"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve." -Malcom X
What comes from the challenges we are facing now will be cathartic and beautiful, whether right now or with the bitterness of time. We are supporters of Black Lives Matter at Bestowe: we understand the necessity for an inclusive world and an end to injustices caused by prejudice. At Bestowe, we are trying harder than ever to expand our diverse offerings within the artist community to be more inclusive. And I am personally making a conscious effort to support Black artists around me with voice and $$$.
So many of you are in the same boat. I am asked every day now if I can recommend Black artists and makers and I see more and more resources supporting them popping up. It seemed as good a time as any to put together our own list at Bestowe of some of our favorites. If you know of any yourself and want to add comments below, please share them with us! This is a shortlist to get your going, but once you start you'll be down a rabbit hole of discovery that will open your eyes.
25 Black Owned Artisans and Businesses that You Should Support
As you might imagine, Black artists are overwhelmed by an influx of support right now. It's a good problem to have. But, In some cases, the pandemic has halted production for some small-businesses despite race or ethnicity because of shelter in place and therefore made this increased demand harder to keep up with.
One way we’re committed to supporting the Black community is to partner closely with artisans at Black-owned businesses, now and into the future. You might be committed to doing the same.
I think it's only fitting that our community at Bestowe share some of our favorites as well. If you like our products, then you'll love this list of creative artisans below. Keep in mind, we've reviewed businesses whose products would fit nicely into a gift. We try to avoid giving beauty products and focus on wellness, home, and family.
Black Artisans: Ceramicists and Potters
3. We also found Carla Sealey. She is the maker behind Naked Clay Ceramics. Working with black stoneware and porcelain, she creates charming table and homewares. Check out some of her workshops as well.
4. Last on my cue and hopefully, someone Bestowe will be working with is Tracie Hervy of Tracie Hervy Ceramics. Tracie Hervy’s austere ceramic cylinders are forthright; with elegant lines and iconic shapes. She is an artist at her core, and her pieces expand from decor to practicality. I'm absolutely in love with the delicate minimalism and complexity you can see in each piece.
Textile, Cloth and Home
5. Kenesha Sneed is both fashionable and creatively brilliant. Her SoCal brand that is Tactile Matter, is a combination of ceramics, illustration, textiles and fun. Full of coastal vibes and color, Kenesha’s work spans many mediums and collaborations.
6. New York-based Linoto brand started when founder Jason Evege couldn’t find real linen sheets under $1000 (and without needing to ship them from Europe). All of Linoto’s linen bedding, curtains, towels, tablecloths and napkins are proudly made in the USA in a variety of rich hues and patterns.
7. Besides producing luxurious scented soy candles with wooden wicks, Goodnight Darling Co. mission is to help you get your zzz's. Their soothing candles, bath soaks, and herbal teas are all meant to help you work towards that goal.
8. If you love scented candles (who doesn’t?!), be sure to check out Tule Fog’s line of individually poured, clean-burning, soy wax candles, and non-toxic reed diffusers. All of their candles are made from domestically-grown ingredients and do not contain any phthalates or lead.
9. Another black-owned candle company we’re loving is Brooklyn Candle Studio. In addition to ethically-made candles, they sell essential oil diffusers and fragrant room mists. Their elegant and minimalist designs would look gorgeous in any home.
10. Looking for a beautifully decorated clutch? We are loving these from Rkitekt. The patterns are something we'd die to have for wrapping paper! Another bag company we've absolutely enjoyed getting to know (and in our own hometown), Olori (left side below).
11. House of Takura is another bag company and lifestyle brand that’s definitely worth checking out. Their founder left Sierra Leone at a young age to pursue a better life in the United States and also gives back to Sub-Saharan African communities in need. Their unique designs fuse African textiles, Western fabrics, and modern styles. With every bag they create, they empower youth and create jobs in Africa.
12. MIITRA was founded by Dimitra Williams in an effort to amplify the positive representation of the Black community in the luxury design space. The company’s silk scarves and face masks are not only gorgeous, but promote strength, confidence, and self-love with powerful messages.
13. If you’re looking for home decor, check out the special pillows, home goods, and furniture by xN Studio. Founded by Ugandan-American Nasozi Kakemb, this design company works with artisans to fortify existing networks among and between independent creatives in Africa, including Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania. Their vibrant textiles will add a fun pop of color to your home.
Beauty and Feminine
14. The whole reason Bea Dixon started The Honey Pot Co was create relief for the female body with the power of ingenuity and herbs. She has mommy products, menstrual products and an all-around clean and simple look that speaks to health and wellness that we can get behind.
15. This nail polish line from Rachel James is vegan and free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene, and dibutyl Phthalate DBP. The chic range includes gel and lacquer options, too. Pearnova.com.
16. Sade Baron is a mother-daughter team, that started a clean, natural, Cruelty-Free and high-performance product line! Their products are handcrafted with superfood ingredients and rich in fatty acid omegas, nutrients and antioxidants that feed skin so it can work its natural magic.
17. Buff Experts is a Canadian skincare company founded by a wax expert who felt there was a lack of good-quality body care products to treat common skin conditions like vulva care, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, body acne, and hyperpigmentation. Their skincare products are clean, plant-powered, and beautifully packaged.
And if you want more amazing resources for beauty (since Bestowe doesn't really sell a lot of these, but instead focus on wellness, this is a great list from Fashionista.) They really did their research!
18. Ok, this company just deserves a shout out for what they are doing to help nurture women in pregnancy and mental health. https://thisisloom.com/
Wellness and CBD
19. Golde was co-founded by Trinity and Issey in 2017 with the mission of bringing good vibes to the wellness industry. They're an independent, Brooklyn-born brand centered in making superfood-boosted essentials for health and beauty. Their products are natural, easy, and (most importantly) fun. And come on, look at that refreshing packaging. I just want to buy it based on that alone!
20. Living with anxiety is how I found Brown Girl Jane. And then I discovered a whole world of good that all of their products could provide. They began their quest to create a line of plant-based, vegan and cruelty-free products that would compliment a journey of calm, and in the process, help women better manage their wonderfully full lives...naturally.
21. Based in Harlem, Gwell is a wellness company that makes delicious, plant-powered snacks using only organic and natural ingredients. They use flavors inspired by their founder's multicultural heritage to create a wide range of unique sweet and savory goodies. What’s more, they partner with local community organizations in order to improve food equity and expand access to wellness education.
22. Pure chocolate by Jinji was founded in 2012 by Jinji Fraser, and her father, Guy. Since the beginning, the priority has been maintaining a high level of sensitivity to the farmers who grow & harvest the cacao, and to the earth that yields the fruits.
23. Phillip Ashley Chocolates define luxury and elegance. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted by their chocolatiers using ingredients from around the world and superior fair trade chocolate. Their designs are delectable pieces of edible art!
Men Wellness and Body Care Products
24. Uh, hello: this company is owned by a 9-year old boy! Oh my. We're already sold just by the ambition and prowess. But, the products speak for themselves. All of Heathmade's products smell great, make you feel good, and are alcohol-free. Go ahead and give them a try; your hands, body, and soul will thank you!
25. Bevel is a head-to-toe grooming company created by and for black men. They make a wide range of high-quality shaving products, lotions, soaps, hair care products, and other hygiene products made with clean ingredients.
Other Black Owned Business Directories & Resources
During our searches to expand our artist base, there were some great sites out there that dedicate their time to supporting Black-owned Businesses and sharing news about new Black artisans and business. Honorable mention goes out to Shoppe Black and Official Black Wall Street. Thanks for helping expand my search and providing content that is valuable on small-owned businesses.
Support Black Owned Businesses with Bestowe
If you’re looking for a convenient, curated gift that supports many of the artisans and entrepreneurs featured above, check out Bestowe’s black artisan gift box. This gift set is packed full of small-batched, ethically-made, natural products that promote health, wellness, and self-care. Plus, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the NAACP!
What other Black-owned shops or brands do you love? Please share below.