Supporting Black-owned small businesses is integral to helping the Black community thrive. Each time we support these brands we help they grow and provide opportunities and examples of success that will fuel drive and opportunity for future entrepreneurs. Check out this diverse list of companies led by founders who saw a personal or community need and turned it into inspirational brands that service the Black community and beyond.
Kim Kimble built her career on creating hair magic. She honed her craft through years of hard work and learned from her mother and grandmother, both hairstylists. Kim broke into the world of entertainment as the Key Hairstylist behind “B.A.P.S,” starring Halle Berry. Her intricate styling and vision for the characters’ hair expressions opened the door for a career working on countless tv shows and films, allowing her to work with top artists such as Beyonce, Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Rihanna.
The Chicago native has taken her vast knowledge of hair care and translated it into haircare and styling tool lines that lean into creating optimal hair care results for kinky, curly, and wavy textures. The Kim Kimble line hair care and styling tools lines are found exclusively at Walmart. The hair care line of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, heat protectants, pomades, gels, and more are color-safe, free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and not tested on animals. Products boast naturally derived ingredients such as black honey, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and coconut oil to give optimal results without damaging hair. As Kim states, women should never have to choose between being stylish and maintaining the health and well-being of their hair.
“Since I was a little girl watching my grandmother cut and treat hair with her homemade concoctions, I dreamed that one day I would be able to do for the many what my mom and grandma did for friends and neighbors. I am a proud, third-generation hairstylist, and I can’t wait for you all to feel the same excitement as I do when using my products at home that I do with my clientele, whether they are famous like Beyonce, Zendaya, Mary J. Blige and Shakira or my neighbor Erika,” states Kimble.
The Kim Kimble Celebrity Series of professional-grade hair styling tools includes all you need, from hair dryers to tourmaline ceramic-coated styling irons designed to help you get that pro-look at home.
Taraji P. Henson is an impressive powerhouse of creativity, business, philanthropy, activism. This energy and dedication have driven her success as a leading actress and now as a hair care maven. Her haircare line TPH by Taraji focuses on providing women with all hair texture self-care through haircare. The TPH line celebrates how hair is a platform for showcasing the many sides of one’s personality by encouraging the spirit of experimentation while focusing on scalp and hair health.
With a focus on caring and nurturing, your crown products range from scalp care, cleansing, repair, treatment stylers, and more. TPH delivers over 36 natural and nourishing ingredients across its product line, from avocado oil to strengthen and smooth to kaolin clay to help purify the scalp.
Their scalp-first approach is designed for creating the optimal environment for healthy hair no matter the style and has gained recognition with products like Master Cleanse, a targeted scalp wash, and Mother Earth, a moisturizing clay mask winning beauty and hair care awards.
As a teenager, Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter became the youngest beauty distributor ever when she dared to bring large-scale beauty brands into Nigeria. After reaching out to many brands, Revlon, who had been trying to get into the Nigerian market for 15 years, answered. She became the first distributor of the brand in Nigeria and proceeded to make a name for herself in the world of beauty.
After many years of working for brands in the industry, Sharon branched out and created UOMA Beauty which fast became a celebrated new brand focused on breaking barriers within the beauty industry.
“For me as a Black woman, you learn from a very young age that everything about you is wrong. Your skin color, your body features. I couldn’t work in an industry and see that I was enabling that. It became culpability by complacency. I was part of the problem. For me, that’s why I had to go out and set up my own brand. I wanted to create a community where everybody can feel included and welcome.” shared Cutter in a recent interview with Beautylish.
The brand’s success has led to a recent collab limited edition 9-piece color cosmetic collection with the Coming2America film.
Recently UOMA Beauty launched Uoma Beauty by Sharon C, an ingredient-conscious, vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, inclusive sister of the UOMA Beauty brand. From colorful lip stains to water-based foundations to masks and cleansing oils, and more, the line brings a fresh perspective to beauty.
Organic pet treats
There really is nothing that a young person cannot do if they are motivated by love! When animal lover Ava was six years old, she begged her parents to let her start her business of making organic all-natural dog and cat treats. After making the treats in her family kitchen, Ava’s Pet Palace launched in 2016, and its success has led Ava’s mom to become a full-time employee for the business.
“It’s been a lot of hard work. And my business really took off thanks to a lot of kind people who shared it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I now have customers in all 50 states and Canada and I’ve even shipped my treats to the UK and New Zealand!”
Multicultural inspired jewelry line
Her Jamaican and Puerto Rican heritage inspired Lisette Scott to create this line of beautiful fashion jewelry. As she says, growing up with a little salsa and reggae with a mix of arroz con pollo, pastelles, jerk and curry, as she says, created in her a passion two learn more about her origins. Traveling to both islands influenced her to make her line to celebrate the cultural connection of her ancestors. Her collections showcase colorful hues and nature-inspired shapes that showcase her cultures with cowrie shell silhouettes and banana motifs.
Vibrant and stylish plant pots
The pandemic super-sized the Black community’s love of plants. And fellow plant parent Latrice Thompson was finding that her choices were lacking when it came to pots. While buckling down in Brooklyn with her two majestic cats during the pandemic, Latrice saw the need for more options and worked hard to launched Palette Pots in July 2020. Made for plant lovers who had difficulty finding functional planters with drainage holes and in colors that fit their personal aesthetics Palette Pots offers playful, colorful pot collections that are stylish and streamlined.
“The community was one of the main reasons why I started Palette Pots. It was essential to plant parents to have accessories in their homes that made it feel more like a sanctuary. To share plant care tips and introduce people in the community to plant parenthood who haven’t even considered it brings me joy and satisfaction.” says Latrice.
Caribbean-inspired hot pepper sauce
Shaquanda is the drag persona of Andre Springer, a Bed Stuy native who grew up cooking with his Barbadian grandmother. During a drag performance in 2014 at Bushwig in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Shaquanda introduced the world to the hot sauce when Andre asked to include food in the performance. The audience loved the performance and the sauce, and now we can all enjoy the goodness of the hot sauce line at home. Enjoy one of five flavors, including the original Hot Pepper Sauce, Ooomami (see what she did there?!), and West Indian Curry. The curry flavor was deemed a favorite by singer Sam Smith when he appeared on the Hot Ones, a talk show where host Sean Evans interviews celebrities as they try to feast through hot sauce-slathered hot wings.
As Shaquanda says, “You don’t have to be royal to be the Queeen of your kitchen! Dress your food with spice and flavor huney!”
100% soy wax candles and all-natural room sprays
Like countless other families, Tiffany Rose and her “tweenagers” struggled to find something to do to get through the pandemic, virtual classrooms, zoom meetings, and inability just to get out and play.
“Since all sports and activities that my kids love to do had all been canceled, we decided to start crafting on Fridays. Making jewelry, floral arrangements, drawing, and mama was crafting cocktails! One afternoon, “I asked my “tweenagers” if they could have a business right now at the age they are (10) and (11) what would it be?” They came up with several ideas that would require much more teaching than I could give them, so I gave them several suggestions (planted a seed). Since candles is something we all have a love for in my home, and we burn them daily, it was one of the choices I gave them.” Tiffany shared.
For two months, they tested and decided to send 150 tester tins to family and friends. With overwhelming reception, the team took the plunge to create School Scents, a candle company inspired by school themes and featuring scents such as Recess, Janitors Closet, and Prom Queen. Officially launching in January 2021, the brand sold out of three different fragrances three times within the first week.
Through this process, her daughter Marley found a renewed focus. According to Tiffany, diagnosed with ADHD, Marley’s focus and retention were affected. “During the candle-making process, she is so focused and wants to get it just right. There is no data to support that this is helping her diagnosis, only what I witness when she is creating new scents and making batches of our candles. Candles make her happy, especially when they smell good.” says Tiffany.
Launching a business during Covid was not easy, but the new company leaned on their community of friends and family to see it through. For Tiffany, community is meaningful and uplifting. “It means a sense of belonging. As a black American, when I see my sister or brother win, we all will. Community on the larger perspective to me means I see you. We may be from different walks of life, but we can help each other move forward. You are my ally.”
Debt solution app
Ty’Lisha and Kiley Summers, the founders of SpenDebt, tapped into their personal experiences with debt to deliver a solution for others facing the burden. After seven years of working hard to pay down debt accrued from college and from starting their life together, the couple used their tactics and professional backgrounds to conceive of SpenDebt, an app that helps people pay down their debt as they shop. Users can set micropayments to be added to each debit card transaction they make. So, every time you swipe your card or spend online, you are simultaneously paying off your debt.
Their concept and service are gaining attention, with SpenDebt recently chosen to join the highly selective Mastercard Start Path, an award-winning global fintech engagement program. They are among six scaling startups selected to join the program to co-innovate the future of payment technology and scale solutions.
The app is available through the Apple and Google App Stores.
Home and accessories retail store
Concepted by married couple Achuziam Maha-Sanchez & Lionel Sanchez, this Brooklyn retail shop curates home décor options. Interior designer Achuziam brings her experience as an interior designer and the couple’s African and Caribbean heritage to showcase offerings that combine each other’s eclectic and global tastes.
Chris Motley became a success and wondered how he could help the next generation of young, diverse leaders enjoy the same luck he had. Raised by a teenage single mother, the first-generation college grad was able to cultivate a career at Goldman Sachs, get his MBA, and wanted to pay it forward with intention, thus Mentor Spaces was born. The #1 app for Black and Latinx students and recent grads connects young professionals with experienced and influential leaders through mentorship. After years of development, research, and investment with grants from Strada Education Network and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched in the Summer of 2020, and has quickly started helping those next generations.
A parent’s love for their children can inspire them to make life-changing decisions. For parents, Kam and Summer Johnson, finding something to help alleviate their son’s severe asthma-induced allergies was a mission that led to a thriving small business. When they moved to Hunterdon County, NJ, their son’s allergies became worse, and, in their pursuit of finding natural remedies, they stumbled upon raw honey. Becoming well-versed through extensive research, the couple leaped to become beekeepers, and thus, their brand, named after their two children, came to life. The company now harvests from their multiple hives with over 2 million bees. In addition to online sales, they sell to local restaurants and retailers and at their NYC Chelsea Market location.
Organic shea butter products
Naa-Sakle Akuete and mom Eugenia took decades of experience in the Shea Butter industry and turned it into a successful skincare business. After her mom was diagnosed with cancer Naa-Sakle was determined to make the most of time with her. Eu’Genia, whose name means goodness in Greek, was once the President of the Global Shea alliance in Ghana and knew the shea butter business and source local makers. Taking the raw shea butter recipe her midwife grandmother used as a midwife, Naa-Sakle and her mother started a family-run social enterprise dedicated to all natural premium shea butter moisturizers. Their passion for delivering a clean product with healing properties has become a success. Lovers of their brand can shop online or find their products in Sephora, QVC, and other retail entities.