One powerful way we can change systemic racial injustice and take action is by supporting Black-owned businesses, which have also been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
We asked our Thrive community to share the Black-owned businesses they love and will make even more of an effort to support going forward. Which of these businesses will you check out?
“I recently heard about Dine.Black, a crowdsourced list of Black-owned restaurants in many areas in the US. Many people have been trying to support local businesses through the pandemic by ordering takeout, so I feel like this is a great way to put your money where your mouth is, literally. Also, because it’s crowdsourced, if you don’t see your city here, you can add it!”
—Alexis Haselberger, time management and productivity coach, San Francisco, CA
“I’m planning to continue supporting Code2College.org, a non-profit business dedicated to teaching underestimated youth in Austin to code through work experience. Their student team completed a website project and I plan to continue to be a virtual mentor and speaker, as well as supporting them financially. It’s established businesses like these that have been doing the work of dismantling systemic inequalities that deserve our support!”
—Aneela Idnani, mental health advocate and HabitAware co-founder, Minneapolis, MN
Perfect Imperfections 608
“I’m supporting my friend Jasmine Banks’ business. She started the company to honor her mother, who died after a six-month battle with cancer. Jasmine made the decision to begin researching ingredients in her toiletries, as her mother’s death brought about a new awareness of toxins in our beauty products, and she decided to create her own natural body products based on her findings. As Jasmine documented her journey to a healthier lifestyle on social media, her friends began to inquire about purchasing her products. From there, Perfect Imperfections 608 was born. She is donating ten percent of her profits this week to Freedom Inc to help continue their mission and to stand up and fight another day. Upon hearing this, several friends have committed to matching her donation. What a beautiful ripple of good she is creating. When we support Black-owned businesses, we are actively honoring our values, and creating the equitable world we want to live in.”
—Laura Gmeinder, certified coach and public speaker, WI
“My favorite Black-Owned business is Branëu. They’re a small luxury clothing company that started in Richmond, Virginia. I love Branëu’s clothes, but I truly love that their brand is centered around youth entrepreneurship, innovation, and financial literacy for Black youth. Their slogan says it all: ‘Branëu. The ability to create what has not been thought of.’
—Sahara Powell, marketing associate, Los Angeles, CA
Fulton Street Books & Coffee
“My recent discovery is this Black-woman-owned business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Because I do a good deal of my shopping online, I felt okay about venturing away from my home in Washington to support it. I have pledged to absorb as much information as possible about the systemic racism in my country, understanding that I’ve been unknowingly complicit in it. My first step is to read and learn — to take responsibility for refreshing my knowledge of history, and to study the perspective of leaders in the BIPOC community and their stories. Fulton Street’s mission statement, prominently displayed on its home page, let me know I’d come to the right place: ‘We are on a mission to increase intergenerational literacy and build a better community. At Fulton Street, we center the stories, narratives, and lived experiences of people of color and marginalized communities.’”
—Katie Wright, freelance writer, Bellingham, WA
Hilltop Urban Garden
“I’m supporting the Hilltop Urban Garden — HUG — by volunteering to make healthy garden-grown foods accessible to the low-income, mostly Black, neighborhood in my city.”
—Grant Gurewitz, marketer, Tacoma, WA
“The Homesteadista is a Black woman-owned digital leadership and lifestyle magazine. The Homesteadista is the kind of women’s media — with its deep-dive profiles, real-life inspiration, solutions journalism, and narrative-rich storytelling — that nudges and nurtures cities into becoming thriving spaces where it’s great to be a woman. The editorial content includes stories of personal and professional growth, hurdles and successes, resources for financial, legal, and cultural literacies, along with guidance on everything from how to navigate motherhood, family, small space living and student loan debt, to overcoming workplace trauma, developing body positivity, disrupting bias, and unpacking projects, products, and partnerships that best align with her wallet, time, and values.”
—Lisa Quattlebaum, CEO and founder, Philadelphia, PA
Marilyn’s Soul Food Kitchen
“I love good food, and Marilyn’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood, Los Angeles, is great for takeout.”
—Debra Reed, senior technical writer, Irvine, CA
Ooh Lala Salads
“Ms. Loretta Bullock is a Black entrepreneur who knows that by providing a nutritious meal at an affordable price, she is fighting the problems of fast, empty-calorie-based foods that plague her North Philadelphia neighborhood. Her restaurant, Ooh Lala Salads, has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a rapid decrease in customers. The business survived due to a grant, but is still struggling with its operations at this time. Ooh Lala Salads will be working with The Salvation Army to bring healthy meals to the North Philadelphia community.”
—Marianna Goldenberg, financial advisor and certified divorce financial analyst, Philadelphia, PA
The Boreland Group
“Jennefer Witter, the CEO and founder of The Boreland Group, is the kind of genius communications professional who makes my life as a journalist so much easier. I have worked with her in a nonprofit organization and she is adept at problem-solving, and keen at creating strategies and solutions at every turn. Jennefer is primed to mentor and advise other women of color in different positions, and uses her vast experience to move conversations forward and take action to create change where needed. Her higher mission of bringing other women into leadership positions drives her purpose. As the media suffers from not only systemic racism, but from centuries of sexism, Jennefer is a brilliant business owner who is working hard to make a difference. She has made a difference for me.”
—Michele Weldon, journalist and author, Chicago, IL
“I’m committed to supporting Quickie Too, a Black-owned vegan cafe, located here in my home of Tacoma. They are a force for good in our community and make amazing vegan Southern comfort food!”
—Grant Gurewitz, marketer, Tacoma, WA
Your Soul’s Movement
“Your Soul’s Movement is a performing arts and wellness organization. The founder and director, Winifred R. Harris, is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, coach, and entrepreneur who runs her own contemporary dance company, and has provided outreach and community-based programs around the world for over 35 years. Winifred is a visionary artist who paints her world through a palette of disciplines with the goal of transcending the issues that divide us through artistic expression, and to empower and give voice to the social, emotional, and spiritual challenges with which we as individuals and as a society are faced. She welcomes everyone to her classes regardless of their skill level, offers her classes at no cost for those that can’t afford them, and even keeps videos of her classes on Facebook for those who can’t come in person. She looks at life through the power of giving and receiving. I know how transformative her classes are for my body and mind. I want everyone to have an opportunity to experience that for themselves.”
—Tracey Blustein, nonprofit professional, Lakewood, CO
4th Ave Market
I love 4th Ave Market. It’s the largest Black-owned online beauty and hair care retailer in the United States. 4th Ave Market is tackling inequality in the Black hair care and beauty supply industry, eliminating the retail distribution barriers for Black hair care entrepreneurs, selling products up to 30% less than traditional retail outlets, and reinvesting a portion of all proceeds back into the Black community
—James Oliver, Jr., founder of WeMontage.com, Atlanta, GA
Is there a certain Black-owned business that you love? Share it with us in the comments.
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