It’s probably no surprise that one of our favorite pastimes here at Smith is discovering new brands and sharing the products, design, and people who inspire us. In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing a handful of our favorite Black Owned brands and businesses. If somehow you make it to the end of the list without scooping up what these brands have to offer, we’ve also rounded up some resources on other ways you can support Black businesses in your community and beyond. Happy browsing!
“Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is a Coffee Shop and Bookstore located in the heart of the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Founded by Marc Lamont Hill in 2017, Uncle Bobbie’s was created to provide underserved communities with access to books and a space where everyone feels valued. In addition to their specially curated book selection, they also serve high quality coffee, food products and other items like apparel and children’s games. They are also a community space, that holds free author talks, and dozens of other events including weekly story time for kids and back to school drives.”
Founded by designers and entrepreneurs Bryon and Dexter Peart, GOODEE “leads the way in curating a marketplace that brings together the values of good design, good people, and good purpose. Offering essential homewares and lifestyle products for better living. GOODEE believes conscious commerce has the power to transform the world and seek to empower both creators and consumers to create change by championing community, transparency, and sustainability.”
Shennel Fuller, Founder and CEO of unisex kid’s brand Miles and Milan, developed a brand that provides key basics and fashion items that are playful, effortless, and current. A perfect in-between that supports Fuller’s minimalistic yet fashion thoughtful aesthetic, she wanted to create a brand that grows with your child.
Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker and Company’s mission is to make health and beauty simple for people of color. He launched Bevel, the first and only head to toe grooming brand crafter for Black men, customized with ingredients for customers skin and textured hair. Bevel also donates a portion of their sales to Walmart to support Anti-Recidivism legislation, continuing education, and job training for returning citizens.
Denise Woodard, Founder and CEO of Partake created the company when her daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. Partake offers a selection of delicious allergy friendly foods that those with and without food restriction can enjoy and share with confidence. She shines awareness on food allergies and their effects on 1 in every 13 children across the country. Black children especially are at significantly higher risk of developing these allergies. Partake also partners with organizations like No Kid Hungry to provide access to the food, education and advocacy these families deserve.
As a Black & Asian American woman, Denise is passionate about raising awareness of Black and female entrepreneurship and increasing opportunities for underrepresented people seeking careers in the food and beverage industry. In 2020, Denise founded Black Futures in Food & Beverage, an annual fellowship program that mentors HBCU students and helps them secure internships and jobs at the program’s end.
Using color, science and technology Hue Noir develops innovative, everyday makeup solutions ideal for customers with nuanced skin tones ranging from fair to deep. Hue Noir strives to give women more choices and better options for achieving their desired look. For instance, their True Hues Flawless Finish Foundation product is available in 25 true-to-skin-color shades.
Owner of Jam + Rico, Lisette Scott created the company to dive deeper into her love of design and the Caribbean. Both of her grandparents were immigrants from islands of Jamaica and Puerto Rico and she has always been curious about their upbringing and traditions. Once she got older she was able to travel to both of her grandparents home islands where she found her love of her heritage grow even stronger. She designs to bring herself closer to the cultural connection of her ancestors. Looking at the bright and beautiful design of her products, you can get an idea of where her inspiration comes from.
Coco and Breezy is a designer optical glasses and sunglasses brand that was founded by twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson. Growing up in Minnesota, the sisters were bullied for their color. Through this hardship, they found their love and passion for sunglasses by how they felt when they put on their glasses, they became their alter egos. Today, their designs are renowned for their style and have been featured in major publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. – MSNBC
Unsun Cosmetics was founded by Katonya Breaux after she was frustrated by the lack of options within the world of clean sunscreen products for women of color. The brand was created to provide clean, no-residue options that were kind to the person using it as well as the environment its being used in.
Growing up Ibraheem Basir’s kitchen was full of Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American cooking. As he got older, he saw the importance of eating naturally but hated how hard it was to find convenient foods that were both healthy and authentic. He started A Dozen Cousins so that it would be easier to enjoy authentic cultural recipes made with wholesome ingredients. All of A Dozen Cousins recipes are inspired by traditional Black and Latino recipes. They also have a give back initiative of providing an annual grant and volunteer support to non-profit organizations that are working to eliminate socio-economic health disparities in the US.
Salone Monet launched her brand of color-inclusive nude shoes when she realized a need for color equity in the footwear space. The line has been worn by Beyonce Knowles, Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer and many others.
Founded by designer Ashley L. Fouyolle, Unwrp is one of “the most popular, Instagram-worthy, luxury gift wrapping companies”. A one-stop-shop for all your gifting needs, Unwrp offers products including wrapping paper, fabric wraps, greeting cards and home goods designed by talented artists around the world. Unwrp’s mission is to “create quality gifting goods that are produced with ethical and environment values.”
Pernell and Rod, founders of BLK & BOLD created the brand with the idea that they could make a change. Their idea of giving young people the tools to “live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, enjoying a cup of coffee & tea, into a means of giving back.” The company pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned with sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness.
“MLK MKT Vintage is a Brooklyn, NY-based antique/vintage concept shop, specializing in collectibles, cast-offs and curiosities”. Founders Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart founded the brand with over fifteen years of combined collecting and picking experience. Their collection includes vintage literature, vinyl records, clothing, art, houseware/décor, furniture and many other goods. “By centering Black cultural artifacts via thoughtful curation and varying modes of accessibility, we’re communicating very explicitly to Black folks that ‘not only do we see you, but we love you as well. You’re worthy. What you’ve created is worthy. You are important here.”
There are so many ways to support Black owned businesses including the ones listed here: reshare their products on social platforms, purchase something for yourself, a family member or friend, write a review, seek out Black owned businesses near you to support and tell your friends about, and so much more.
For additional information on how to find and support Black owned businesses near you, check out the resources below:
https://www.supportblackowned.com/ – Easily find Black Owned Business in your area!
Brush up on your Black history and engage in important topics past and present with this round up of podcasts:
At Smith Design, our culture is rooted in caring. We make a conscious and collective effort to translate our values into actions that benefit our staff, our clients, our community and our environment.