazing in your own skin. As you are.”
Pyer Moss was founded in 2013 by Kerby Jean-Raymond who describes the brand as an “art project”. The brand acts as a voice and platform to challenge social narratives and evoke dialogue. Pyer Moss collections combine storytelling, activism, debate, theatre and social commentary, all while using collaboration with artists and brands as a medium to further the dialogue around seasonal themes.
The POC Brand was created to celebrate Black People in America and across the world. It serves as a catalyst for future projects solely for the benefit of POC and carries a wide range of T-shirts and sweatshirts for men and women. The brand is 100% Black Owned and Black-Centered.
The Key Bookstore is curated on the pillars of Afrocentricity, Spirituality Environmentalism, and Entrepreneurship. The store is a fully interactive bookstore experience that engages readers through activities, subscriptions, events, events, and community engagement. The focus is to lead readers on a path to Self Mastery and the cultivation of connection on and offline with respect to the mission, “Divine liberation one page at a time”.
Founder and brand director Jamela A Acheampong started Kahmune as a luxury line offering an array of footwear styles designed to match the skin tones of all women. At present, the brand offers their styles in 10 colors ranging from the fairest of skin tones to the darkest of brown, inspired by the diverse regions of the world. Each shade and style is an accolade to the women whose skin tones have played a pivotal role in Acheampong’s life.
The brand expresses the Black culture that has anchored its place by going against the grain to make a change. FUGGIT is a concept to parody the opulence of popular cultural designs through the art of handmade crochet and other forms of art. Through the sale of these crocheted slippers, FUGGIT aims to start the conversation about sneaker violence in the United States. Secondly, to use proceeds from sales to build the brand in order to create content intended to educate others on the reality of material violence and consumerism.
Justina Blakeney's love for nature led to Jungalow in 2009 and has since grown into a lifestyle brand and the go-to source for jungalicious design goods and inspiration. The shop features a curated ensemble of creative, colorful, modern goods from around the globe. Just looking at the pieces inspire you to tap into your own creativity, connect with nature at home and help you to bring good vibes home.
Founder of Expedition Subsahara, Sofi Seck is a weaver originally from Senegal, West Africa. Her company sells woven baskets, placemats, bags and jewelry that aims to build and maintain a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) school for young girls in Senegal. Currently, that is on hold because of COVID-19. The portion of sales that would have gone into that fund will now be donated weekly to a different charity in Subsaharan Africa, helping with Coronavirus relief.
Mateo New York is founded and run by Matthew Harris, who was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Much of Mateo New York’s success is due to a continuous effort in making modern, relatable fine jewelry at an approachable price point. Plus, the brand was a 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist and opened its first flagship store in the heart of SoHo, New York City in December of 2016.
Owner Lisette Scott was always influenced by her Jamaican and Puerto Rican heritage. The colors, carnivals, art, beaches and language all inspired her to create and design. That’s when she decided to create Jam + Rico (Jamaica and Puerto Rico) to dive deeper into her love of designing and the Caribbean.
The name STRETCH 22 combines key aspects of the life passions of both co-founders. Ja’Warren Hooker, as a former Olympic sprinter, added the “22”, which symbolizes the angle that every sprinter wants to maintain, as long as possible, in a race. This resulted in the name STRETCH 22. Joining forces, Dr. Kris and Ja’Warren are on a mission to help people feel better, move better and be better.
GRIT Fitness was founded by Brittani Rettig in January of 2015. This full-body boutique fitness concept is based on her belief that mental grit is the key to both fitness success and to living our best lives. At GRIT, Brit has designed and curated a set of original, music-driven group fitness classes that provide an intense workout and a fun experience.
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